As alcohol producers and retailers navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic, many states have responded by legalizing the delivery of alcohol to consumer’s homes. Oklahoma and Georgia are the latest states to pass such legislation. Retailers looking to gain a competitive advantage should move to launch on-demand delivery operations as soon as possible to capitalize on the category’s significant e-commerce growth in 2020. 

Even before delivery was legalized in these states, Drizly was seeing strong demand from potential customers there. Year to date, there have been more than 770,000 organic visits to the Drizly website from the state of Georgia and more than 130,000 from Oklahoma, without Drizly even doing any marketing in the area. “Consumers want to shop this way. There’s definitely a large demand for delivery,” said Jaci Flug, Drizly’s vice president of regulatory affairs. 

On-demand delivery empowers retailers to grow their businesses on their own terms. And while adding an entirely new sales channel may feel intimidating, Drizly has made the process quick and easy. Here’s how to become the go-to alcohol delivery provider in your area.

Know the Laws in Your State 

When your state legalizes alcohol delivery, it’s not exactly a green light to start delivering wine, beer, and spirits to your customer’s doors. No two states have the same laws for delivery, and that means operating guidelines can vary widely between states. So it’s important to be aware of permitted activities before launching your delivery service.

“There are different models states choose when they open up for alcohol delivery,” explains Flug. “Oklahoma chose retailer-only delivery, so the retailer has to deliver the product using their employees. Georgia chose a model allowing third-party delivery, so a DoorDash or UberEats, for example, can do the ‘last mile’ of the delivery for a retailer.”

Retailers should also know about liability laws. In most states, including Georgia, the retailer is liable for the product, even after handing it over to the third party. This means that if, for instance, alcohol was delivered to a minor by a store’s chosen third-party delivery service, the store would still be held accountable for violating the law. For this reason, “retailers need to think about their comfort level when using third parties versus using their own employees,” said Flug.

Retailers should not only be vetting those who actually deliver the alcoholic beverages but any e-commerce platform they intend to work with. Again, each state has different laws and regulations and retailers should only work with those platforms that are compliant.  

By partnering with a platform like Drizly, retailers can breathe easier when it comes to delivery compliance. “We’re ensuring that the model we’re going to market with in each state is one that’s compliant with the local regulation — because it’s not one size fits all. We know that’s not how it works in alcohol,” says Blaine Grinna, Drizly’s director of retail sales. “This is our core focus. We are not treating this category as a complement to another service we offer. We are experts in alcohol e-commerce.”

Launch On-Demand Delivery with Drizly in Three Easy Steps

Developing and implementing a delivery service from scratch is no easy task for retailers, as it can require a significant investment in both time and money. Retailers who want to get ahead of the curve as their state opens for on-demand alcohol delivery can do so quickly and easily with Drizly.

The first step is to integrate your store inventory with the platform. Drizly can extract inventory information straight from most POS systems, enabling customers to know which products you’re carrying in real-time. The second step is setting up payment processing through Drizly partner Braintree Payments, so all sales go directly to you. The third step is training, where a Drizly team member shows you how to use the platform, and shares best practices from the 3,300-plus Drizly retailer network on providing customer experiences that drive repeat business. “Motivated retailers”, Grinna says, “can be up in running in as little as two to three days.”

Once launched, your delivery offerings will be promoted to Drizly’s built-in audience of millions of customers and Drizly will actively work on pulling in new customers in your area, eliminating the need for additional marketing around your delivery program. 

Moreover, Drizly provides its partners with ongoing customer service assistance and account support. “It’s an all-encompassing offering,” Grinna says. “We’re handling consumer acquisition and supporting you through the process of delivery with our customer service team. And our account managers are there for you in the long run — to set you up for success in the online world.”

To learn more about becoming a Drizly Retail Partner, click here