We talked to JP Tucker of HelloDrinks on how to change the way customers shop, bringing lower costs while offering alcohol delivery of beer, wine, and spirits and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
JP Tucker: Thankfully, all are safe in both Australia and Ireland.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded HelloDrinks.
JP Tucker: I moved to Australia in 2011 during the global recession. From the earlier days, I was very keen to see how companies were moving online, and more so, tracking the ones who were doing it well and the ones doing it not so well. Having worked for over ten years at Dell Computers, I understood how to build lean teams how powerful automating our processes can improve our customer experience and reduce our bottom line costs. Our focus is on doing things well but doing them lean, which we live by every day at HelloDrinks. A big focus on testing leads to more automation, so we run a lean team. HelloDrinks was founded in 2016 and is currently NSW Liquor’s fastest-growing E-Commerce Booze business.
How does HelloDrinks innovate?
JP Tucker: Our team is always looking to deliver a better customer experience, which comes from building better systems, integrations, so it removes the need for human labor. From the moment our customer purchases at HelloDrinks, or any of our Marketplace partners, we only handle the product at the packaging stage. Once the handler completes the task, they click a button, and the tracking detail is sent automatically to the customer.
Our Marketplace allows suppliers to manage their brands in our Portal, upload their products, ensure speed to market, no waiting for range reviews, and the ability to ship products directly from their warehouse to our customers. It helps increase their profits by eliminating wholesale & transport costs and helping our environment by reducing the need to have more trucks on the road.
HelloDrinks is Australia’s number 1 Buy Now Pay Later Liquor store. It offers a Buy Now Pay Later alcohol delivery service, allowing customers to purchase today via our website, Apple or Android apps, receive their drinks by fast delivery, and then pay for it over time. We are currently partners with Zippay, Latitude Pay, and PayItLater.
HelloDrinks also holds several external marketplace partnerships with some E-Commerce giants like Amazon, Catch, eBay, Kogan, Dick Smiths, My Deal, OzSale. It allows us to bring our wide range of products to their audience, which has been popular and helps us turn more stock and grow our Brand.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
JP Tucker: The Pandemic has had a positive effect on our business as we are seeing more customers shopping online for drinks, and while we don’t have the budgets of the corporates, their marketing spend is bringing new customers to the category, where we have had some success in intercepting their traffic to showcase our Independent business.
Revenue has been over 400% the previous year. With the Christmas rush delivering some fantastic results, record selling days, and year. 4 months into the current tax year, HelloDrinks have already passed their 2019 tax year total, with eight months still to run.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
JP Tucker: Stop chasing suppliers who are not supporting me and keep supporting those who do. Through 2020 this has been successful for us.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
JP Tucker: During busy times, it is important to stay focussed and not let things get on top of you. Daily walks work for me. One morning a week, I try not to go near my laptop until midday, using the time to relax, or spend time with my wife & son, simple things like getting out for a coffee or running in the park.
Daily tip: Right down three good things you did that day, and one work on for the following day. Never record a negative!
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
JP Tucker: Our competitors are Dan Murphys, LiquorLand, Boozebud, Jimmy Brings, Tipple, all doing a great job of growing the category. HelloDrinks have been expanding our range, bringing sharper offers to our customers, and staying more competitive with everyday low prices, with more Free Delivery offers. Our team has also been expanding with the recent addition to a Director of Growth team, who is responsible for all things strategy, marketing, and digital expansion as we aim to scale through 2021.
Your final thoughts?
JP Tucker: HelloDrinks is an independently owned Liquor Marketplace, delivering drinks to customers across Australia. To put it simply, we create moments for our customers to socialize with a drink-through all occasions.
Keep supporting HelloDrinks, who are continuing to support our local suppliers.