Why Your Fulfillment Process Is Vital To Your Alcohol eCommerce Business

As an eCommerce brand, you probably focus a lot on marketing to help you sell alcohol online and grow your eCommerce store.

But your job doesn’t stop once a customer clicks “Purchase” because you must fulfill that new order quickly, efficiently, and without breaking the product in transit. As many eCommerce brands will tell you, the order fulfillment process is one of the most expensive parts of doing business online.

Order fulfillment for alcohol eCommerce brands is especially tricky as you’re required to know the local alcohol taxes and customs rules for every locality in which you sell. If you want to expand your alcohol eCommerce brand to include worldwide sales, the stakes become higher, and the marketplace becomes a legal minefield.

Nonetheless, IWSR Drinks Market Analysis research shows that alcohol brands are increasingly adopting an omnichannel approach, embracing alcohol eCommerce trends and partnering with logistics companies to support customers purchasing alcohol online.

You can remove the hassle of order fulfillment from your daily to-do list by working with fulfillment companies that will do the inventory management for you. Even the added complexity of selling alcohol online can be avoided if you choose the right fulfillment service.

Below we’ll explore why working with a fulfillment company is a smart option for growing alcohol eCommerce brands who want to focus on increasing online sales.

Order fulfillment can help you shrink costs

Every order placed in your online shop requires a multi-step process of picking the right product for shipment, packing it carefully to avoid (extremely costly) breakage, figuring out postage, including all essential customs paperwork, calculating accurate sales tax, and liaising with the proper authorities to pay it.

That’s a considerable time investment for a growing eCommerce alcohol brand, and it can lead to some costly mistakes. Poor order fulfillment processes can cost your brand directly or indirectly through:

  • Replacing products that arrive broken or damaged
  • Low customer satisfaction with delayed or broken orders
  • Paying legal or accounting costs to correct tax or customs mistakes
  • Taking time from marketing your products and growing your brand

But an order fulfillment service allows you to shrink those costs and mitigate risks by passing the responsibility to a third party. That way, your costs are covered, no matter what may go wrong in the process. You’ll reclaim time which you can use to market and sell your products and give yourself something priceless: peace of mind that your order fulfillment is in the hands of inventory management experts.

Order fulfillment lets you keep more profit

If you rely on traditional methods of selling your alcohol worldwide, like distributors, importers, or retailers, you’re giving away too much of your profit.

Selling your alcohol product direct to consumers (DTC) means you keep more of your profits. Fulfillment services support your DTC goals, allowing you to keep up to 50% of your earnings by skipping the middle person and pocketing that cash instead. 

Order fulfillment can help you sidestep tax issues and customs delays

For a growing eCommerce alcohol brand, selling alcohol online worldwide is an exciting prospect. Online marketing and global social media connections have broadened consumers’ alcohol tastes. They’re now more curious about emerging alcohol brands from niche makers the world over. They’re also more likely to purchase alcohol products from a global marketplace rather than defaulting to whatever their local liquor store has on the shelves.

But selling alcohol online across international borders isn’t for the faint of heart. There are countless tax and customs laws to navigate. If you miss a step, you’ll pay hefty fines and surcharges. Plus, your fledgling international customer base will not be impressed if your alcohol product arrives with a customs charge on delivery.

When you work with a knowledgeable fulfillment solution, you remove tax liability from your eCommerce alcohol brand. Your fulfillment service assumes all the tax liability and handles customs clearance and paperwork, removing all possible headaches associated with online alcohol sales.

Order fulfillment can free up space - literally and figuratively

When you work with an order fulfillment service, you gain more space - both in your physical premises and your daily calendar. A fulfillment service not only handles your supply chain management but also offers a dedicated fulfillment center that warehouses your goods safely and securely. 

They handle the intake and storage of your alcohol products, freeing up literal space in your business premises, and they optimize inventory management, clearing more time for you to complete other tasks.

But working with a fulfillment center also offers you the best kind of space: headspace. With your inventory management in the hands of professionals, you can banish order fulfillment worries from your mind and use that energy to focus on your business.

Order fulfillment can create customer loyalty

As an eCommerce brand, you can never underestimate the power of a healthy order fulfillment process. Customers love brands with an excellent experience. When customers love a brand, they tell everyone in their network, both online and via word of mouth.

Fulfillment companies are vital to instilling customer satisfaction in your eCommerce brand. The right fulfillment service will combine an efficient fulfillment process with professional, reliable deliveries to offer your customers an outstanding experience.

When your alcohol product arrives on time, intact, and in the hands of a friendly delivery professional, you’ll stoke customer loyalty and increase your online sales.

Key take-aways

If you’re ready to partner with an order fulfillment service for your alcohol brand, here’s what we suggest you look for:

  • A solution that handles every aspect of order fulfillment: A piece-meal approach to order fulfillment will ultimately prove to be more trouble than it’s worth. Look for a company that can provide the entire package, from pick-and-pack to safe delivery.
  • A solution that’s tailored to the needs of the alcohol industry: As an alcohol brand, your order fulfillment needs are unique in the retail world. You should only work with order fulfillment companies that either a) have experience shipping alcohol across borders or b) focus exclusively on the alcohol industry. Make sure you ask for references as you explore your options.
  • A solution that uses a clear pricing structure: There’s nothing nice about a surprise fee. If you’re choosing to work with an order fulfillment service and selling alcohol DTC, you’re cutting out the commissions of the middle people traditionally involved in alcohol distribution. Don’t let extra fees start to erode those savings. Demand a pricing structure upfront and a guarantee that you won’t receive any unpleasant surprises. 
  • A solution that assumes the tax liability: You’re an alcohol industry expert, not a tax attorney. The best order fulfillment solution will be one that assumes all of the liability involved with calculating, collecting, and filing the various taxes associated with selling alcohol online.
  • A solution that clears customs and uses bonded warehouses: Selling alcohol across borders can have serious customs implications. If you work with a trustworthy order fulfillment solution, you’ll enjoy cleared customs, bonded warehouses, and a hassle-free trading experience.

Make alcohol eCommerce sales easy with Tipple

Tipple transforms selling your alcohol product in Europe from “problematic” to “painless!” Our software handles it all, from logistics to tax compliance. We’re more than software: we’re your partner in expanding your alcohol business to a European customer base that is thirsty for your products.

With an extensive network of warehouses and support for tax compliance in 10 European countries, we’re a turnkey eCommerce shop front for your alcohol brand. We integrate seamlessly with Shopify to provide seamless supply chain execution.

Talk to the team about how Tipple can become your all-in-one order fulfillment strategy for European customers. Or sign up now - it only takes 45 seconds to start your European expansion.

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