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November 16, 2023

How To Find The Right eCommerce Solutions for Alcohol Brands

The digital revolution has certainly not left the alcohol industry untouched. With consumers increasingly turning to online avenues for their purchases, alcohol e-commerce is experiencing an unprecedented surge

How To Find The Right eCommerce Solutions for Alcohol Brands
How To Find The Right eCommerce Solutions for Alcohol Brands

As the holidays approach, expect an influx of gift purchases across the next few months — an annual event that’ll only be heightened by the post-COVID e-commerce shopping boom.

Even more so, broader delays in global supply chains are trickling down to affect availability and shipping for e-commerce brands across all segments. Our recommendation? Beat this year’s slowdown by getting a head start on your seasonal campaigns, promotions, and more. 

We’ve laid out four steps below that every alcohol brand should take to beat the annual gift rush, while also maximizing the profitability and potential of this concentrated shopping period. 

Step One: Time Blocking

First, you can start building out a major messaging campaign by looking ahead on your calendar and selecting key dates to lay out a time frame from early November up until Christmas.

Specifically, we recommend blocking out three primary phases for your campaign delivery.

Pre-Black Friday

By pushing messaging campaigns out as early as mid-November, you’re gearing folks up for the holiday season around the corner, as well as letting potential buyers know to keep an eye out for a promotion in the works. 

More importantly, you’re setting your brand up to start the season on a strong note — and to not get caught unprepared by the sudden arrival of Thanksgiving crunchtime. 

Thanksgiving & Late November

From Thanksgiving onward, particularly that first weekend including Black Friday, you’ll want to host and advertise some kind of actionable event, i.e. a special release or promotional discount, to jumpstart customers into their seasonal shopping cycles. 

Cutoffs for Christmas

Finally, you’ll want to round out the season by selecting a cutoff date for placing new orders. 

Seven to 10 days before December 25th is a safe bet for buyers to receive a bottle at their door by Christmas Day, and reminders should be sent out in the days leading up to this cutoff. 

In terms of the broader time crunch that’s anticipated due to global supply chain slowdowns, you should emphasize the convenience of purchasing from a domestic brand paired with the reliability that you offer for a timely, safe delivery of your product.

Step Two: Spice Up Your Specials

Once you’ve laid the initial groundwork, it’s time to elevate your campaign by crafting it into something creative and exciting for the spirit of the season. 

In other words, your buyer’s inbox may be flooded by holiday deals, but you can capture their attention and help them recognize the thoughtfulness through your core brand messaging.

For instance, Far North Spirits is offering a holiday two-pack for drinks that’ll warm you up in the colder months. Imagine a whiskey, rye, or bourbon for your spicy cocktail or mulled wine. 

Ultimately, you’re working with the inventory you have and considering which themed products can play into people’s holiday spirit — even better if it’s in a bundle to boost your AOV. 

On the other hand, this period offers a practical opportunity to look back at the year’s releases and offload any remaining inventory through a unique discount or exclusive holiday promo. 

Step Three: Ramp Up Your Promotion Game

Next, consider the tactical logistics of your promotions. After all, it can be tricky to time promo launches, depending on whether your customer pool skews toward early or late gift grabbers. 

There are two general approaches you can take: 1) offering enticing deals early on to preempt other sales or 2) holding off until late in the buyer’s window to pull the trigger on your promo. 

The former can snag early shoppers, or at least convince late shoppers to try an early purchase, but could also lose its appeal by mid-December when fresher deals are dropping every day. 

The latter can appeal to buyers who play the long game and wait it out for the most optimal deal, but can still ultimately result in you losing out on early or average shoppers. 

Ultimately, there’s no gold-standard method and you’ll need to use your judgement depending on what aligns with your brand’s target demographic, metric goalposts, and even inventory

For instance, returning to your campaign calendar, you can skew discounts away from marking down products and toward offering cheaper, faster shipping as Christmas creeps closer. 

