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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Naked Wines' New App‏

As I have written before, I am not a greater believer in wine apps - specifically of those that purport to tell you whether you are going to like a particular wine or not.

Something of a technophobe myself, I want technology to be intuitive and useful and am generally not prepared to invest much time in learning how to use something new before I decide it's too boring to pursue.

So, whether it's my attitude towards these things in general or the fact that I have not actually used the app in question that disqualifies me from expressing an authoritative opinion on the new Naked Wines app is perhaps something of a moot point.

However, when within 24 hours of launch the app overtook Amazon, Groupon, Asos and Autotrader to become one of the most downloaded Free Lifestyle apps in the UK, then clearly something has worked.

It has also doubled the amount of interaction between Naked's customers and wine-makers.

The press release from Naked gives the usual stats about the company that will be familiar to many - 200,000 customers of whom half are Angels.

To me, however, there are several more interesting stories here:

- firstly, the growth of M-Commerce; now representing just under 10% of e-commerce sales with an average transaction value of over £100, it is finally turning into the mobile web that was talked about around a decade ago

- secondly, Naked's ability to keep moving ahead and constantly change in as staid an industry as wine retailing is little short of phenomenal

- finally, the app was developed in-house; I know from painful experience how difficult it is to get even the simplest of apps launched for a client using an outsourced consultancy, so to do the whole thing in-house is really impressive

With a strong brand, huge customer loyalty and a constantly innovative business model, Naked have successfully combined old-school retailing with cutting edge social media.

And curiously, part of that success is an eye for some fairly basic insights into human nature - that people love to interact, chat and share new discoveries with friends, and that they like a strong sense of community and identity.

For a more considered assessment of the app itself, I recommend this article by techie wine enthusiast, Dave Lowe, on his Big Pinots blog: http://bigpinots.com/naked-wines-new-app

Another wine blogger who has some techie inclinations and is positive about the app is Colin Smith, writing as Grapefan.

Naked Wines - www.nakedwines.com

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