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Steps for Building an E-Commerce Website for Liquor Stores

If you are considering building an e-commerce website for your retail liquor store then this blog will help you make some of your decisions.

The first step is to find out what is legal within your state and county. Things to consider include: 

  • Does your state allow you to sell online?
  • Does your state allow delivery or shipment of alcohol? 

Based on your answers to those two questions, this will help you take the next steps.

PURCHASE A DOMAIN

Come up with a unique name for your website and register the domain. These can be done easily using many of the domain registration sites available online; godaddy.com is highly regarded for their reliable service and pricing.

DECIDING ON A WEB DEVELOPER

There are two ways to go about building your website.  You can either build it from scratch by hiring your own web developers or you can use one of the generic e-commerce platforms like Shopify, or choose to go with an alcohol industry specific developer like Bottlecapps. If you chose to build your own custom website, the cost of building it can be anywhere between $15,000.00 USD and $250,000.00 USD depending on what you are wanting from the platform and approximately 3 to 6 months to complete it. A realistic estimate for a liquor store providing online payment, delivery service and point of sale integration will be around $35,000.00 USD on the lower end and up to $100,000.00 USD on the higher end. An additional consideration to keep in mind if you are going with a custom build is the security of your application. You will need to invest in good security tools and protocols to ensure they are Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI) compliant, thereby protecting your customers data from external threats. 

Other costs to consider for custom website is online hosting and on-going support. Once built, your website will always require ongoing build activities and maintenance of the site to keep it competitive with other competitors or e-commerce sites, as well as meeting compliance and regulatory requirements. These costs can be anywhere between $1500.00 USD to $5000.00 USD a month.

As an alternative, you can save considerable time and money by choosing one of the Software-as-a- Service (SaaS) e-commerce platforms, like Bottlecapps or Shopify, who offer these services at a fraction of the cost. These platforms will typically cost anywhere between $100.00 USD to $500.00 USD a month based on the services you choose. Since these are SaaS platforms that continue to improve their service offerings every quarter, you benefit from their scale.

Now let us examine the benefits of picking one over the other. Though Shopify will provide you with full e-commerce capabilities, they are not tailored for the liquor industry. They work well for other retail outlets like merchandise, apparel and restaurants but they do not necessarily work well for liquor, wine or grocery retailers. This is where Bottlecapps provides a lot of value – Bottlecapps was built particularly for liquor stores. 

ADVANTAGES OF BOTTLECAPPS

These are some of the advantages that Bottlecapps e-commerce platform offers over Shopify… 

  • Bottlecapps offers Integration with your Point of Sale (POS) system so that all of your product catalog can be automatically exported to your website to sell them online. Bottlecapps offers integrations to over 50 POS systems. If we do not already integrate with your POS provider then we will. If you happen to work with one of our preferred partners then we provide a two-way integration where in we will synch the products sold online to your POS system.
  • Bottlecapps also provides integrations to delivery service providers who specialize in alcohol delivery like Doordash, Deliv, Zifty, UPS and Fedex.

Another big challenge for liquor stores, once they pick an e-commerce platform, is how to acquire the images, the tasting notes, the producer notes of their products and how to categorize their products. Keep in mind that an average, mid-size liquor store carries around 3000 SKUs from over 500 different brands. How does the store reach out to the manufacturers and collect these images? This process can take months if not years to accomplish. This is where Bottlecapps comes to the rescue. 

  • Bottlecapps provides you with the images, producer notes, customer ratings and product categorizations ALL as part of their service.

E-COMMERCE IS HERE, AND HERE TO STAY

Selling online is no longer a nice to have–it is necessity in these unique times. By choosing Bottlecapps, we will get you up and running with not only your website but will also create a mobile app for your store. We will help you along the way with your SEO and marketing efforts too. Unlike other providers you can pick up the phone and speak to your client service provider for any help. Are you too busy to manage your site? Leave it to the Bottlecapps client service managers to manage your e-commerce!

Go to Bottlecapps.com for more information and get started selling online today!

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