The Drync.com Wine Blog

Uberization of Wine

August 31, 2015

by Brad Rosen, CEO Drync

Eight million people use Uber today.  Quite remarkable, considering Uber was born 5 years ago and the service is only available in about 290 cities worldwide (as of Spring 2015).

Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has had a revolutionary impact on culture and commerce. Today, INSTANT, PERSONALIZED and MAGICAL is what we expect. Uber is a prime example of a service that delivers on that expectation, but the need to have our wants addressed instantly transcends all industries.

Here’s why: HUMANS ARE BORN IMPATIENT. As infants, it is a form of self preservation. When my 10 month-old is hungry, he doesn’t wait an hour to scream his head off. He let’s us know as soon as that urge to eat hits him. As a result, he does not starve.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 10.09.06 AMWe learn to suppress this reaction for societal reasons, but the impulse is there… lurking. We all want what we want, when we want it.

Today, we CAN get what we want when we want it. As a result, NOW is becoming the societal norm. Mobile it a huge part of this. It has totally changed us and there is no going back.

This cultural narcissism is one of the key driving forces behind what I call THE AGE OF NOW.

I’ll never forget my aha moment that we had entered a new era of immediacy – I had been using Amazon Prime for a short period of time on the web. I would order things like kids gear and holiday presents and get them in two days without fail. Super neat.

Then, one night, after attending to a hungry child around 3am, I lay in my bed wide awake making to-do lists in my head. And it hit me – I opened my Amazon app and started ordering – razors, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, water filters. The prices were reasonable and I knew I’d get the products almost immediately. The Amazon app made it too easy.

More than any other technology, mobile technology has altered our daily behaviors – in large part because it is always with us, whether we’re working, golfing, or in the bathroom…

The first iPhone hit the market June 29, 2007. Today, 87% of adults 21-35 say their smart phone never leaves their side; 80% check their phone before anything else when they wake up (this excludes the alarm). More than 50% of all digital time is now on mobile devices and 80% of that time is on apps.

This influences how we do everything, including our behaviors and expectations around purchasing. Mobile commerce is growing 30% year over year and slated to represent 30% of all e-commerce sales by 2017. Amazon did $6B in mobile sales in 2013 and 60% of their 2014 holiday sales came from mobile devices. Let me repeat, more than half of Amazon’s holiday sales were done on mobile.

Mobile commerce is here and there is one word to describe our new standard for commerce: MAGIC.

Part of the MAGIC is that an unprecedented amount of data is being collected on us, all the time, and I believe that’s a good thing! It leads to contextually relevant user experiences, from which we all benefit.

From weather, to traffic, to music, to buying toilet paper – apps take care of it all for us with the utmost efficiency and because these apps “know” us, the experience is personalized.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 10.10.41 AM

Let me walk you through a typical day: I wake and check the Weather Channel app, which tells me weather in my location. On my way to the office, I turn on Waze app, which knows exactly where I am and routes me around traffic in real time. I swing by a Starbucks and pay for my coffee with the Starbucks app. I use the Jet Blue app to check in on my flight and listen to Spotify on the way to the airport and on the plane. I use the Slack app throughout the day to stay in touch with the team. When I arrive at my destination, I take an UBER from the airport, shazam a song in the UBER, use Hotel Tonight to book a room in seconds from the car.  Book dinner reservation with the Open Table app. Record the wine I try at dinner with Drync. And Facetime with my kids before bed.

For better and worse, there is not a moment I am not reliant on my phone and apps each day. You could certainly classify me as an early adopter, but I am far from alone and this is becoming the way of the world. We are living and breathing apps, content, communicating, and doing everything from their mobile devices.

This brings us to UBERization, which is, in technical speak: “freaking magic.”

Uber has created a service that feels magical – at the touch of your phone a nice car drives up with an intelligent, engaged driver who really cares about the service. It costs a fraction of a taxi and displaces not only taxis, but rental cars. It’s literally cheaper for me to take an Uber car than renting a car and paying for parking and gas. Mind blowing.

Uber is the manifestation of two large market forces coming together – “Collaborative Economy” meets “On Demand”

“Collaborative economy” uses digital marketplaces to bring supply closer to demand, leveraging technology and pooled resources. There are more than 160k Uber drivers today, 50% of them were not drivers before. Instacart, which has raised $275M, now has 10,000 “freelance shoppers” (who make near minimum wage).

Collaborative economy heavily relies on a mobile, 1099 workforce to offer personalized services and cut out the middleman.  Without this, the collaborative economy model is compromised. Recently, the state of CA deemed Uber drivers “employees” not “contractors” – this could seriously impact their profit model.

“On-demand economy” is about getting what you want, when you want it, which as mentioned before is becoming the norm.

Several dynamics have aligned to enable these new marketplace models:

  • Smartphone adoption: 80% of US uses smart phones today
  • Mobile Labor force: 37% of the US workforce is 1099 and expected to increase to 40% by 2017
  • Lean Operations: It has never been cheaper to start a company
  • Customer preference: Convenience-driven society expecting immediacy, transparency, and service

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 10.22.52 AMA sector of this movement is bringing on-demand alcohol to consumers. There are several mobile services allowing people to essentially access a local liquor store on their phone. For the consumer, this fulfills an immediate need for wine, beer, and liquor. For producers, it provides new sales and marketing opportunities for targeted audiences  that could generate immediate, trackable results.

But wine drinkers aren’t just looking for a liquor store. They expect much more and are doing much more on mobile. Instant image recognition is table stakes.  Personalized recommendations and social just as much so. Telling the story and developing a connection to the producer is essential to building loyalty and consumers crave this.

Two years ago, Drync created the largest mobile marketplace for wine using a collaborative network of retailers and wineries to offer a 30k+ broad portfolio of wines to consumers. With instant image recognition, consumers simply snap a photo of a wine label to immediately get details on that wine and place an order for it through the app for delivery or in-store pickup.

We realize consumers will always need more – and fortunately, we are in a position to do that.

As an app that wine drinkers use regularly to track and share wines they discover, we can use this information to help you understand your palate better, guide you to new discoveries that you will personally enjoy, re-connect you with wines and wineries you love, and help guide future purchases.

This is all moving fast, but fortunately humans are built for this. It’s not survival of the fittest, but the survival of the most adaptable…

Drync entered the mobile space in 2008 – shortly after the first iPhone hit the market.  Today, we partner with licensed sellers of wine and help them go mobile. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us via our Partners Page. (https://www.drync.com/partners)

Brad

Brad Rosen, CEO of Drync, is a high tech vet from the Boston-area and serial entrepreneur. Brad founded Drync, a top wine app, in 2008. Before Drync, Brad was VP Product at Where (acquired Ebay), a location-based services mobile company. He was also with startups Purespeech (Phillips), Ucentric Systems (Motorola), and Cognio (Cisco). Brad received his MBA from MIT Sloan in 2006, and holds an Electrical Engineering BS from the University of Colorado.

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