Hard beverages, not hard shipping: how to transport alcohol

By Regina Baily
Published in Solutions
October 07, 2022
3 min read
Hard beverages, not hard shipping: how to transport alcohol

Since it became possible to sell alcohol over the internet, many consumers jumped at the chance to avoid a trip to the liquor store, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic which left many stores closed for months on end. It’s natural for a merchant to be curious about whether liquor sales would work for them and their business. However, there are a number of questions and concerns that any would-be liquor merchant needs to address before jumping headfirst into the industry. Read on for our recommended tips and tricks to help ease the transition into the world of hard beverages.

Retain the services of an attorney

Although alcohol has been legal in the United States since the repeal of the 18th Amendment at the end of 1933, shipping beverages above a certain ABV percentage can spell trouble if it’s traveling across state lines or to certain dry counties. In order to ensure that all protocols are followed and avoid an ATF agent knocking on the door to your office, retain the services of an attorney well-educated and experienced in the field of interstate alcohol sales.

Commit to customer centricity

We could offer dozens of examples of customer centricity, but we would be over-complicating a very simple concept- put the customer first. Not only first, but at the very center of your business. Implement strategies that focus on the customer at all points during the customer’s journey- not just at the first point of sale. This way, you’re able to maintain long-term relationships that bring repeat customers back to your business again and again. This is distinct from a product-centric approach, where you focus only on the purchases. In the modern era, there’s little excuse to not think bigger.

Utilize discreet shipping

Selling products in your store that your average customer may not want to be displayed to the entire neighborhood should your courier partner drop it on their front porch? Customers don’t want the whole world to know they’re buying a crate of wine? No judgment here! We all have to order things we don’t want listed in this week’s neighborhood gossip column. For your buyers’ peace of mind, make sure your merchandise is delivered in a plain, opaque cardboard box. Often there’s the option to not even have a company name or any branding printed on the packaging. The only markings are typically just the shipping label to tell the delivery service where to send the parcel. No one can look at the package and deduce what could be inside.

Check and double-check your suppliers

Most alcohols have a fermentation process involved in their creation. While this fermentation makes the end product delicious and refreshing, if done improperly it can make you seriously sick. Be sure to partner only with high-quality manufacturers and don’t be afraid to ask for their certifications and proof of their commitment to safety standards. When it comes to consumable products such as alcoholic beverages, it’s far better to be safe than sorry.

Take out package insurance

To insure your package means to take out an insurance policy that protects against loss, damage, or theft. This is almost always purchased at the point of departure when your shipping label is generated, and means that your entire package will be replaced or reimbursed up to the monetary value you’ve insured for. This means it’s especially important to insure your package properly- if you’ve bought a policy that insures up to 100 dollars but you’re transporting 300 dollars worth of merchandise, you’ll only be getting that 100 dollars back should something go wrong. As alcohol is a highly sought-after product, shipping insurance is especially important in case anything goes missing.

Make sure your shipping notifications are accurate

If you say your package will arrive in two days and it actually takes three, that’s an entire lost day your customer could have spent running errands or spending time with friends and family. Meanwhile if your package only arrives in one, your customer won’t be expecting its arrival, leaving the parcel in question highly vulnerable to porch piracy. It’s also crucial to make sure that your shipping speeds are as quick as possible- it’s easy for your shopper to plan where they might be in a day or two, but much harder to calculate which kinds of obligations may pop up a week out. If you can provide accurate, real-time updates, your customer can make sure to be back home and waiting for the delivery by the time the truck is six stops away. Text notifications work better for this than email- if your customer is in the line at the drive-through or running errands on their lunch break, who’s to say whether or not they’ll be checking for mail? Either way, make sure that these are as accurate as possible to prevent unneeded frustration and delay.

In conclusion

We here at P2Pseller are happy to show you the ropes when it comes to crafting a seamless customer experience to make your ecommerce selling life as smooth and simple as humanly possible, no matter if you’re selling wine, beer, spirits, or something completely different. But in our opinion, good relations with your buyers begins with top-class fulfillment. The fewer delays there are, the fewer delays you’ll have to explain. Register a free account with us today to browse the full extent of our offerings and see what we can do for you and your business. We’d be ecstatic to partner with you and have you on board for the ecommerce revolution.


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