Amazon seems poised to take a major swipe out of brick and mortar retail opposition with its acquisition of Whole Foods, and businesses that deliver booze are keeping a close eye on the online retail giant to see how this move affects their own businesses. Although the complete list of consequences won’t be known for some time, that isn’t stopping anyone from doing some guess work right now. Amazon is already beginning to increase the number of cities where booze can be ordered online through Prime Now, and that number might skyrocket in the very near future.
It’s not easy to offer an alcohol delivery service to begin with. You can’t always use traditional Amazon delivery services like FedEx, UPS, and USPS to do it. Prime Now is an Amazon service used to order groceries, and the addition of alcohol could be a huge boon for business (which is already booming). Amazon isn’t skimping on its other services, either. Using the Amazon Echo or Dot, you can simply ask Alexa to order the booze for you. No need to go online to make or confirm an order. All it takes is your little voice-activated electronic assistant.
One of the issues that make it so difficult for Amazon to offer alcohol everywhere it offers delivery is the lack of brick and mortar locations. In order to offer beer, wine, or spirits for instance, Amazon needs more places from which to ship it. That might not even be necessary because of Whole Foods. We already know that Amazon plans to keep lockers in these already-popular stores for Prime subscribers. You will soon be able to order merchandise online and pick them up at your nearest Whole Foods location. It’s just common sense to assume that you’ll be able to pick up a case of beer when the desire arises as well.
Amazon destroyed brick and mortar book stores when it took its first steps online, and it’s made a huge dent in the revenue enjoyed by other traditional retail stores ever since–including department store behemoths like Walmart. Now that Amazon is growing so fast into the grocery niche, it’s hard to know exactly what will happen next. Without a doubt, retail sales will continue to dwindle, and online business will continue to rise. Beyond that, no one knows for sure.
You may have heard of popular subscription book boxes. There are now nerd boxes, wine boxes, produce boxes, meal-making boxes, etc. Amazon certainly aims to contend with them all, and we already know that Amazon is really good at what it does. Even more than that, it already has the necessary infrastructure and investment strategies to go to war with these small companies faster than most of us can probably imagine. Smaller vineyards will use Amazon to increase consumer interest in their own brand, and quickly abandon subscription boxes for this new revenue opportunity. Indeed, the future for alcohol delivery services that aren’t Amazon is very bleak.