The One Thing that Makes Alibaba Different, When Selling Wine Online

This past week in Bordeaux, during the Vinexpo trade fair, I sat in on an overflowing session to hear how wineries can sell wine online through Alibaba, the Chinese company that is the world’s largest retailer.

There was a lot to learn, certainly. But let me bottom line it for you.

Alibaba has a unique ID for every one of its almost 500 million consumers. That’s because they own the platforms within their ecosystem, so they can track each consumer through every stage of buying and socializing that they do online, through the entire process from exploration to purchase to post-consumption.

This is worth repeating: Alibaba OWNS these platforms, which enables them to track unique users through every click or stroke or swipe.

In the U.S., when it comes to wine, it would be the equivalent of a company being able to follow an individual consumer through this entire process:

  • Posting a label shot on Instagram, to
  • Rating a wine on Vivino, to
  • Searching for a wine’s pricing on Wine-Searcher, to
  • Sharing posts about the wine with their community on Facebook, to
  • Buying a wine on Wine.com, to
  • Searching for a brand video on YouTube, and
  • Etc etc etc

That is exactly the nut that wine companies want very much to crack in terms of the digital behavior of consumers: to link their behavior across platforms. But, unlike with Alibaba in China, those platforms are separate entities in the U.S., so there isn’t necessarily a link between what a consumer does on one platform with what that same consumer does on another.

In the U.S., Europe, and South America, it’s a chain of disconnected links. With Alibaba in China, the chain is seamless and integrated.

Which leads us to the offering and the mission of Enolytics: to weave together data from the separate platforms that are also our data partners, such as Wine-Searcher.com, Vivino, and Wine.com. Yes, they're disconnected threads but yes, we have the ability to weave them together into a fabric that is more whole.

Taken altogether, the consumer data collected by our partners far outnumbers Alibaba's footprint. It is the innovation of Enolytics to connect the dots -- to weave together the disconnected threads -- and derive value from the integrated whole.

The ecosystem is different here and in Europe and South America, and so are the dynamics. We learn more every day, and we’d love to start helping you navigate some things as well.

Please let me know what’s on your mind.

And, as always, thank you for reading --