In the age of mega-chains, there are still thousands of local businesses selling alcohol and liquor, and now more than ever they need to offer pickup and delivery functionalities to reach more customers. Thanks to the pandemic back in 2020 and a lack of universal precautions, online alcohol sales are increased since people are more careful when going to stores and they order online instead. Pickup and delivery allow for servicing customers in multiple locations, with different cities and states.
Online Alcohol Delivery & Pickup Functionality – Bringing Liquor Stores to the eCommerce Space
Why do liquor stores need the online delivery option?
Shoppers are less prone to going out to stores during a pandemic. If the store can deliver that product, they will choose that option. Any retailer, whether it be alcohol or takeout, can use this competitive advantage. They shouldn’t rely on UberEats or Postmates, which will take a large percentage. Develop a custom functionality instead because it will prove cost-beneficial.
Why is it cost-beneficial?
The conversion rate will increase. You will get more sales and upsell opportunities. On top of that, you are nurturing your customers. They receive more ways of paying from you.
Amazon Prime managed to create this nurture. The service has spoiled customers, but they are not in every single city. If this is true in your area, you need to take advantage of that deficiency. A liquor store with an app or mobile-friendly website can promise delivery within an hour to customers who order fast.
Dealing with Alcohol & Liquor eCommerce Nationwide Shipping Compliance Issues
Why are liquor stores not building custom functionalities?
In the United States, shipping alcohol has regulations. You need a team, including drivers, to deliver locally or use a third-party to get orders to customers within sixty minutes. When shipping to multiple states with two-day guarantees, regulations apply to deliveries. Not only do you need to have a registered alcohol or dealer registration license, but you’re also going to need a license to ship from every single individual state with ordering customers. With that said, competitors are moving in that direction, so you need to move with them.
How To Simplify Online Ordering Of Wine And Spirits
Arrange and put a delivery and pickup option on your website so people can see your inventory. Put this in an app in the Apple or Google Play Store. Implement this locally first, before opening up and trying to do this statewide. Once you see orders, reinvest in your business, scale and grow nationally and heighten your brand visibility, then you can start going after neighboring states. Keep your pace slow and consistent when going national.
A delivery person will not charge more than $100 a day. One courier can realistically make up to 20 to 30 deliveries on a daily basis. We can find the fastest way with specific algorithms and APIs for your delivery person to deliver this alcohol. These are the same technologies that UberEats and Postmates use to make the delivery time as efficient as possible.
Local businesses worry about the cost, but it’s not going to be that expensive for you to set up a system. You just need your website, relevant, products, and inventory tracking. The last step is especially important for customers that do bulk orders for special occasions. As for execution, the delivery and pickup functionality is easy to implement as long as you have a good eCommerce system. Bigcommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce, or WordPress will work for this because you’re not going to get thousands of orders at once.
Marketing Your Online Alcohol Delivery Business & Nurture Funnels
Let’s talk about marketing and nurture.
Two or three thousand customers visit one liquor store per month. What can you do to nurture those people? Print flyers with coupon codes to use custom delivery services and remind your customers about this benefit. If you don’t, a large corporation will implement all these incredible systems and make these local liquor stores obsolete.
Liquor stores have the mentality that they’re a necessity, with a loyal, content customer base. They don’t seem like they’re ambitious at all to grow and expand, which will be their downfall. Chains like Total Wines and ABC Liquors will kill independent businesses. Mom-and-pop liquor stores could die out if they don’t nurture their customers and grow.
Nurture means going above and beyond merely selling liquor. Create mailing lists and text systems for advertising specials. Start a rewards program to increase your loyal customers and repeat business. Total Wines does this. If you implement a rewards program with a referral-based point system, positive word of mouth will ensue. Your loyal customers are now going to start to attract and bring more business to you.
Many local stores fail to nurture customers. They fail to send emails, texts, or specials. This fails to reach valued customers who spend money. Total Wine does nurture so that customers are more likely to travel to them. If you create customer loyalty or brand loyalty people will go out of their way to go see you.
From a marketing standpoint, use Facebook for proximity. There are some regulations and rules on websites like Facebook. You have to register, and declare that you have a liquor license for your local area or shipping destination. AdWords does not allow advertisements for alcohol, but you can still be retargeting with Adroll.
Looking to the Future: Scalability for Businesses Selling Alcohol Online
No liquor stores are taking advantage of this locally. What do you think the potential is for nurture like that, not only to your customers but also to a new acquisition?
There’s tremendous potential. Many apps like Vivino, Wine-Searcher, and WineText, have customer data that you could potentially use. Anyone who downloads or uses such an app is a potential customer. With the proximity search, now you’re just honing your base.
A good marketer will take these mom-and-pop stores from the Stone Age into the digital world. Once the owners allow someone to help them and show them what could be done, they can go beyond breaking even.
If you’re a local liquor store or small business, look into pickup and delivery options to increase your sales and grow a customer base. Your business will die without scaling because some larger organizations will use this opportunity and take a cut. Uber made cab drivers less competitive in a major number of cities. With UberEats and Postmates, restaurants rejected having their own delivery systems and delivery people for years so another party took over. Those restaurants can now lose as much as thirty percent of revenue to their fees.
Do not allow a middleman to eat into your growth. Start developing your custom functionalities as soon as possible. If Optimum7 can help, let us know.
How to Sell Alcohol Online: to summarize
Liquor stores that want to thrive in today’s competitive landscape must nurture their customers, through loyalty programs like rewards and referrals. They should also capitalize on online marketing tools like Facebook and AdWords, as well as focus on scalability by exploring pickup and delivery options. If done right, these strategies can help independent liquor stores compete with larger organizations and grow their customer base for long-term success, skyrocketing their sales.
Here is a 7-step pill-sized guide on how to sell alcohol online:
1. Get the proper licenses by visiting TTB.gov and apply for your alcohol selling license
2. research what type of alcohol you want to sell by studying your competitors
3. find a wholesale supplier who can provide enough inventory
4. Register to UPS or FedEx to ship your products to customers around the country.
5. Create a marketing strategy that has eye-catching creatives and will entice potential customers
6. Partner up with a development agency to create your website to make sure your website is easy, navigate and user-friendly, and robust
7. offer promotions or discounts often alongside loyalty programs
Remember some of these steps require some level of profession in that field and certain skill sets.
If you don’t think you can pull it off alone, contact an eCommerce agency that can ease your burden by doing the development and marketing the way you want. If you are ready to talk, contact us!