By Diamond Logistics founder Kate Lester
Sometimes my job is really tough…..particularly as part of my job is to test the eCommerce process of many of our fulfilment clients. And, we seem to have a predominance of drinks brands, particularly in Guildford, my job is to order loads of online booze, which I then feel compelled to enjoy, sharing it with my friends, in my very own bar…..which happens to be at the back of my house!
This month I’ve already been forced to order a bottle of our new brand Kromanti Rum. This is a beautiful tamarind flavoured rum that is also featured in another one of our blogs this month – read it here. Rum definitely seems like flavour of the month with Three Ravens Rum being a popular brand we also stock. This is another small batch rum with a distinctive flavour and well worth a try. And a relative newbie to us is the delicious Flat Cap Drinks – with three different rums to try! My particular favourite is the Honey Rum – a favourite tipple of Ruth in accounts too!
The reason I test the eCommerce is not only to fill up my bar, it’s to see how easy it is to purchase from these eCommerce stores, how seamless the fulfilment process is, and to see how the goods are delivered – over what time scales and what packaging is used. I always think it’s a pretty good indicator of the potential success of the brand if they’ve got these details right.
One of the brands we’ve been working with for a long time now and a particular favourite of mine is Sacred Spirits. I regularly test the delivery of their goods, with the vodka and gin being consumed in fairly substantial volume at my numerous parties. But honestly it really is the quality of the product that’s delivered, it truly is one of my favourite vodkas, and also the care with which the goods are packed. The wrapping, the inserts, the delivery notes – it all smacks of quality. The bottles are pretty, the labels are attractive. It’s like opening a Christmas present. It really is a quality brand.
One of the things that can really put consumers off eCommerce purchases is expensive delivery. And most of our brands offer incentives to ensure bulk purchases are compensated for their delivery charges. However I’d recommend not defaulting to a cheap courier choice when you are marketing an artisan and bespoke brand, which tends to be the brands that we’ve got in our warehouse. You want the delivery experience with your alcohol purchase to reflect the brand. So if you’re a £60 bottle of whisky I would suggest you use a premium carrier. It never ceases to amaze me how some of our clients dispatch very high value goods, choosing a low cost carrier and then are surprised when their high-class clients complain about the delivery experience not being quite what they expect.
What would my top tips before anybody seeking alcohol fulfilment and how to make their ecommerce process as buyer friendly as possible? It would be:
- Make your site mobile responsive – Make it 2 clicks to purchase. Go to shop, press on bottle of choice and then be able to click on Apple Pay/Google Pay. That is by far the easiest way to buy and frankly any brand that hasn’t got that seamless a buying process isn’t going to compete in the very big market of artisan alcohol brands.
- Think about your packaging – Is your packaging congruent with your brand? Using loads of unrecyclable packaging when you are brand talking about values and beliefs is incongruent and won’t resonate with your audience. There are lots of really good packaging options for alcohol and beverage products on the market so if you need assistance in this, please give us a shout or refer to our alcohol packaging guide which you can find here.
- Don’t miss the opportunity to sell your alcohol clients other products – A one trick pony will not have repeat purchases on a sufficient regularity in order to build a sustainable business. You’ve spent a lot of time effort and money in marketing your brand, attracting people to your site and getting them to purchase the first time, it would be foolish not to have a suite of other products that you can then market to them. By all means launch with your one bottle of whatever but a successful brand will utilise the audience that they have in order to sell them more stuff. Diversify to thrive.
If any consumers are reading this then go and buy from all of these artisans and producers. I can promise you the products a great and they’ve certainly been tried and tested thoroughly here at Diamond HQ!
For more help in deciding if Diamond is the right fulfilment partner for you, check out our Alcohol Fulfilment page.