The Drizly Void and How Makers Can Navigate It With LibDib

By Cheryl Durzy, Founder & CEO, LibDib

From my desk here at LibDib, the recent closure of Drizly has been a topic of both professional and personal contemplation. Drizly wasn't just another tech startup; it was a pioneer in the compliant delivery of alcohol, blending innovative tech with a flair for irreverent marketing—exactly what the beverage industry needed back in 2015. Despite its downfall, partly hastened by a significant data breach, I have only respect for what Drizly achieved and for its team, some of whom I've been fortunate enough to know personally.

In fact, one of the Drizly founders reached out to me within days of LibDib's launch. We discussed potential synergies, shared visions and experiences that highlighted the power of innovation in our field. Later, during the pandemic, we even exchanged town hall meetings and company swag, fostering a spirit of camaraderie. These interactions are cherished memories now (along with my Drizly hoodie), especially poignant since Drizly's acquisition by Uber.

Today, the conversation has shifted towards filling the void left by Drizly. There are several types of “DTC’ businesses entering the chat. I am proud to say LibDib remains steady, supporting all of them, offering distribution for ALL distilleries and wineries in 15 states. 

For those Makers looking for the who, what, why and where in terms of navigating e-commerce in a post Drizly world, here’s how the LibDib model supports each opportunity:: 

  1. E-commerce marketplace platforms (not exclusive to alcohol): Instacart, DoorDash, UberEats. Makers wanting to be available on these platforms need to obtain placements with the Buyer that is selling on that platform. For example, Instacart delivers for Costco. If you have a placement at Costco, then users of Instacart will be able to purchase your products via the site or app for delivery. LibDib will support Costco’s purchase as the distributor of your product on  record.

  2. Large Retailers: Total Wine, BevMo/GoPuff, Kroger, These retailers have their own platforms but also often participate in the aforementioned platforms like Instacart and UberEats (I love an omni-channel approach; however, companies lose key customer data to the marketplace when consumers choose to shop there. There might also be additional fees for the consumer). However, for Makers who are interested in these opportunities--LibDib operates the same way by obtaining placements with the Store/Buyer.  Their offerings will be available on those sites. LibDib is the distributor that sells to the retailer.

  3. White Label E-Commerce for Independent Retailers (Bottlecapps, City Hive, Drizly had about 4K retailers on their platform when they shut their doors. Some retailers were not very happy with being part of a larger marketplace where their products could be comparison shopped by price. UberEats et al do things a little differently--a user needs to go into each individual “store” to see the price; however comparisons can be done within the single app experience.  

    White label e-commerce gives retailers their own branded site and app, along with the ability to control their customer’s experience when it comes to price, offerings, sort arrangement, promotions and even loyalty programs. Both Bottlecapps and City Hive have reported increased new customer acquisition after the Drizly news. Retailers that have these white-labeled apps/sites can purchase a Maker’s offerings from LibDib (we are available in 15 states, covering almost 70% of alcohol drinkers) and make those products available for consumer purchase online. . Makers that want to be on these storefronts should target sales calls to Buyers that have their own sites. 

  4. E-Premise/Buy it Now Buttons for Brands, sold by retailers. We define e-premise here at LibDib as Makers who provide consumers a way to purchase offerings from their own website. Most of our Makers will partner with a third party provider for this capability: AccelPay, BarCart, Big Thirst, Bottle Nexus, Liquid Rails, ShotsBox, Speakeasy and Thirstie all seem to be the most popular with our Makers. Orders will come through the Maker’s website and are assigned to a retailer closest/most compliant to the consumer to fulfill the order. 

    Since LibDib covers most major markets, we are often the distributor of record getting the orders from distillery to retailer. The retailer places the order with LibDib. LibDib gets it to the retailer compliantly. Retailer then ships to the consumer. 

    LibDib Gold Members are eligible for discounts with some of these businesses. Click here to learn more about the program

  5. Alcohol Only Marketplaces: Caskers, ReserveBar, Liquid Library, There are still quite a few marketplaces that are entirely focused on alcohol, with just a few named here. Similar to the Buy it Now Button folks (which some of these companies actually run both a marketplace and e-premise options for Makers), sales to consumers are fulfilled by partner retailers. LibDib orders from the Maker, the Maker ships compliantly to the warehouse/retailer. LibDib can assist Makers with listings on some of these marketplaces and start the journey towards “liquid to lips.” 

Ultimately, there will be opportunities to fill the half a billion dollar hole left by Drizly. Thanks to their innovation and team that paved the way, Makers can provide customers with access to their products via e-commerce capabilities.

Interested in assistance with one or more of these “DTC” via retail opportunities? Click here to learn more and schedule an appointment with our Marketing Tier specialist.