Q&A: Naked Wines Australia uncorks app in support of local winemakers
Naked Wines Australia
Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Age Rating: 17+
Naked Wines Australia is a new-to-market app for iPhone bucking traditional industry practices by promoting up-and-coming local winemakers’ profiles in a highly competitive and fast-growing market.
Adapted from the UK version that went on to become the country’s fastest growing online wine retailer, Naked Wines Australia (www.nakedwines.com.au) provides a community and forum where customers and winemakers are able to interact. Users can create customised profiles with a range of content relating to different varieties of wine and the vineyards where the product is made.
For winemakers, this allows them to promote their business and the wines they produce with video clips, tasting notes and special product deals. Consumers, meanwhile, have the opportunity to chat in real-time with winemakers and other users, as well as post testimonials, reviews, feedback and suggestions. The app also lets you buy wine direct from the makers with an ordering system feature.
Macworld Australia talked to Naked Wines Australia’s Managing Director, Luke Jecks, to learn more about Australia’s wine marketplace, how its mobile app is set to shake up the industry and what’s in store for future updates of the software.
How does the Naked Wines app for Australians differ from its UK version?
We’re actually giving Australia a heap of new features before the UK get them. We’ve added the ability to browse, filter and sort through all our wines, as well as view and buy our premixed cases. We also added a new screen for Angels to view every wine they’ve bought before with their rating next to it. Makes re-ordering your favourites really easy.
How many downloads has the Australian app received to date?
Since we launched [July] we’ve had over 200 downloads.
What has customer feedback been like since the launch?
The feedback has been superb! Our Angels love that they can chat to their winemakers and order wines on the go. They also really enjoy the video content of the winemakers, which they can pull out of their pocket and watch whilst they are drinking the wine.
How involved are local winemakers in the process of developing and updating the app? What do they want to see come out of the project?
Our winemakers love getting direct feedback from customers, and that was before we built an app which meant they could read and reply to this feedback whereever they were. They also love making video content for the app, most of which they film themselves on their own mobile phones. We’re planning on building a new app just for winemakers where all their comments and feedback are displayed in one place.
What sort of things do customers want to discuss with the winemakers?
Our customers are brutally honest with our winemakers. If they love a wine, they will make sure the winemakers know it, and likewise if they won’t, well…the winemaker gets an ear-full! But the great thing is the winemaker can respond and you see some great conversations going backwards and forwards. The end result is that our customers can actually influence the winemaker for the next vintage.
How do customers order wines via the app?
We made it really easy to order wine on the go. You can build your case up from individual wines as you go, with your shopping basket being synchronised with your basket online, or if you’re in a real hurry you can order one of our great premixed cases.
In future iterations of the app, what sort of extra features do you want to add?
That would be telling! Just like our customers influence the wines we sell and the winemakers we do business with, so they tell us the features they want to see in the app. Because we build it ourselves the possibilities are endless. Next on the customer wish-list is an iPad version which is coming later this year.
What does the future of the wine industry look like in Australia? Do you foresee continued growth?
Currently the supermarkets have far too much control over the industry. By reversing the traditional wine retail business model, we can grow by giving both customers and winemakers a much better deal than they get from the big chains.