When RED Spirits & Wine began working with Drizly in 2016, it was one of just a few retailers in Nashville to offer delivery service. Starting out with a relatively small delivery area following the Interstate 40 corridor, the shop soon expanded its route to include more neighborhoods, and added delivery vehicles and drivers as its on-demand business grew. Today RED is one of Drizly’s most successful retailers, thanks to the staff’s meticulous attention to detail and willingness to go out of their way — sometimes literally — to provide great on-demand service. 

BevAlc Insights reached out to Christina Brackney, the store’s administrative manager, to learn more about how other Drizly retailers can achieve RED Spirits & Wine’s level of success.

BevAlc Insights: What prompted you to become a Drizly partner? 

Christina Brackney: Our owners wanted to reach more people and get our store’s name out there more. From what I understand, we were one of the first stores in Nashville to sign on. 

What strategies did you use to increase on-demand sales in the early days? 

In the beginning, our delivery area didn’t go very far west of the store, and there were some large subdivisions that had been built since we started doing delivery. Drizly was fabulous and worked with us so we could open up to a new neighborhood for one hour each week. We’d get one contact person in each area to go on some neighborhood or association website and let everyone know we’d be delivering — say, on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Then we’d load up a van with 40 orders and go out and deliver everything to a central location. We’ve really expanded our delivery area since then. 

What processes can a shop can put in place to ensure efficient and accurate order fulfillment and delivery?

We do a lot of double-checking to make sure the items going out in the orders are correct. “Double-check” is practically my middle name. We have a 10,000 square-foot store, so we print out every single order so my staff can take the print-out with them when they go pull bottles. We keep the print-out with the order so my manager can take a look. We’ll get two, and sometimes even three, people looking at these orders — and everybody writes their notes on the same piece of paper. That way all the information about that order is in one place. 

We also have multiple people in the store who can run the Drizly app, so any of my store managers can pull up an order and see what we need help with. 

What might make a Drizly retailer particularly successful? 

The biggest thing is to be flexible. Our largest number of deliveries in one day before Covid-19 was 33. The staff was running around pulling their hair out, but they were so proud of themselves that they got all those orders out. After the shutdowns happened, our biggest one-day order was 148. We had to rent cars for delivery and we had half the store pulling orders for us, but we did it. Now our average order is between 40 and 50 per day. 

Another thing is that we always try to go the extra mile. We have one Drizly customer who orders from us religiously every two weeks, and she always gets a case of Segura Viudas cava. So for her order, we always take out two bottles from the case and replace them with cold ones.

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Do you have any advice for improving the delivery part of the on-demand process?

We get our managers to go out and deliver on occasion, because we want them to understand what our drivers are experiencing. Every couple of weeks I’ll send someone out so they can see what’s going on in the field. I still deliver every now and then to stay relevant.

What kind of feedback do you get from Drizly users, and how do you use that to improve your customer experience? 

Every single day, we look at the Drizly order reviews, and any time we see a rating that’s less than a five, we make a phone call and ask, “How could we have been better?” A lot of times people just give you a four just because they don’t like to give out fives. We also check our Google reviews, and we respond to almost every one of them, even if it’s just to thank them for their comments. Any time I hear about an occasion where we didn’t hit the mark — and it’s rare — I use that as a teaching tool for our staff, and we always try and make it right for the customer.

What is one beverage, or category of beverages, that every Drizly retailer should carry?

Whatever is hot at the moment. Last year it was White Claw, this year it’s High Noon. 

People like to order a lot of the ready-to-drink beverages and mixes. They also like to be able to choose from different sizes. We even carry tiny 50 mL bottles, because online customers sometimes need a little something to get them over the minimum order threshold. 

What do you expect to see in terms of consumer alcohol purchasing in the future? 

We are not going to go back to the way things were before Covid — which is why we went out and bought another delivery vehicle a couple weeks ago. I think people have gotten used to the convenience of online, on-demand ordering. If you know what you want, it’s easy.