Optimizing Your Alcohol Delivery Business: 9 Steps To Offer Liquor Delivery

Online alcohol delivery is on the rise. In fact, one in 10 surveyed American consumers has reported ordering alcohol online in the past six months. If you want to tap into this trend, you need to optimize your liquor store for alcohol delivery.

Modern customers value convenience and customizable experiences. Offering alcohol delivery from your liquor store gives them both — but stepping into the world of alcohol delivery can feel overwhelming. How can you offer delivery from your liquor store without stress or legal issues?

This post walks through the basics of entering the alcohol delivery business. We’ll cover trends and a step-by-step process you can follow to get set up with liquor delivery in your store. 

Alcohol Delivery Business Trends 

Before we discuss the steps you can take to begin offering efficient liquor delivery from your store, let’s talk about alcohol delivery in general. Alcohol delivery is the process of delivering beer, wine, and liquor to customers via online ordering platforms. This offering has emerged in recent years as a response to growing expectations and demand for convenience. 

Related Read: How To Sell Wine Online

Where secure and compliant alcohol delivery might have seemed impossible until a few years ago, it’s rapidly becoming the norm due to the integration of new technologies and tools. With mobile apps and online storefronts, customers can browse store inventory, track deliveries en route, and present their ID for age verification upon delivery. 

Aside from the general trend toward adoption, other trends exist in the alcohol delivery business. First, the trend of expanded delivery options. Some customers ordering alcohol delivery want a quick turnaround for last-minute needs. Others may want the option to plan ahead, selecting future time slots so their alcohol arrives at a specified time. Flexible, tiered delivery services can benefit businesses by catering to both audiences. 

Another critical trend — and general consideration — related to alcohol delivery is the focus on legal and regulatory compliance. The laws governing alcohol sale, transportation, and delivery vary by state and locality. However, a few regulations remain consistent. If you want to implement liquor delivery for your store, you must partner with a delivery service or technology tool that performs age verification checks upon delivery. Skipping these steps can result in trouble for your store and the delivery service, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to remain vigilant.

Related Read: [GUIDE] How To Start a Liquor Business in 5 Simple Steps

With these trends in mind, let’s explore the steps you must take to enter the alcohol delivery business and begin offering liquor delivery from your store. 

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1. Assess Legal Requirements and Obtain Licenses 

The first step you must take when preparing to offer liquor delivery from your store is to thoroughly research all the state and local laws and statutes regarding alcohol delivery businesses. If you operate in the following states, you will not be able to offer alcohol delivery due to current state laws:

  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • Utah
  • Kentucky
  • Delaware 
  • Rhode Island

Related Read: Utah Liquor Store Inventory Basics: Solutions and Regulations

If you’re operating in a state other than these six, you may be able to offer delivery services, but you should still consult with an attorney or legal expert to determine whether or not you are able to offer liquor delivery. Ensure your liquor store holds all retail and e-commerce licenses required for alcohol delivery. Submit permit applications early, as approval timelines may be lengthy for new delivery stores. 

2. Select a Suitable Point of Sale System 

The next step you must take is choosing your technological solution. Your point of sale (POS) platform is critical in your alcohol delivery journey. Without the right solution, you’ll struggle to manage your delivery services efficiently alongside your in-store sales and operations. 

For starters, you will want to select a point of sale system that integrates with e-commerce options and partners with delivery applications or services. However, you will need your point of sale to do more than manage your delivery services.

For the best results, choose a point of sale solution with features for:

  • Age verification
  • Inventory management (including case break inventory)
  • Dual pricing (also known as cash discounting)
  • Customer loyalty programs
  • Advanced analytics

A wise move is to select a future-ready point of sale system that can scale with you as you grow your store. Bottle POS offers all these features and more. Our solution also integrates with BottleZoo, an alcohol e-commerce platform, to streamline your delivery and in-store sales. 

3. Set Up an E-Commerce Platform 

Once you’ve selected your point of sale solution, you’re ready to set up your e-commerce platform. Connect your point of sale software to its e-commerce engine, if you’ve selected a POS system with integrated e-commerce. Otherwise, carefully research compatible third-party e-commerce solutions. 

