Wine Data Case Study: Minibar Delivery and Retailers

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Image above: Snapshot of Minibar Delivery's past 100,000 orders in the New York City area, zooming in on Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Beverage alcohol delivery.

It's on every short list of hot topics in our industry, and for good reason. It's the perfect storm of convenience and immediate gratification, not to mention its popularity among millennial consumers of wine, beer and spirits.

Personally, I'm interested in its data.

Specifically for Enolytics, we're interested in what alcohol delivery services can tell us about buying trends and purchasing patterns in major metropolitan markets, particularly among an audience that skews younger.

I interviewed Lara Crystal on this topic, co-founder and co-CEO of Minibar Delivery, which is available in more than 40 cities across the U.S. We actually dug a little deeper too, to see how Minibar interfaces with retailers in those 40+ cities. Here's our Q&A.

[Sidebar: Lara is one of the panelists on the session I'm moderating this Tuesday at Vinexpo New York, on the topic of Millennials' Purchasing Power and the Rise of eCommerce, featuring Heini Zachariassen of Vivino, Jacob Moynihan of Merchant23, Valerie Gerard-Matsuura of Sopexa, and Pascaline Lepeltier MS of Racines NYC.]

ENO: How does Minibar Delivery work with fine wine retailers?

LC: Minibar Delivery works with fine wine retailers in a number of ways. We partner with retailers across the country for on-demand deliveries in 40 markets, and we recently launched a new service called Vineyard Select, which allows customers to purchase wines directly from independent vineyards for shipping to their doors in three to five business days.

How does Minibar Delivery’s data help retailers sell more wine?

Minibar Delivery offers our fine wine retail partners (and all our retail partners) access to real-time data from across the country, from both a consumer perspective and a retailer perspective. We can help retailers by identifying assortment gaps, pricing variations, and provide them with a list of top products that like-retailers are selling that they are not carrying. For example, if a retailer’s assortment is missing $15-$20 chardonnays, we can help them identify that miss.

And of course, we can provide a deep look at when consumers are purchasing, what they’re purchasing, etc, and are able to develop a full picture of the customer profile based on purchase behavior. That can be shared with our retail partners so they can get a fuller understanding of who is purchasing, and what they are purchasing, so the retailers can then tailor their inventory accordingly.

What is the best way for retailers to maximize their interaction with Minibar Delivery?

There are a number of ways in which retailers can maximize their interaction with Minibar Delivery. As we discussed above, we’re a great resource for sales data that can be used to make smarter inventory decisions based on customer purchases and behaviors. Our independent retail partners rely on our data to help them further understand their customer and ensure their inventory fits the customer profile. Our data shows purchasing trends - for example, is the rosé craze staying around longer for fall and winter? Are pinot noir drinkers also likely to purchase chardonnay? Is 7 PM on a Wednesday prime time for on-demand deliveries?

Secondly, we recommend that our retail partners provide in-store and offline promotion/communication to ensure their existing customers know they are able to order online from their store through Minibar Delivery. Retailers who have joined our platform have seen an increase in revenue and average order size; some have seen their revenue increase by 60% since joining our platform. The more people use Minibar Delivery, the more data we can provide to our retailers so they can better understand their customer base.

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Ready to take the first step? We can help, on this front specifically and in relation to other data sources that also provide value to you.

I look forward, as always, to your responses, comments and questions.

And please do let me know if you'll be in New York next week for the launch of Vinexpo in the U.S. I'd love to connect IRL, and I hope you'll attend the panel. It promises to be very interesting for anyone interested in wine, data, and the evolving status of alcohol purchasing and delivery.

Thank you for reading.