Company party planners and impromptu holiday gathering hosts in California can now order their favorite wines and other alcoholic beverages on a mobile device or PC and have it delivered within an hour. The service results from an agreement between Saucey Inc., which bills itself as an alcohol delivery e-commerce company, and BevMo, a specialty beverage retailer.
Saucey provides the delivery service for BevMo, a Concord, Calif.-based liquor store chain with 158 stores and a website, BevMo.com. The agreement enables BevMo to grow market share by accessing new customers. “Partnering with Saucey allows us to deliver to customers who can’t make it to our store for whatever reason with all same great assortment and exclusive products they enjoy when they shop with us in-store,” says Tamara Pattinson, chief marketing and information officer at BevMo.
BevMo customers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento can now order alcoholic beverages, cigars and barware for delivery in under an hour.
Saucey says it has hundreds of corporate accounts under which businesses order products for corporate events, client gifting and employee incentives programs. As companies or consumers place their orders, Saucey routes the orders to the nearest partner in its service area, such as BevMo, to fulfill them.
After registering, shoppers use a free app provided by Saucey to place orders. For example, a customer in Los Angeles opens the app, enters an address or activates the location function and places an order with the closest BevMo store. The customer pays BevMo for the goods through the app, then a Saucey courier receives the order, picks it up from the BevMo store and delivers it to the designated address.
There’s no fee for the retailer, but Saucey charges customers a $2.99 delivery fee for orders under $35. The fee is waived for orders above $35 and for premium members, who also get 5% off their order. Premium members subscribe to Saucey $7.99 per month.
Under a process designed to weed out underage buyers, the customer must certify he is 21 years of age or older and then verify that claim on delivery. Saucey couriers scan the buyer’s identification card to ensure its validity and only the purchaser can accept delivery. Failed deliveries result in restocking fees charged to the buyer’s credit card.
With the BevMo agreement, Saucey has online access to the retailer’s store inventory, and its selection of beverages and related goods has grown from an average of 950 products in a given delivery area, to more than 9,500, the company says.
“While the average brick-and-mortar retailer captures less than six purchases per year per customer, Saucey is capturing on average 23 purchases per customer annually, almost four times the purchasing behavior,” says Alan Johnson, who is a former CEO of BevMo and a Saucey board member. “It’s not that people are drinking more, it’s that Saucey has consolidated a customer’s shopping behavior to one platform, instead of across five or six traditional retailers throughout the year.”
The retail alcohol industry sells more than $113 billion per year in the United States, according to Saucey, “but as an industry it has been almost completely untouched by technology.” Saucey fills a perceived void in the alcohol delivery world, says Chris Vaughn, CEO and co-founder. “Our strategy to build a sophisticated logistics platform was more difficult than building an ordering portal, but our commitment to quality has enabled us to offer a platform that scales with demand, offering reliability to both consumers and retailers.”
Saucey launched in May 2014 and serves Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento in California, and Chicago. It’s one of many alcohol delivery services springing up in recent years, including Drizly, which serves 26 U.S. markets; grocery delivery app Shipt, serving 30 markets; Minibar, in 28 markets; and Amazon.com Inc., which sells alcohol through its Prime Now and AmazonFresh grocery units in select markets. Amazon is the parent of Amazon Business, No. 104 in the 2017 B2B E-Commerce 300.
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