Step Four: Email Marketing On Deck

As we pointed out in our advice for email marketing, setting up your email flow so your comms can run seamlessly is a simple yet essential step of the process that’s easily overlooked. 

We recommend starting with a quick info sweep: pull last year’s seasonal purchase data and make sure that customer cohort is consistently re-engaged early on. 

In turn, your team won’t be stressed out and frantically attempt to piece together the perfect layout in MailChimp just a few days before Thanksgiving — which circles back to our larger point: the holidays are a time of year with promise of high ROI for your alcohol brand. 

You can utilize this opportunity to the max by planning thoroughly and creatively, not stressfully executing a last minute, makeshift campaign. 

If your brand has these moving parts staged within the first weeks of November, you should be ready to hook the earliest seasonal shoppers and take full advantage of the holiday rush.

Sit Back and Enjoy the Holidays! 

Once you’ve got these steps locked in — a killer campaign calendar, creative promos, and ready-to-launch email marketing — you’ll be the one leading the holiday rush, not falling behind. 

Whether your user base is composed of individuals shopping for friends and family or corporate customers with high-volume needs, Accelpay is the platform of choice for your alcohol brand. 

To get access to our instant storefront setup and stress-free bulk ordering, get started here.

The digital revolution has certainly not left the alcohol industry untouched. With consumers increasingly turning to online avenues for their purchases, alcohol e-commerce is experiencing an unprecedented surge. This trend is particularly noteworthy as society transitions into a post-pandemic world. However, this digital gold rush brings its own set of challenges: strict regulations, heightened customer expectations, and logistical complexities.

Navigating the intricate waters of online sales requires a carefully crafted strategy, specifically tailored for the unique demands of the alcohol industry. This article will explore the trifecta of success in e-commerce solutions for alcohol brands: Direct-to-Consumer alcohol sales technology, fast alcohol order fulfillment services, and compliant payment solutions.

Direct-to-Consumer Alcohol Sales Technology

In this section, we delve into the transformative potential of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) platforms. Designed to revolutionize how alcohol brands interact with customers, DTC platforms provide a unique set of benefits, features, and challenges that you need to be aware of.

Understanding Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) and Why It Matters

As businesses across various sectors embrace Direct-to-Consumer models, the alcohol industry is no exception. DTC alcohol e-commerce platforms enable brands to interact directly with their customers, sidestepping traditional retail channels. The rewards are two-fold: brands often experience better profit margins and gain invaluable customer data. This data can be leveraged for targeted, personalized marketing efforts.

Key Features of DTC Platforms Tailored for Alcohol Sales

When considering alcohol e-commerce companies, it's crucial to select a platform that incorporates specific features essential for alcohol sales. Age verification is a non-negotiable requirement, ensuring that minors cannot access or purchase liquor online. Additionally, alcohol subscription management software can help facilitate product recommendations and establish subscription models, adding another layer of personalization. Regulatory compliance tools are also critical, streamlining compliance with local and federal laws.

Platform Integration & Scalability

For established brands with existing sales channels, integrating a new platform can seem daunting. It's vital to select a solution that harmoniously blends with your current operations. Equally crucial is scalability. Your chosen platform must adapt as your business grows, offering robust features that can handle increased volume and complexity.

Fast Alcohol Order Fulfillment Services

Speed and accuracy in delivery have never been more important. This portion focuses on the technologies and strategies that help expedite your product from the warehouse to the consumer's doorstep. We'll discuss how smart logistics can significantly improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Why Timely and Accurate Deliveries Are Crucial

As consumer expectations for quick and accurate deliveries skyrocket, the pressure mounts on alcohol brands to meet these demands. Timely delivery is not just about meeting customer expectations—it also has legal ramifications. Delays or inaccuracies in orders can result in not just unhappy customers but also potential legal challenges.

