Founder Joel Macdonald has taken this simple concept and created a business. Liquorun has been operating in Melbourne and Sydney for a little while, and has just expanded to Brisbane, with plans underway to expand overseas in the very near future.
The idea is brilliant, and one we’ve probably all thought about in a moment of drunken stupor — but Joel has actually made it happen. If you’re feeling thirsty and cannot be bothered leaving your home, simply jump online and order alcohol and your order will appear in less than 60 minutes.
“After many years of travelling in Europe and the US, it became very frustrating that there was never a way in Australia to get something delivered at the touch of a button within 60 minutes,” Joel explains. “Experiences with courier companies are horrible. How are we supposed to wait at home between the hours of 9am and 5pm to actually accept a delivery of a parcel? Unless you are retired this just doesn’t make sense.
“So we wanted to create a company that leveraged an infrastructure that was already in place (retail stores) and connected these stores to a fleet that was already in the area (transport drivers or local residents) whom could respond and deliver an item fast to the customer.”
So, how does that work, exactly?
“Liquorun partners with local bottleshops and food outlets, as well as on-demand delivery company Swift. When an order comes in from Liquorun, the nearest crowdsourced Swift drivers, who could be taxi, Uber or courier drivers all sitting idle, get notified of a new job. The first to accept the delivery job then heads straight to the local shop to pick up and deliver the order within 60 minutes.
“Instead of having warehouses in the outskirts of town, we believe the whole of Brisbane city is one big untapped warehouse and all retail stores should be treated as dispatch points. This enables such a fast delivery response to demand and will be the future of eCommerce logistics.
“If you are a bottle shop or food takeaway owner who wants more orders routed through your store then you can qualify as a partner of Liquorun. We give local merchants another distribution channel outside of their local foot traffic. Some merchants in Melbourne, we are sending up to $10,000 per week in extra revenue.”
Alas, there is a catch — it’s not a 24/7 service, so you’ll have to get your order in before the last call.
“In Brisbane it is 10pm,” Joel confirms. “Liquor licensing doesn’t allow any later. Staying open later doesn’t make sense, either. We were open until 4am in Melbourne 12 months ago, but the economics did not make sense. Even though it sounds really appealing to have an after hours liquor delivery company on call all night, there simply aren’t enough people ordering drinks after 10pm to make it worthwhile.”
Beyond liquor licensing laws, Joel says the biggest challenge facing Liquorun is simply supply and demand.
“Just like any pizza shop on a Friday night, we do sometimes experience delays due to high demand,” he admits. “However customers are notified of this and our customer service team and drivers do our best to keep them updated and happy.”
While the service has only just launched this week in Brisbane, it’s been a hit down south, where Joel has figured out exactly what the punters want.
“It’s funny,” he says. “The hipsters in Fitzroy love their craft beer. The working class in Richmond love their tobacco. The snobs in South Yarra loves their vodka. Our ordering algorithm knows exactly what to upsell these customers based on their postal codes!”
Of course, some orders are a little more difficult to predict.
“Some guy ordered six bags of ice and a packet of chips,” Joel remembers. “The team were dying laughing because it sounded like a scene out of American Psycho. Kidneys on ice while eating a pack of Doritos!”
If you’re curious, head to Liquorun to place your order.”