When setting up your online store, prioritize an intuitive site interface. The more intuitive your online store, the easier it will be for customers to navigate the site and purchase their desired products. 

Ensure you display the following on your site:

  • Inventory and store offerings
  • Pricing
  • Product descriptions
  • Delivery terms
  • Restrictions and regulations

Also, ensure your site includes frictionless, secure checkout that accepts various payment methods. 

4. Implement Age Verification Measures 

Responsible alcohol service remains priority number one for your store, even when delivering products instead of selling them directly to your customers. Integrate age verification measures at several stages in your process.

Related Read: Choosing an ID Scanner for Liquor Stores: 4 Top Options

Require customers to upload ID photos when ordering to validate they are of legal age before they are able to access your online site. Then, set clear rules around examining or scanning physical IDs upon delivery before hand-off to ensure the customers receiving your products are the ones who placed the order — and to ensure the customer is of legal drinking age. 

Implementing processes like these to stay compliant helps avoid violations that would jeopardize your license and your business. 

5. Establish Delivery Logistics 

If you intend to manage delivery services in-house, you must define delivery zones and set delivery fees. Take steps to determine cost structures and order minimums to ensure delivery is a feasible venture for your store. 

You may also choose to simplify these challenges by working with a third-party delivery service, such as DoorDash. Regardless of your delivery method, you’ll want to implement tracking capabilities where possible so customers can track their orders, and provide drivers with proper training and expectations related to responsible and compliant delivery. If you partner with a third-party delivery service, that service will likely take care of tracking and delivery verification on your behalf.

6. Train Staff and Implement Processes 

Create clear workflows around online order notifications, setting up expectations with your staff about fulfillment sequencing, inventory allocation rules, packaging, and quality checks before dispatch. 

Document every process to maintain consistency and conduct extensive training with staff to set expectations around customer service, regulatory compliance, and inventory handling. You can also use your point of sale analytics to identify patterns, sales trends, and areas for improvement in your online order fulfillment processes. 

7. Promote Your Delivery Service 

Offering online alcohol delivery won’t do your store much good if no one knows you offer it. As a result, step seven is to promote your alcohol delivery business! 

Spread the word about your new alcohol delivery option through owned channels like websites, email subscribers, and loyalty members. Create focused posts and campaigns on your store’s social media channels and create displays and signage to advertise the new delivery option.

You may also choose to run special introductory offers like percentage discounts or free gifts to incentivize first-time orders. 

8. Monitor and Optimize Operations 

Your journey is far from over once you’ve launched your online store. If you want your alcohol delivery business to succeed, you need to optimize and improve your efforts over time. 

Continuously analyze delivery performance through sales reports, web metrics, customer satisfaction surveys, and other KPIs. Identify ways to fine-tune operations for faster fulfillment and fewer mistakes in deliveries. 

You can also utilize CRM data to support personalized promotions and inform merchandising decisions through purchase patterns. When you keep your eye on your numbers, you can identify sticking points and make your alcohol delivery business more profitable over time. 

9. Maintain Compliance and Adapt 

Finally, remember that the only constant in life — and retail — is change. Regulations, customer expectations, and profitable ventures shift over time. If you want to keep your store compliant and profitable, you need to keep an eye on updates across your industry. 

Watch for changing legislation related to alcohol sales or delivery. Adjust your operating procedures as needed to keep your store compliant. You should also update your point of sale software regularly to keep your processes efficient and secure.

Finally, keep an eye on changing customer trends and adjust your delivery processes and product mix to match. 

Entering the Alcohol Delivery Business: The Easy Way 

Offering alcohol delivery can provide your liquor store with numerous benefits like an expanded customer base, more revenue, and happier customers. Following the steps in this post can help you set up your alcohol delivery options and start enjoying these benefits in your store. But without the right tools, alcohol delivery will be more trouble than it’s worth.

The most important tool you need to master your alcohol delivery business — and your liquor store operations in general — is a point of sale system with strong e-commerce and delivery management platform integrations. 

Bottle POS is a point of sale system designed for liquor stores. We offer all the inventory management and sales tools liquor stores need, including a simple-to-use e-commerce integration through BottleZoo.

Schedule a demo of Bottle POS today to see if it’s right for your store.

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