Meet the Buyer: Chris Tsakalakis, CEO of Vivino

Chris is the CEO of Vivino, the world’s largest online wine marketplace and most downloaded wine app. As CEO, Chris leads the company’s efforts to make Vivino the definitive resource for all wine consumers. Prior to joining Vivino, Chris was the President of StubHub, the world’s largest online ticket marketplace. He is based in San Francisco, California.

Q: Can you tell us about Vivino?

A: Vivino is the world’s largest online wine marketplace and most downloaded wine app, powered by a community of over 35 million wine lovers.  Vivino’s unique wine shopping experience uses community data to suggest personalized wine recommendations, making wine discovery and purchase fun, accessible, and effortless for wine drinkers of every level. The Vivino app is available for download on Android and Apple devices.

Q: How do you think apps have changed the way consumers approach wine? Does this vary by country/culture?

Consumers are relying on their smartphones more than ever when shopping, and most of that usage happens within apps.  People around the world use Vivino to learn more about wine and to be smarter consumers. Before Vivino, there wasn’t really a resource for them to use when shopping for wine.

With Vivino, consumers have a resource that shows them how their peers rate and characterize the taste of a wine, as well as pricing – all in the palm of their hand. Before Vivino, wine drinkers had to rely on a handful of industry-endorsed experts rating a subset of wines. With Vivino, consumers get ratings, taste information and pricing on almost any wine, making wine more understandable and approachable.

Some markets are adopting technology faster (e.g. the United States and Brazil) than others and most cultures and countries have different wine preferences , but we have Vivino users in every single country.

Q: What is your #1 prediction for wine technology over the next five years?

The majority of wine drinkers will use Vivino when they are drinking or planning to buy wine.  And in general, wine technology will bring more transparency to wine and the industry itself over the next five years.

Consumers want transparency with the products they use and they want to be smart with their money. We’re constantly looking for ways to bring that transparency to the industry through building new features. We have more data – on wines and wine drinkers – than any other app and we will use that to give users personalized wine recommendations – a feature commonplace in other industries, but new to wine. We’re able to use our data and technology to analyze what we know about a user’s unique scan, review and purchase history to help them discover new wines they will love.

Q: What will you be looking for at Vinexpo Bordeaux 2019?

This may sound obvious, but I am most looking forward to the discussions about e-commerce in the wine world and how the trade is focusing on digital sales. I’ve worked in the e-commerce space for many years and am excited to share more about Vivino’s vision for 2019 and beyond. Hearing from Alibaba will be a highlight for sure!