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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StateWays ■ ■ November/December 2015 30 BEST PRACTICES AWARDS Jordan explains. "Perhaps they're not ready to buy in the moment. But later, they want to look back and see what they had liked and then consider making a purchase." "We believe this aspect of the app increased sales by 10 percent," she adds. To encourage guests at the 2014 Winter Wine Spectac- ular to download the app, the NHLC marketed their new platform several ways. The commission utilized email- blast marketing, posted graphics onto the NHLC's vari- ous social media channels and put up physical advertising at the event. A SUCCESSFUL BEGINNING The app's launch at the 2014 Winter Wine Spectacular was a considerable success. It accounted for 21% of sales at the event, far exceeding initial expectations. In less than a year of use, the app has had 335 sessions and 1,756 page views, with an impressive average session time of 11 minutes and 30 seconds. Even better, these numbers are certain to climb. "As our customer base grows — and we already have about 11 million custom- ers a year — many of those millions will use tech to make their lives easier and more convenient," Jordan says. The response from the industry at the Winter Wine Spectacular was similarly positive. "They thought it was wonderful," Jordan recalls. "Michael Mondavi in particu- lar was blown away by how easy it worked and how much everyone was ordering." FUTURE EXPANSION After the success at the Winter Wine Spectacular, the web app has already expanded into other NHLC events. In total, the app has already accounted for $61,000 in sales, with Wine Week seeing a 15% increase in sales compared to the previous year. With those eye-catching numbers, the web ordering application seems poised for a bright future, as the commission continues to modernize operations with state-of-the-art technology. The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) launched a new online purchasing portal, earning them recogni- tion for embracing innovative technology to improve partner relationships. Here's how it works: Suppliers upload infor- mation about their products — including photos — to the web portal. Retailers can then browse this digital database of products, and purchase items directly from the site. (The consuming public can also view the data- base to see what's available at Iowa stores, but cannot ac- cess the business side of the platform.) The portal launched in January of this year, after much testing and tweaking. Already, it has accounted for $78,849,591 in total sales, according to the Iowa ABD, with 981 retail customers signed up. "Government needs to provide goods and services, and we wanted to do it live, online, 24/7 and in a way that's customer friendly," says Stephen Larson, Iowa ABD Administrator. "I realized that we had to get more on the virtual highway," he adds. "I wanted our model to be like Amazon - a place where licensees could order online with pictures and descriptions of all our products. We took that idea and we ran with it." DATA DRIVEN Selling products online is a critical function for any modern business. Customers regularly make purchases using their computers or handheld devices. However, the Iowa ABD portal is more than just a digi- tized store and shopping cart. It utilizes the power of digital technology to collect data and provide helpful business in- telligence for customers — as well as for the division itself. WINNER CONTROL STATE BEST PRACTICES AWARDS BEST TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION (TIE) WEB PORTAL MODERNIZES ORDERING By Kyle Swartz

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