Case Study: Somm.ai
Helping Somm.ai on its journey to become the largest database of wines.
We had the opportunity to catch up with David Kong, Founder of Somm.ai, a Virtual Sommelier. Somm.ai began by helping restaurants convert their wine lists into a retail shop in less than 5 minutes, completely not-for-profit. Visit them over at shop.somm.ai, buy wines and help local restaurants. “I started Somm.ai because I wanted people to have a better experience ordering wines when they go out for their meals. We have the world’s biggest database of wines at restaurants that people can choose from.
"So, when someone makes a plan for going out for dinner, they can access wine lists from our platform to help them make the correct choice. They get information about which wine producers the restaurant has, what are the average prices, vintages, and how many varieties of wines they carry. When COVID hit we added a buy button and became one of the largest wine markets. We’re currently working with producers and give them vital data they need to run their business by effectively being a CRM for distributors and producers,” explains David.
When starting out with Somm.ai, David knew that Elasticsearch was going to be the obvious choice for powering their search. After trying MongoDB, the Somm.ai team figured that it was not the right solution for the search use-case. David found out about ReactiveSearch.io and ReactiveSearch after coming across building a movie store based site search using React.
The Solution and Results
Somm.ai's search is powered using ReactiveSearch and hosted using a combination of ReactiveSearch.io (in Bring your own cluster mode) with Elasticsearch hosted with Elastic Cloud. “Starting out, there were a few things like accents (of which there are many in wine names!) and maps that we struggled with. Then, later on, when I got in touch with your team that was a great confidence boost because now we knew that anything that needed to be done, we would be able to do it. Having some experts on React and ReactiveSearch help you through problems that arise was way better than allocating extra time and effort trying to figure it out,” says David.
"ReactiveSearch was the only platform that could have allowed us to get a great product out to restaurants in a matter of just 48 hours. The ReactiveSearch.io team has provided extraordinary support throughout the process."
David KongFounder, Somm.ai
"As far as implementing ReactiveSearch.io, it felt very intuitive. The great thing about your components were that they worked right out-of-the-box and took very little time to get set up so that was a fantastic,” continues David. ReactiveSearch.io features that Somm.ai leverages today:
- ReactiveSearch - UI components for building search
- ReactiveSearch.io's point-and-click dashboard for configuring search relevance, access control and visualizing search analytics
- Dedicated Support for usage guidance on ReactiveSearch and Elasticsearch