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Miller Lite taps mobile to horn in on beer home deliveries

By
December 9, 2014

Miller Lite is driving beer home deliveries via mobile

Miller Lite is driving beer home deliveries via mobile

In a reflection of how mobile is driving the on-demand economy and disrupting traditional business models, Miller Lite is piloting the use of Promoted Tweets during football games to enable beer home deliveries.

MillerCoors claims this is the first time that social media and ecommerce have come together to directly sell beer, making it a pioneer in the space. The campaign leverages the API for wine, beer and liquor home-delivery application Drizly, enabling football fans watching a game at home to click on a link appearing in Promoted Tweets to be taken to a Miller Lite-branded ecommerce destination and place an order.

“This presents a new revenue opportunity for alcohol brands,” said Dirk Rients, vice president of brand solutions at The Mobile Majority. “Drizly is giving consumers the convenience of having beer, wine, or liquor delivered to their doorstep in less than an hour.

“The only challenge I see is that some brands may have issues around the compliance of delivery and responsible drinking,” he said.

“We will continue to see significant growth of these on-demand services which are being fueled by mobile.  Consumers have shown that they will pay more for convenience and speed.”

On-demand economy
The Miller Lite program is leveraging how football fans increasingly engage on social media sites such as Twitter from their smartphones while watching a game to comment on plays and read what others are saying.

Viewers who click on a Promoted Tweet from Miller Lite in select markets will be able to have beer delivered to them in less than an hour.

When viewers click on the link, they are taken to a mobile-optimized site where they must first input their age and ZIP code.

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Next, they land on a page where they can order either half or full cases of bottles or cans. There is no charge for the delivery, which is being sponsored by Miller Lite.

To complete an order, users much enter where it is being delivered and their credit card information.

Delivery is available in select markets in Boston, New York, Seattle and Washington.

Competition grows
Mobile-enabled home-delivery has been quickly growing this year, with retailers such as Amazon and eBay jumping in as well as technology companies such as Google and third-party app developers.

Besides Drizly, there is also Deliv, which is being used by retailers such as Foot Locker and 1800Flowers.com to provide same-day deliveries through the crowdsourcing.

There is also Instacart, which is being used by Whole Foods to deliver groceries (see story).

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Drizly has grown quickly, pointing to the potential of same-day delivery for consumables.

This summer, Drizly reported an 83 percent lift in spirit sales over the Fourth of July holiday, a record week for the app. Beer sales increased week-over-week and accounted for 39 percent of purchases (see story).

Drizly is currently available in 9 metropolitan markets including Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Washington, Austin, Indianapolis and Seattle.

Direct to consumers
Taking advantage of its growth, Drizly recently began offering its API to marketers and developers to integrate alcohol sales and delivery into their consumer experiences. Doing so, enables these marketers to take advantage of Drizly’s existing delivery structure, which partners with drivers and local beverage retailers.

Besides Miller Lite, other marketers who have signed up to leverage the Drizly API include Foursquare, Distiller, Inmoji, Button, The Mobile Majority and xAd.

The API can be built into their existing media, advertising and content to layer on ecommerce and enabling them to deal more directly with customers.

For example, whiskey recommendation and discovery engine Distiller has partnered with Drizly to make one-click ordering available on Distiller.

Foursquare and its app Swarm are using the Drizly API to let users order drinks directly to their preferred spot.

Consumers can also now send a Drizly logo in a chat conversation using Inmoji, which becomes clickable to begin ordering drinks.

EBay stumbles
Home-delivery is not without its challenges.

For, example eBay Now, the retailer’s same-delivery app that lets shoppers order goods from local big-box stores, appears to be struggling. In a recent call with analysts to discuss the company’s financial results, eBay CEO John Donahoe said same-day delivery appears to not be essential to its core audience and that the program has not expanded from four to 25 markets as originally planned.

One challenge of home-delivery in the alcohol category is the complexities of compliance and responsibility in the alcohol industry. Drizly promises to address this for marketers by providing a fully

“Compliance in advertising alcohol is very important,” said Katy Zack, director of communications at xAd. “The value for the partnership is for Drizly to be an inventory supply source for xAd.

“With Drizly’s focus specific to alcohol brands and buyers, we see a value in being able to provide compliant alcohol advertising within their app,” she said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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