Drizly's climb in the alcohol market is a classic case of strategic adaptation within the complex U.S. three-tier system. But let's call a spade a spade - this compliance-centered approach primarily fattened Drizly's wallet, extracting substantial value from brands in advertising dollars and customer relationships, and taking a hefty cut from retailers. It's like making brands and retailers dance to a tune they didn't choose, only to find that the dance floor wasn't really theirs.
The Real Deal for Brand Suppliers
Here’s the kicker: Drizly’s model was great for Drizly. They got their $1.1 billion, and Uber saw its benefits, but what about the brands? For them, the story wasn’t so rosy. Drizly’s marketplace approach and item-led platform seemed like a digital necessity, but it essentially sidelined brand suppliers. They were lured into a model where they lost control over their brand narrative, customer connections, and crucial data – all for the sake of fitting into Drizly’s market strategy.
What It Has Been Like for DTC Marketers
For a growth marketer in the liquor industry, navigating e-commerce poses distinct challenges, starkly different from many other sectors. Typically, a growth marketer's role involves tracking the customer journey end-to-end, from the initial interaction with an advertisement to the final purchase. This process is crucial for gathering data to understand customer behavior and optimize the sales funnel.
However, in the liquor industry, the conversion process often involves a critical redirection to third-party platforms or marketplaces like Drizly. This redirection at the point of purchase creates a significant barrier in data collection. Essential information such as detailed purchase behavior, customer contact details, and preferences, which are pivotal in refining marketing strategies and understanding consumer behavior, become inaccessible.
This gap in data collection is particularly challenging when it comes to implementing and measuring effective direct-to-consumer strategies. Without insights into the final stages of the customer journey, assessing the impact of marketing campaigns and making informed decisions to enhance the conversion process becomes difficult. The inability to track these key interactions leaves a blind spot in understanding and engaging with the customer base.
The result is a substantial obstacle for liquor brands looking to establish a strong e-commerce presence. The lack of direct customer interaction and data insight hinders the ability to build direct relationships with customers, a cornerstone for successful e-commerce and brand loyalty. For growth marketers in this industry, finding innovative ways to bridge this data gap is essential for crafting effective marketing strategies and fostering long-term customer relationships.
Where DTC is Heading
The Covid-driven frenzy has waned, yet alcohol brands have recognized ecommerce as a vital channel for consumer engagement and cost-effective marketing, allowing them to profit while building direct customer relationships through email, SMS, and organic social media. And so the brand suppliers that realize this are now also seeking sophisticated solutions that can isolate only the part of the digital marketing funnel that they do not want and cannot have control over: payments and fulfillment. At AccelPay, we recognize this evolving need, especially in the liquor industry. Our platform is designed to be a powerful yet unobtrusive partner, seamlessly integrating with a brand's existing tools and platforms. Whether you're using Shopify, a headless commerce setup, or any other e-commerce system or Content Management System, AccelPay complements your tech stack, focusing on what we do best - sophisticated payment routing and strategic fulfillment.
The benefit of AccelPay lies in its tech-agnostic and brand-forward approach. Our system is engineered to handle complex transactions involving memberships, corporate orders, end-consumer sales, promo codes, and subscriptions. We don't interfere with your brand experience or customer interface; instead, we ensure that the backend processes, particularly those concerning the sale of liquor products, are managed efficiently and compliantly. This approach ensures that transactions are not just compliant with the intricate three-tier system but also streamlined and customer-friendly.
For enterprise brands, this means having the best of both worlds. You get to create and manage your brand experience directly on your domain, maintaining the customer interface and engagement tools you prefer. Concurrently, AccelPay takes care of the 3-tier complexities of payment processing and order fulfillment. This dual approach allows brands to maintain their unique brand identity and customer experience while leveraging our expertise in navigating the specific challenges of the liquor industry.
We understand that modern brands require more than just a one-size-fits-all solution. They need a platform that can provide sophistication in payments and fulfillment without encroaching on their ability to manage their brand experience. AccelPay is that partner, offering a tailored, behind-the-scenes support system that allows brands to shine in their customer interactions while we handle the intricacies of liquor sales transactions and fulfillment. This is the future of DTC in the liquor industry, and AccelPay is at the forefront, helping brands navigate this landscape with ease and transparency.
We encourage you to schedule a demo with us to learn more!