Direct to consumer shipping of spirits involves so much more than putting a bottle in a box and slapping on a shipping label.
Spirits360 LLC Founder and CEO Mark Hume explains, “Spirits360 decided to take a different approach from other competitors in the market who were simply looking to augment the current three-tier network. My partner and co-founder Pat Dorsey and I both knew we wanted to change the game and offer consumers what they wanted: the ability to buy their favorite spirits online (Bourbon, Gin, Vodka, Rum, etc.) direct from their favorite craft or large distillery just like the wine industry and have it shipped directly to their home. But we also had to make it easy for the distiller to take advantage of this sales channel.”
With a combined over 50 years’ experience in the software industry, Mark and Pat quickly realized what craft distilleries needed from an e-commerce solution was great customer service coupled with cloud-based software to handle all of the complexities of e-commerce, shipping, taxes, and regulations surrounding sending adult beverages directly to their customers. Customer service is not defined as making the client build their own site, handle their technical issues, and tell them they are on their own for taxes and shipping. Spirits360 is founded on the ideal that great customer service allows the distiller to focus on what they do best and leave the technical and regulatory complexities associated with this emerging sales channel to Spirits360.
Spirits360 President Pat Dorsey explains, “Great customer service is getting answers the same day or next and rolling-out new customer e-commerce sites in 5 days or less with a compliance engine which handles all of the hard stuff. Our company is based upon a simple culture: great customer service allows our customers to focus on growing and managing their distillery and not the nuances of compliance and technical issues.”
Spirits360 quickly learned their culture had a huge impact during the onslaught of the pandemic. Most distilleries are small businesses with limited resources; time and talent are precious. Distillers need an e-commerce partner who understands the value of their brand and their customer base. Hume added, “We only get paid when the customer sells their product. Our stake in the game is beyond just selling software and services. We work with our clients to help sell their product with our social media marketing team not only in their home state, but we also help bring their products to our syndicate of states permitting reciprocal, interstate shipping. As a result, Spirits360 has grown 150% and now operates in KY, NY, CA, VA, OR, WA, PA, and MD. Our customers can ship to multiple states where legal, as well as internationally, and we handle all of the regulatory complexities for them!”
The Spirits360 platform includes everything a distillery needs to take full advantage of this new sales channel: a branded state of the art e-commerce website for easy to use compliant ordering, an admin portal to manage orders, inventory and customers, a compliance engine to manage evolving laws and taxes, as well as an integrated shipping, point-of-sale, club and tour scheduling solution for tasting rooms and tours.
According to Dorsey, “If you ask me it is simple. If you do all the right things: great customer service, great products, with great people, success always follows for your customers and your business.”