Drync Creates Custom Retail Apps

The tech provider offers a way for stores to compete in crowded markets.

Thanks to Drync’s customization, retailers can now have their own mobile app offering shopping, deals and more for local consumers.
Thanks to Drync’s customization, retailers can now have their own mobile app offering shopping, deals and more for local consumers.

Mobile application developer Drync has launched a new service providing custom apps to retailers. The company continues to offer its original app, which allows users to scan wine labels and make purchases for local delivery or in-store pickup. The new service enables retailers to create an app with unique branding and personalized user interaction.

“We believe that in five or 10 years, everyone will be interacting with beverage alcohol on their mobile devices,” says Drync CEO Brad Rosen. “Mobile devices are personal. They’re with us all the time, especially during social occasions when we’re drinking.” Rosen explains that as Drync’s original app developed, retailers approached the company to request more customization options. “They wanted to learn how to leverage digital channels and become more sophisticated in a marketing capacity,” he adds.

Drync’s custom apps integrate with each retailer’s p-o-s system and include a playbook of digital assets, such as email templates and automatic messages that educate users about the app and how to use it. Retailers can target consumers with promotions, recommendations and deals in the app. “If they’re having an in-store Burgundy tasting, they can send push notifications or pop-up specials to users who have searched for, rated or engaged in some way with Burgundy wines within the app,” Rosen says, adding that each customer sees a unique storefront when logging in. “It’s like the Amazon app, which has targeted content that’s personalized for the individual user.”

Founded in 2008, Drync draws on its extensive product database to populate the app. Each beer, wine or spirits entry includes a photo, description and rating aggregated from the original Drync app. There’s also space for users to take notes and submit their own ratings, as well as a “Buy Now” button and special order feature to request items that the store doesn’t carry.  Retailers can choose to offer some combination of in-store pickup, local delivery and shipment by a third-party service. In addition, every retailer who signs up for a custom app is added to Drync’s original app, where it can fill orders from those users. Each custom app has a one-time integration fee of $1,500 and then costs $399 a month, plus $149 per additional location for multiunit chains.

Around 100 retailers have signed up for custom apps, spread throughout markets including New York City, Boston, Minneapolis, Atlanta and San Francisco. Feedback has been positive so far. “We launched a few months ago, and we’re already seeing some decent traffic from the app,” says Paul Bressler, e-commerce director at 67 Wine and Spirits in New York City. “With the amount of mobile traffic we get on our website, we expect the improved user experience on the mobile app will get a much higher conversion rate.” Bressler adds that most shoppers are buying wine on the app, but he expects spirits sales to catch up soon and reflect overall web and in-store trends.

Rosen sees opportunities to expand the app to many new markets. “This will help retailers become more competitive,” he says. “For example, Total Wine has opened several locations in Massachusetts, and year-on-year holiday sales for independent retailers decreased 5 percent to 20 percent between 2014 and 2015. The general consensus is that some local stores will shut down. We’re trying to help them fight to maintain and increase their business in a very competitive market.”

Over time, the company aims to offer more services that will allow retailers to not only acquire new customers, but to generate loyalty and additional revenue. “Each market and value chain is different, but the fundamentals are similar and the products are the same,” Rosen says. “We’ll take what we’re building and expand beyond our borders.”