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Drizly uncaps digital marketplace featuring endless aisle of selections

Drizly, the on-demand alcohol purchasing application, is setting itself apart from competitors through its new marketplace feature, which puts all of its products in one unified page on the mobile application and creates a more seamless way for customers to buy drinks.

In an effort to bring more transparency and fluidity to the alcohol shopping process, Drizly created the marketplace to organize all of the available products from its participating retailers in one location. The new features are meant to make switching between retailers’ inventories unnecessary.

“Drizly is solving for a broader set of consumer needs than just one-hour delivery,” said Malcolm Faulds, head of marketing at Drizly. “We describe it as allowing consumers to shop across time, space and price.

“Instead of just viewing a limited product assortment that can be delivered in a hurry, Drizly allows consumers to shop for the specific product they want, at price and delivery option that works best for them,” he said. “We let consumers simultaneously browse the inventories of all stores in their area, and sometimes even the wholesalers who supply those stores.

“This gives consumers an ‘endless aisle’ of products to select from – much more than they could find at any one store. It allows them to find the best price and delivery option that meets their needs.”

Endless aisle
The Drizly app provides products from a variety of retailers and suppliers.

Previously, users would select from a list of nearby stores and browse through their individual inventories before making their decision. With the introduction of Drizly’s marketplace features, this step is removed.

Instead, users can now see all of the available drinks from their nearby stores on one seamless page.

The endless aisle removes the walls between retailers’ inventories and categorizes products by type of drink. If a user is searching for wine, he or she can see all the wine available from nearby retailers in one place, rather than having to skip between different retailers’ pages and looking at their wine selections individually.

Drizly is also hoping that putting all the available products in one place will aid users in shopping decisions by letting them compare prices and selections from different retailers all at once, improving the overall user experience. Users will also now be able to choose when and where to receive the delivery.

Drizly’s motivation for the move to marketplace comes from the fact that by 2020, almost 40 percent of online sales will be through marketplace retailers, such as Amazon, according to a study by the Ecommerce Foundation and Nyenrode Business University.

Rules and regulations
The marketplace approach Drizly is taking is also a response to the complicated rules and regulations set on the sale of alcohol that can make sorting through inventories from multiple retailers a hassle.

“We have been focused on bringing transparency to the alcohol industry so customers will have a better shopping experience,” Mr. Faulds said. “That is harder than it sounds, since the industry is governed by a complicated set of local regulations, and data for product pricing and inventory management is often unstructured.

“What appears to the user in a very simple interface is actually the result of a lot of hard work and smart technology behind the scenes.”

Early last year, Drizly re-laucnhed its app with a host of new features, including ratings, rich media and the ability to save favorite products for ease of repeat ordering (see story).

It has also worked to integrate their ordering service into other apps, such as Allrecipes, which added an option to purchase alcohol through Drizly directly from recipe content (see story).

The marketplace feature represents Drizly’s next step in its evolution towards a more comprehensive alcohol ordering service, and a move away from other on-demand apps that rely exclusively on delivery as their main selling point.

“Sometimes consumers need a product in a hurry and are willing to pay a bit more for that convenience,” Mr. Faulds said. “Sometimes they are planning ahead and are happy to select a scheduled delivery time that helps them save money.

“On the flip side, this marketplace also creates unique value to participating retailers, such as increased market coverage and insights to help them improve their operations.”