Technologies Powering Efficient Fulfillment

With the rise in e-commerce alcohol sale, technologies facilitating fast liquor order fulfillment services are becoming more advanced. Warehouse automation technologies can expedite order processing, while real-time tracking ensures customers are always in the loop about their orders. Last-mile delivery solutions have also seen technological advancements, minimizing the time it takes to get products from the warehouse to the consumer.

Customer Service Considerations

Shoppers are spoiled for choice. With just a few taps or clicks, they can access a wide array of products and services. But what truly makes a difference, what makes a brand stand out from the rest, is exceptional customer service. Think about it: if two brands offer the same product but one responds quickly to your questions while the other leaves you waiting, which would you prefer? Having effective communication channels is essential.

Whether it's through chatbots that provide instant answers or dedicated support teams who understand the ins and outs of the products, these touchpoints can make or break a customer's experience. Ensuring quick and helpful responses not only solves immediate issues but also builds trust, fostering long-term loyalty. When you put your customers first and address their concerns promptly, they'll remember it and are more likely to come back.

Seamless Payment Processing for Alcohol Brands

Handling online payments for alcoholic products isn't just about the convenience of card swipes or clicks. Regulatory adherence is of paramount importance. Each jurisdiction—be it state or federal—has specific rules concerning the sale and purchase of alcohol. These rules serve purposes such as ensuring public safety, maintaining legality, and fostering general order.

Therefore, it's not merely about closing a sale; it's about conducting the transaction in a lawful manner. This is why it's crucial to opt for payment processing solutions that are customized for the unique challenges of the alcohol industry.

Must-Have Features in Payment Systems

Selecting a payment system for your alcohol brand involves looking beyond just the standard functionalities. Here are some essential features to consider:

  • Age Verification - Just as a retail store would ask for an ID to verify your age before selling alcohol, online payment systems should incorporate similar verification checks. This ensures that you're not unintentionally selling to minors, thus aligning your business with legal requirements.
  • Secure and Smooth Transactions - Your customers must feel confident when making purchases from your platform. Security features like SSL encryption and two-factor authentication can go a long way in securing transactions and building trust.
  • Automated Tax Calculation - Given the complexity of tax regulations around alcohol, an automated tax calculation feature can be a lifesaver. This ensures that the right tax amount is added to the bill, eliminating potential legal headaches down the line.

When it comes to payment processing services for alcohol brands, balancing convenience with compliance is vital. The right payment solution will not only streamline your business operations but also keep you on the right side of the law.

Key Considerations for Brands

Before you jump headfirst into adopting new eCommerce solutions, there are several critical factors to consider. This area breaks down the core considerations—platform integration, scalability, customer service, and regulatory adherence—that can make or break your online venture.

  • Platform Integration - Before taking the plunge, assess how seamlessly a potential platform will integrate with your existing systems. An incompatible system could wreak havoc on your operations, costing both time and money.
  • Scalability - As you map out your growth strategy, opt for platforms designed to scale with your aspirations. A scalable system can adapt to increased customer demands, additional product lines, or even expansion into new markets.
  • Customer Service - While the technology is critical, never underestimate the value of robust customer service—both for your team and your customers. Quick resolution of issues and effective communication channels can significantly impact the customer experience.
  • Regulatory Adherence - In an industry as heavily regulated as alcohol sales, adherence to local, state, and federal laws cannot be compromised. Ensure that all chosen technologies are compliant, minimizing the risk of legal pitfalls down the line. Always note that consultation with legal experts or specialists for advice on these matters is a must.

Your eCommerce strategy is not merely about incorporating the latest alcohol e-commerce trends; it's about aligning your technological choices with your brand's operational model and future plans. By doing so, you position your brand for long-term success in an increasingly competitive market.

There has never been a better time for liquor brands to invest in comprehensive, compliant, and scalable eCommerce solutions. In making well-informed decisions, you can propel your brand to new heights. Take the leap today to stay ahead of the curve.

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Braxton Freeman




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