Many beverage brands jumped on the direct-to-consumer bandwagon during the pandemic, and brands that were already DTC made big returns. And as more people ordered drinks online, these DTC early birds were the first to disrupt the beverage industry.
Plot twist: the game is no longer only about having an online presence or selling directly to consumers; consumers now want beverages faster.
This early success attracted a slew of new DTC-focused players, creating competition within a niche market. Even large omnichannel beverage brands had fear of missing out, so many also began selling DTC to stake their claim in a growing market. Meanwhile, marketplaces like Amazon, with Prime Now delivery, were already leading the fast delivery trend.
All of this has resulted in the present situation: if your DTC beverage business doesn’t provide instant delivery, your beverage business will cede market share to competitors who do.
Why DTC Beverage Brands Need to Harness Instant Delivery
With Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, and quick commerce marketplaces like GoPuff delivering drinks within one to two hours, why would any customer be interested in ordering directly from a beverage brand’s website?
These top retail giants have set the bar for convenience very high, driving up consumer expectations by delivering many of their essential and not-so-essential products within an hour or two.
And if your DTC beverage business doesn’t upgrade to Amazon-like delivery speed, you will eventually lose customers to leading marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, or other big companies that are on top of their instant delivery game.
Beverage delivery challenges
While the one to two hours delivery window isn’t an unrealistic standard to meet, most direct-to-consumer brands lack the fulfillment capabilities to provide rush delivery all on their own. Even when brands have an in-house micro-fulfillment warehouse, fulfilling orders comes with its fair share of challenges such as warehouse rent and equipment, labor, utilities, insurance, materials, inventory management software, shipping, etc.
Furthermore, fulfilling and shipping beverages safely is another challenge, especially delivering glass bottles over long distances via services like UPS/FedEx, which charge by the weight. There’s always the impending risk of breakage, resulting in losses and, worse yet: unhappy customers.
And if it’s a drink that requires refrigeration, for instance, a kombucha, then there are the absurdly high costs associated with shipping weight, extra-packaging materials, and expensive cold packs.
In short, traditional delivery options require beverage brands to spend a significant amount of extra time and money.
That’s where instant commerce comes into play
As your instant commerce partner, Ohi will help your DTC business stand toe-to-toe with Amazon or big-box stores like Walmart.
Traditional e-commerce fulfillment is harmful to the planet, as orders travel by plane or ground over long distances.
On the other hand, Ohi’s instant commerce solution is fast, sustainable, and cost-effective. Because we keep our inventory “hyperlocal” in micro-fulfillment centers across major metropolitan areas, this helps our partner brands deliver drinks within two hours or same-day. In addition, it’s vastly more cost-effective as there’s no long-distance delivery involved.
After your beverage business teams up with Ohi, we will first analyze your product demand at the SKU level. Then, a dedicated team will continuously work with your operations team to ensure there is always sufficient inventory across Ohi’s nationwide micro-fulfillment centers.
In addition, our technology will constantly monitor delivery speed and consistency, adjust courier efficiency, and other factors to guarantee your customers always receive their ordered beverages within the delivery window they selected.
Top DTC-Focused Beverage Brands Benefiting from Instant Delivery
Olipop is a leading fizzy tonic brand. The maker of a new kind of soda makes their sodas from all-natural ingredients, combining the benefits of prebiotics, plant fiber, and botanicals.
Although Olipop has a powerful omnichannel e-commerce presence, the brand believes that a direct-to-consumer strategy is vital to its success. And to meet its high customer experience expectations, the brand required a D2C/DTC fulfillment partner.
After teaming up with Ohi, Olipop’s ROI has undergone a steady boost. Olipop now delivers its consumers fast delivery of its sparkling tonic alongside a fantastic post-purchase experience via Ohi’s platform.
In addition, many of their customers order subscriptions regularly now. With Ohi, Olipop customers can schedule and reschedule deliveries within seven days and three different time windows.
Olipop saw a 150% increase in customer lifetime value (CLV) and a 140% lift in lifetime orders for Ohi-shipped orders (versus non-Ohi).
The notable increase in repeat purchases highlights the value of “fast, free, and flexible” delivery for customers and shows just why Olipop’s customers have rated Ohi 4.6/5 stars for exceptional service.
Health-Ade is one of the country’s most prominent pro-biotic kombuchas that encourage people to #followtheirgut.
The DTC-focused beverage brand was looking for a better alternative to traditional 3PLs in its major metro areas to reduce fulfillment costs while offering a fantastic customer experience.
Traditional e-commerce fulfillment was not a good match for Health-Ade: they realized that delivering glass bottles over long distances via UPS/FedEx using a traditional 3PL would be impractical. In addition, there is the risk of breakage, high delivery weight, and extra-packaging costs. Lastly, kombuchas need to be refrigerated to retain freshness and probiotic qualities, demanding the use of expensive cold packs.
Ohi enabled Instant commerce for Health-Ade to help them deliver Kombuchas to their customers within a week of deployment. And Health-Ade’s customer lifetime value (CLV) has since increased by 49% on orders shipped with Ohi (versus standard FedEx/UPS), reflecting how valuable the instant delivery experience is to customers.
Athletic Brewing Company
A leading non-alcoholic beer brand was looking for an instant commerce solution to improve its customer experience and enable D2C growth.
With its wonderful-tasting, non-alcoholic brews made from premium quality, all-natural ingredients, Athletic Brewing Company is spearheading a craft beer revolution. Founded by co-founders Bill Shufelt and Jon Walker for “the modern beer drinker”, these low-alcohol beers are for people who aren’t willing or able to withstand the effects of alcohol intake.
Unsatisfied with the traditional 3PLs fulfillment functionality as they were not D2C-friendly, Athletic Brewing partnered with Ohi.
After teaming up with Ohi, Athletic Brewing has seen a 30% lift in repeat purchase rates (Ohi-shipped orders versus orders that ship via FedEx/UPS). Athletic Brewing customers rate Ohi an average of 4.7/5 stars.
The above-discussed success stories sum up the difference instant delivery can help make.
Deliver Drinks Faster!
85% of consumers will shop elsewhere for better options when delivery speeds are too slow. Slow delivery speed remains a primary reason for shopping cart abandonment. However, instant delivery is said to have contributed to higher conversion rates. In fact, it is the biggest motivator for 68% of shoppers.
The beverage market is ripe for rapid expansion; however, if your DTC business doesn’t keep pace with the marketplaces and large retailers, you’ll inevitably lose market share.
At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.