posted on March 1, 2015
For twenty-two years, Moore Brothers Wine Company has specialized in presenting small-production, traditional "Old World" wines to over eighty-thousand customers in the Philadelphia and New York metro markets. The stores, founded by Greg and David Moore, both long-time veteran "somelliers" of Philadelphia restaurants, have won numerous awards for customer service and product quality, but success hasn't been without its challenges.
"In a market dominated by State Stores, 'discount' liquor stores, and the large marketing budgets of national importers, selling wine that doesn't say 'merlot' or 'chardonnay' on the label is an interesting process," says David Moore, who oversees the technology initiatives for Moore Brothers.
"Over the years we've found that contextual, background information on the various wine regions has been very helpful in connecting customers to our wines. To achieve this, we've developed in-depth, proprietary information on the history of "Old World" wine regions, food-pairing recommendations, and have even developed our own maps to make it all more understandable," says Moore.
For the stores, this has helped build a reputation as a "must-visit" for local wine aficionados and a haven for BYOB restaurant-goers but the experience was always limited by how often a customer was in one the company's three locations (Pennsauken, New Jersey; Wilmington, Delaware; New York City).
"For years, we've presented all of our customers with printed tasting notes that included not only a note about each specific wine they've purchased, but also background information on the region and winegrower. In 2012 we figured out how to 'codify' food-pairing recommendations for each region and translate that into something a U.S. customer is likely to find in their local food markets. This was a big challenge. A simple question such as 'What goes with Chicken?,' can have a lot of answers based on how that chicken was being prepared, so we had to find a way to address this simple question in a lot of different ways," says Moore.
This involved a lot of "back-and-forth" between the members of the Moore Brothers staff, many of whom have traveled to meet the winegrowers the company represents, and all of whom have solid, informed opinions about cooking and wine.
"By leveraging all of our proprietary data and software, we're able to provide these recommendations to customers when they're not in the store, or don't have one of our printed 'tasting notes' handy. Every wine is now labeled with a QR code that takes a customer to our web-based tasting note, which includes all of the information we've ever generated, and in many cases include on-location video interviews with the winegrowers," says Moore.
Moore Brothers customers can now take a bottle of wine they've purchased to a local BYOB, scan the attached QR code with their smartphone or iPad, and have an up-to-date recommendation on what types of dishes to order. All of the software that runs the stores and delivers these web-based tasting notes was developed by Moore Brothers Wine Company.
"In the end, none of this 'gee-whiz-aren't-we-cool' technology is good for anything if it doesn't serve the needs or desires of our customers. This is just another part of a long-term project geared towards bringing our in-store 'experience' to our customers when they can't be in one of our stores," says Moore.
The marriage of Old World wine to "new world" technology at Moore Brothers Wine Company is designed to do just that.
Posted under Dave's Soapbox