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Alcohol Home Delivery - Who's winning in digital?
Source: winerun.com.au

Alcohol Home Delivery – Who’s winning in digital?

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Today I look at the recent burgeoning market in alcohol home delivery services, covering WineRun, QuickBottle, JimmyBrings, liquordrop and DialaDrink.

In recent months, competition has intensified in the alcohol home delivery market in Sydney, with a number of new startups entering the market.

So what’s important to consumers when deciding which brand to choose? Below is a list of the key variables that are believed to be important for consumers in choosing one alcohol home delivery brand over another, split by non digital and digital.

Non Digital

Product range, Product pricing, Delivery times, Delivery charges, Delivery coverage area, Customer service, Brand Image and Brand Strength/ awareness.

Digital 

Website user experience, Ease of ordering/payment terms, Mobile/tablet experience and Social media.

Key Findings

There is little difference between each of the key players on the non digital variables such as stated delivery time, delivery charges, product pricing (all premium).

QuickBottle stands out as having the broadest product range and the greatest delivery coverage given their network of bottle shop partnerships. However, aside from stocking a few key bubbly, beer, cider and spirit brands I don’t think product range is as important as some of the other variables. For example, the wine market is so fractured that they do not need many brands of a key regional wine varietal such as a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. JimmyBrings is a good example of having the key wine varietals from the key regions covered with a small range.

Aside from DialaDrink, in time the other players will all be competing over the same 4 key delivery coverage areas: CBD, Inner West, Eastern Suburbs and Lower North Shore.

Brand Image. JimmyBrings stands out as the only brand brave enough to try and establish an actual engaging brand personality vs a standard online retail site. Is it a little too hipster focused? Will women order from this site? You be the judge.

On the digital variables, all brands have a website that is relatively easy to order, intuitive to follow and offer a tailored simplified site for mobile/tablets. WineRun scores better on the website user experience being the only brand to offer tasting notes and vintage for all their wines listed, yet curiously do not accept payments via Paypal.

On the social media side, most of the brands have an active presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In contrast, liquordrop do not appear to have any social media presence, whilst QuickBottle is the only brand with a presence on LinkedIn.

NB: Clearly other non digital variables such as actual delivery times and customer service need to be tested to make an assessment of those. However, even then it will be difficult to draw comparisons given the number of variables of: time of order, day of the week, weather and Sydney traffic in general. Most of the sites state on their terms of use that 90% of the time the delivery will be made within the published time frame.

Recommendations

Of all the variables mentioned above, it is believed that the most important can be summarised as a combination of: convenience, ease of use and speed. Further investment in digital can best enable these businesses to deliver on these and help differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Will all of these brands be around in 1 -2 years time? I doubt it. The brand/s that are first to fully exploit the potential of digital in enabling the above will survive and thrive.

1. Develop an app. Whilst each of the sites have an adequate mobile version of their website, an app can make the whole process even more convenient and easier. Liquor Drop, have stated on their website that they are in the process of developing an app. For regular customers, it is a frequent enough purchase to warrant the additional investment.

2. Real Time Delivery tracking. In a previous post on who has the best Pizza delivery App, I have written about Dominos Pizza Tracker and the GPS Driver Tracker, that enables you track your pizza from store to door. This is a game changer for Dominos that could also be the same for alcohol home delivery services.

3. Social media. With so many competitors, social media is an important way to cost effectively acquire further customers, engage existing customers, reward loyalty and deliver real time customer service. One bad experience badly handled can be death on social media.

Update Jun 2016 – As predicted, the first casualty is winerun.com.au, who appear to have ceased trading.

Key Offerings

Below is a summary of the key offerings of each of the players.

WineRun

Alcohol Home Delivery - Who's winning in digital?
Source: Winerun.com.au
  • Alcohol delivered in 30 minutes
  • Geographic coverage – Lower North Shore
  • Delivery charges – $5.50/delivery, Minimum order $30, Orders $70+ free delivery
  • Product range – 106 products, incl treats (Gelato Messina) and tobacco
  • Wines – Vintage and tasting notes available
  • Delivery ordering hours – Everyday 5.30pm – 9.45pm
  • Payment terms – Mastercard, Visa only
  • $5 discount after signing up to the newsletter
  • Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

QuickBottle

Alcohol Home Delivery - Who's winning in digital?
QuickBottle
  • Alcohol delivered in 40 minutes
  • Geographic coverage – All areas of Sydney except Lower North Shore via a network of bottleshop partnerships
  • Delivery charges – $5.50 – 7.00/delivery, Minimum order $30, 15% off orders $200+
  • Product range – Over 1000 products available, but varies according to postcode
  • Wines – No vintage or tasting notes available
  • Delivery ordering hours – M – F 5.30pm – 9.30pm, Fridays 2pm in the CBD
  • Delivery ordering hours – Sat/Sun 3.00pm – 9.30pm
  • Fridays 2pm onwards in the CBD,
  • Payment terms – Credit Card, Paypal, COD
  • 10% off first order
  • Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn

JimmyBrings

Alcohol Home Delivery - Who's winning in digital?
JimmyBrings
  • Alcohol delivered in 30 minutes
  • Geographic coverage – CBD, Inner West, Eastern Suburbs
  • Delivery charges – $5.50/delivery
  • Product range – 59 products, including treats and tobacco
  • Wines – Vintage and tasting note for own label ‘Family’ wines
  • Delivery ordering hours – M – F 5.30pm – 10.00pm, Sat/Sun 3.30pm – 10.00pm
  • Payment terms – Credit Card, COD
  • Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

liquordrop

Alcohol Home Delivery - Who's winning in digital?
liquordrop
  • Alcohol delivered in 30 – 45 minutes
  • Geographic coverage – CBD, Inner West, Eastern Suburbs, Lower North Shore
  • Delivery charges – $5.50/delivery, Minimum order $25, Orders $100+ free delivery
  • Product range – 61 products
  • Wines – Tasting note available but without vintage
  • Delivery ordering hours – M – F 5.30pm – 10.00pm, Sat/Sun 2.00pm – 10.00pm
  • Payment terms – Credit card via Paypal
  • Social media – None evident. Website says an app is in development

DialaDrink

Alcohol Home Delivery - Who's winning in digital?
Dialadrink
  • Alcohol delivered in 30 minutes
  • Geographic coverage – Northern beaches
  • Delivery charges – $5.50/delivery
  • Product range – 27 products
  • Wines – No vintage or tasting notes unavailable
  • Delivery ordering hours – W – F 6.00pm – 10.00pm, Sat/Sun 4.00pm – 10.00pm
  • Payment terms – Credit card and Paypal
  • Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

NB: Products in product range refers to unique products. A 1, 2, 6 or 24 pack of the same product is treated as 1 product.

 

by Konrad Markham

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