By Deborah Jackson, Editor National Liquor News

The Liquor Marketing Group (LMG) has launched a new e-commerce platform for its Bottlemart and Sip’n Save stores, including an app for android and Apple phones, which has options for one-hour delivery, nominated delivery times and parcel pick-up in 30 minutes.

The new platform is being trialled at seven Brisbane metro stores with a roll out to a greater catchment to be undertaken in the coming weeks. LMG’s CEO Gavin Saunders told TheShout that the new platform complements the Bottlemart and Sip’n Save brands, which are traditionally strong with customers looking for a convenient retail experience.

“The addition of an e-commerce platform allows our customers to shop anytime, anywhere and choose when they’d like to come into store to pick-up, have their purchases delivered in as short as one hour or nominate an alternate delivery time which is convenient for them,” Saunders said.

“The addition of e-commerce is complimentary for our member retailers who own and operate the stores, it provides them another channel to sell within their catchments and meet the needs of their customers. The customer still chooses which store they wish to shop from online and they have access to the full range of products and pricing which is available within their selected Bottlemart or Sip’n Save store on that day.

“Along with the ease of shop convenience offered to customers, the e-commerce platform provides a direct connection through their app or online which enables a direct relationship with the customer to provide offers or information on products or promotions which they have enjoyed.”

Although the trial has only been live for just over a week following a soft launch with limited marketing, Saunders said that LMG is already seeing positive results with average basket sizes up 47 per cent on in-store purchases, app downloads being greater than initial forecasts and repeat orders from customers already happening.

Saunders also explained to TheShout how the platform works and why LMG decided to offer both an app and online site.

“We believe it is important to have both of these options as shoppers through these channels vary depending on day, time of day and activity being undertaken,” he said.

“Online shopping through the website is traditionally undertaken during hours where access to computers is more readily available (e.g. work hours, weekends before events, etc.). While access through an app is more likely undertaken when customers are either on route to another location or socialising, which given our offer it is obviously extremely important to provide this app option.

“Customers can download the Bottlemart App through the App store or Google Play for android devices. Sign-up registration and verification is undertaken, the customer enters their location and chooses which Bottlemart store they wish to shop, select whether they’d prefer home delivery or pick-up and then they are free to browse and shop the offers available.

“All transactions are completed online or through the app which provides limited delays for delivery or pick-up. Our delivery drivers have Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training and checklists along with a process to verify that the identity of the person who is receiving the delivery aligns with the customer’s details. The process and systems have been extremely well developed to provide both our retail stores and the customers as simple and convenient an experience as possible.”

Saunders added: “One very important aspect of the platform which differs from other online retail options is the integration with our retail members. Products which are offered through the platform align with the entire range available in-store with pricing aligned to the stores pricing. This provides our retail members, who each have a wide range, the opportunity to sell this entire range and not just a selection to online customers. Similarly, if they have an in-store special to clear stock this pricing will be offered through the platform.

“The platform does provide a direct connection with our customers. Promotional information which align with the Bottlemart marketing program can be pushed to the customer along with the addition of coupons to provide tailored offers for individuals through this connection.”

Saunders said that with the online retail world becoming more and more important the launch of the e-commerce platform was a key added benefit to LMG’s member retailers.

“The addition of the e-commerce platform for the benefit of our members provides another option and connection to their customers,” he told TheShout.

“The evolution of retail with greater volumes going through online channels continues to gather pace. The e-commerce platform provides LMG members the best opportunity to participate in this channel which is complementary to their existing stores.

“We’d encourage any independent retailer who aren’t aligned with a banner group and see the value of integrated marketing program along with the addition e-commerce to reach out to our team and we’d be happy to provide a demonstration and review.”

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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