StateWays Nov/Dec 2015

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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Page 27 of 51

StateWays ■ ■ November/December 2015 28 The New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC) has long been at the forefront of incorporating new technologies. The agency recently created a new web ordering application. With this app, the commission can now do business with customers at the speed of the internet, and with the convenience of mobile devices. PROBLEM SOLVED The idea for the app came from seeking a solution for a growing problem. Wine Week is an annual celebration put on by the NHLC that features a lineup of tasting and educational events, and culminates in the Winter Wine Spectacular. This festival is the largest of its kind north of Boston, attracting crowds of more than 1,000. Guests have op- portunity to sample and then buy wine from some of the top wineries in the world. It is illegal to buy bottles onsite, however. To purchase product requires fi lling out an order form and then fi ling it with the NHLC. Cus- tomers pick up the alcohol later on at a New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet location (The NHLC was a pioneer of on-site order- ing at tastings). Despite this delay in physically obtain- ing purchases, sales at the Winter Wine Spectacular have grown from $30,000 at the inaugural event in 2005, to more than $125,000 this year. NHLC employees are happy to see increasing sales. But more orders create a greater potential for headaches. Before launching the app, the commission had manually processed orders through a system of stickers and forms. It grew to be too much strain on staff. A new sys- tem was needed. The capabilities of modern technology made for an appealing fi x. "I wanted to make this easier on my staff," recalls Nichole Jordan, NHLC wine marketing specialist. "It had been a whole lot of paperwork. It needed to be easier for both the consumers and us." MODERN FUNCTIONALITY Jordan knew that there had to be a better way to accept and fulfi ll orders. Working with the Manchester-based digital marketing agency wedü, the NHLC began to design a new e-commerce platform. The app went live just before the 2014 Winter Wine Spectacular. Customers can download the app, which allows them to fi nd wines they liked from within a database of products. These wines can be added to a digital shopping cart before users checkout online. Picking up purchases is a matter of selecting a convenient location from among the 78 New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet stores. "You don't have to wait in line for an order anymore," Jordan says. The app also allows users to take notes, which they can email to themselves. "We added this function to encourage customers to place orders after the fact," The New Hampshire Liquor Commission launched its new web ordering application at last year's Winter Wine Spectacular. WINNER CONTROL STATE BEST PRACTICES AWARDS BEST TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION (TIE) WINE APP IS A WINNER By Kyle Swartz

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