There are three elements to a perfect party—the company of friends to mingle the night away with, a selection of finger food to delight your hungry tummies, and last but definitely not least is the booze. If you already have the first two elements in place but have yet to get your hands on the alcoholic beverages, there is a new online marketplace in town that is able to help deliver the alcohol right to you.
Boozeat is an online marketplace offering a selection of highly sought after wines and spirits which can be delivered to your doorstep in just 24 hours. Convenience plays a huge part in the way people purchase things nowadays and this Malaysian e-commerce startup is providing an online platform to bring together the world of alcohol to the necessity of convenience, for the consumers’ benefit.
Founder of Boozeat, Jessie Chong was with a principal and brand owner of luxury wines and spirits prior to starting up her own business. Jessie strives to live life to the fullest and to appreciate the finer things that life has to offer, which includes having a good time. “People are recognising that clubs and bars aren’t the only place they can have a good party,” she told Vulcan Post.
That’s where a platform can come to play in providing people with an option of purchasing their alcoholic beverages online with a selection of food pairings. From her prior experience with the liquor giant, Jessie understood the dynamics of distribution and the marketing of luxury alcohol. She then took a leap of filling the gap in the Malaysian market for such a startup—and Boozeat was born.
Behind an Alcoholic Beverages Startup
The bubbly 28-year old said that she has been an entrepreneur for almost two years now and has always had a keen interest in entrepreneurship. In fact, she first started out with an eBay trading business back in college. “My years in the corporate world were spent working at two reputable MNCs and the experience gave me the confidence to start my own e-commerce venture.”
In order to bring the web portal to life, Jessie worked alongside her partner who happens to run a digital agency, hence expediting the process of the back end for Boozeat’s site. That allowed her to shift her focus on working with brands, importers and outlets to expand on their product selection.
She said, “The idea for Boozeat was to create a platform to make it easy for consumers to gain access to the best products, promotions and events offered by brands, importers and outlets in Malaysia. E-commerce seemed to be the most viable solution as it remains relatively untapped in this industry.”
Alcohol: An Untapped Area Of E-Commerce
E-commerce is growing in Malaysia, but alcohol is still a relatively untapped sector that has great potential for growth. Jessie agreed that the challenge now is to build traffic and effectively target these consumers who are at the bottom of the marketing funnel.
Brands and importers tend to prioritise traditional channels like trade and retail and have yet to venture into the online segment, hence building a trust with them is very important. Jessie shared that, “None of the major players are active in e-commerce, and showing the brands the kind of value a platform like Boozeat could bring is an ongoing challenge. I am confident that this will get easier as we grow.”
Growing a Business, To Remain Relevant
Jessie shared that the most important element for Boozeat was in fact their product offerings. As such, they needed to get the buy-in from brands and importers before going ‘live’ on their site. It is an ongoing process, and the team are not stopping where they are now, because they are always on the lookout for more brands and products to carry.
They aim to bring on more brands and products, specifically wine, whisky and beer brands. Other packages for beverage and food couplings are in the works, including wine and cheese pairings, as well as whisky and cigars.
“The more we grow, the more value we can offer to brands and importers as a platform. Another element was working with outlets, which we had started off by co-organising events with selected brands. Some of these events were made available to consumers via Boozeat, such as the recent tasting of The Balvenie with the distillery’s regional brand ambassador Neil Strachan.”
Becoming an E-Commerce Distribution Channel For Brands
Ultimately, Boozeat aims to become an e-commerce distribution channel for brands and importers to leverage on. They want to be the online go-to platform for trade and retail channels like outlets, bars, hypermarkets and the like. In turn, the F&B outlets can look to Boozeat to be their avenue for online exposure as well since Boozeat features promotions and curated exclusive experiences from F&B outlets on their site.
The company has only become fully operational in September and thus their current focus is to grow in the local market before looking into the international sector. “However, if we come across the right partners, looking beyond Malaysia in the near future is possible,” shared Jessie.
Boozeat is taking an opportunity by filling in the gap for alcohol startups in Malaysia. This is a smart move for the company and they can leverage on users who want to purchase premium brands for a discounted rate. In fact, Boozeat guarantees that the prices listed on their site is very competitive and they’ve stated on their site that Boozeat will refund the price difference of any cheaper purchases from major retail stores in Malaysia (based on some terms and conditions).
As their target audience is more towards people who want to sample higher quality liquor without having to pay the hefty price, they are doing a good job at providing these products on the site. That being said, Boozeat will appeal to consumers who appreciate good quality alcohol, but perhaps not for those who are content with a six pack of beer.
To widen their target audience, Boozeat can also look to the addition of a variety of beverages from a diverse price range. For instance, if a user can look for a pack of Carlsberg or a bottle of cider other than various wine and spirits on the very same site, it could potentially help Boozeat gain more users—after all, not everyone at a party will drink only hard liquor so alternative options will let everyone use the same platform collectively.