It’s Friday. You have guests coming for cocktails in an hour and half but there’s piles of appetizers left to prepare.
And there’s no vodka.
Scratch that – there’s no vodka, and no bourbon either.
You can’t run to the store. What do you do?
If you live in Seattle, you open up the Amazon Prime Now app and order liquor, beer, or wine delivered in one hour.
From Bloomberg News:
Seattle also is the only U.S. location where Amazon customers can order liquor and beer. In the rest of the country, Amazon’s alcohol sales are limited to wine. The company already provides quick alcohol delivery in London.
The Seattle-based e-commerce giant is testing the online alcohol delivery market, which is estimated to increase to $1.4 billion in sales by 2020, according to IBISWorld.
Amazon isn’t the first company to make the one-hour alcohol delivery promise. Drizly (which stocks Trysk client 2bar, among others) has been in business for a while.
From Seattle Curbed in 2014:
Keeping with the neighborhoody vibe of Drizly’s business model, I scored some 2bar Bourbon, which is distilled in SODO…. The bottle got to my front door in about 20 minutes, delivered by an extremely courteous Downtown Spirits employee.
Is this new era of app-based delivery good news for local distillers?
Trysk CEO Stephan Martinez says, “With Drizly and prior to this swing by Amazon, their AmazonFresh service, it still remains to be seen if the system can work well in Seattle or other metro areas. In the past it’s been about selection and population density to support the service and of course legality. We’re cautiously optimistic but if Amazon lends the weight of their marketing might to support local clients it seems like a recipe for success.”
Browsing the selection of Amazon Prime Now reveals (like Drizly) the major-market standards one expects from the grocery store shelf alongside a handful of local titles. There is no option to filter by “local” or “craft” or some other query that high-information drinkers might use.
Nathan Kaiser, owner of 2bar, gave us a brief interview:
Q: Has Amazon’s 1-hour liquor delivery affected your business in a noticeable way?
A: Not yet. Too early to tell what impact it will have on our business. It all depends on how customers see and expect Amazon’s 1-hour delivery to work. If they see it as a great opportunity to get spirits delivered to their door, then it could be great for us.
Q: Have you personally used the service?
A: I have used the service. I needed a freezer thermometer (not exactly something that I would expect to be a high volume item) and it was delivered within 30 minutes. I was amazed at how well it worked.
Q: What is the conversation in the industry about the service?
A: There is a lot of uncertainty about what impact this will have on distillery’s direct sales, their retail partners, etc. A lot of unknowns that will only be worked out over time.
Long story short: it’s too early to tell if Amazon Prime Now or other services will noticeably impact distillers. But one thing is not in question: you really can get liquor delivered to your home in an hour or less. We live in amazing times.