LOS ANGELES, March 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — DRINKS, the leader in online alcohol, toasts to the 39th anniversary of Wine Insiders, a managed Direct to Consumer storefront powered by the DRINKS Wine as a Service (WaaS) platform. What began as a mail-order business in 1982 was acquired by DRINKS in 2014, and has since become the leading online wine marketplace for curation, convenience, and value in the complex, highly-regulated wine industry.
A Pioneer in DTC Wine
Since its inception, Wine Insiders has been on a mission to provide premium wine at affordable price points to consumers across the country — with a focus on making the online wine buying experience as intuitive and enjoyable as possible.
The last 12 months have been by far the most transformative in the brand’s history, especially considering the steady growth experienced over the past decade. Coinciding with the increased adoption of online ordering and delivery, Wine Insiders saw a tremendous spike in demand and overall interest in wine e-commerce:
- Wine Insiders expanded home and business delivery to 38,000 zip codes in 2020
- At the start of lockdowns in March, daily orders increased 300% YoY
- Wine Insiders debuted exclusive collections with culinary and lifestyle personalities including Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and Michelin-starred chef Ludo Lefebvre
- Wines curated by celebrity influencers are now chosen by customers in 32% of orders
- Wine Insiders partnered with a nonprofit to send over 10,000 bottles of wine—and a brief moment of relaxation—to medical professionals working the frontlines at hospitals across the country
- The company ran several virtual wine tasting sessions with charities, helping organizations like Parkinson’s Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research garner support for important causes with fun, interactive events
In the past year, DRINKS has continued to invest in and grow its bench of celebrity partnerships, offering a new revenue stream to lifestyle experts who have been unable to host in-person events and welcome diners into their restaurants. In tandem, the company expanded its longstanding partnership with QVC, deepening the reach of its exclusive collections with Martha Stewart, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Alex Guarnaschelli with on-air appearances.
Building on its reputation of offering quality wine at everyday values, selections offered by Wine Insiders earned 332 new awards, including 8 Platinum and 9 Best in Class medals. In 2020, 602 new wines were introduced, including selections from 71 additional wineries.
Empowering Retailers to Become Online Adult Beverage Leaders
Along with Wine Insiders, DRINKS’ WaaS platform powers online wine programs for major brands and retailers, including Kroger, Boxed, and Thrive Market. In November, DRINKS announced a significant expansion of its collaboration with Instacart, powering The Wine Shop on the Instacart marketplace, to offer wines shipped to customers at their home or office across 39 states and Washington D.C. With the complexity and logistical nuances of alcohol e-commerce handled by simple API calls, DRINKS’ partners have been able to scale their sales of a high-margin product, while building a competitive advantage against large retailers like Amazon that have yet to successfully capitalize on the online beverage alcohol category. During COVID-19, the increased adoption of e-commerce led to explosive growth for the company’s partners.
“The online opportunity for the $75B wine market has never been more apparent,” said Zac Brandenberg, Co-Founder & CEO of DRINKS. “Alcohol is a nuanced industry shrouded in regulatory complexity, making it one of the only retail categories that has yet to experience widespread digital adoption. That said, the last year has underscored the need and demand for the convenience and safety of ship-to-home adult beverages. Forward looking retailers and brands are meeting that opportunity with our platform, while expanding their brand presence and building deeper customer relationships.”
About Wine Insiders
Wine Insiders, with 39 years of heritage and two million customers across the country, is the nation’s Direct to Consumer wine leader. Wine Insiders offers a curated selection of award-winning premium wines to customers in 41 states plus D.C. Customers receive fast, no-cost shipping on orders of more than six bottles, as well as a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee with each purchase. Wine Insiders’ offerings include individual bottles, packs of six or twelve, and a no-obligation wine club for a hassle-free way to explore the world of wine.
DRINKS (http://www.drinks.com) is the operating system for online alcohol, reinventing wine buying for the 21st century. Through the pioneering DRINKS Wine as a Service (WaaS) platform, the company brings thousands of award-winning wines safely and conveniently to millions of customers across the United States in 1-2 days. DRINKS powers this unique ecosystem with its patented DRINKS IQ technology, including the ability to customize merchandising and deliver unique recommendations and messaging for each shopper. DRINKS was named a top place to work by Built in LA for the last three years, one of America’s Best Startup Employers by Forbes for the past two years, and was recognized as the Most Innovative Retail Model by Modern Retail in 2020.
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