Alcohol Delivery Service Drizly Keeps Tabs on Customer Experiences

An interview with Joe Ayotte, head of UX at Drizly

Author: Nicole Perrin

April 20, 2017

Drizly provides a service many people don’t even realize is legal: alcohol delivery. eMarketer’s Nicole Perrin spoke with Joe Ayotte, head of UX at Drizly, about the unique challenges around customer experience in the space and how the company is trying to understand the needs of its audience better.

eMarketer: How focused is Drizly on improving the customer experience?

Joe Ayotte: It’s really top of mind for everyone at Drizly. Drizly has always viewed it as very important, but from a startup standpoint it’s not always the easiest thing to focus on. But now we’re really looking at usability.

“We have users in every week. We talk about their own purchases of alcohol offline, and what are their experiences with Drizly online.”

eMarketer: What are you doing to find out what customers want from Drizly?

Ayotte: We take a multipronged approach. We have users in every week. We talk about their own purchases of alcohol offline, and what are their experiences with Drizly online. We’re doing marketing surveys as well as specific usability sessions where folks are clicking through the site and talking about their thoughts and friction points.

eMarketer: What have you learned about customer expectations?

Ayotte: We look at several themes, and those themes vary depending on where a user is and what they are trying to do at that moment. A user doesn’t have the same mindset with every single visit.

It’s about convenience. And convenience can mean how much time is this experience saving me? That could mean you want products fast, or you want to save time by shopping online. Convenience can also mean it should be easy. It can also be about price, and giving insight into who has the best prices and who has the best inventory. It can also be about getting some sort of recognition—that you are able to discover something new and you feel good about that, that you’re bringing the right wine or the right craft beer to your date or to a party.

“Customers who call our customer service team, even though it stinks that they have to call because there was an issue, have a much higher frequency of repeat orders.”

eMarketer: Drizly doesn’t sell alcohol, but partners with retailers that do. How does that business model affect the customer experience?

Ayotte: I think the Drizly brand and your experience with the Drizly brand is really dictated not just by what’s online, but what’s happening offline with that store. If the experience with the store and your delivery was a good or bad experience, that was your Drizly experience. Different stores deliver well under an hour and the drivers are fantastic and polite, or remember who you are and if you have a dog or want a delivery at the side door vs. the front door. They’re very communicative. That is a fantastic store experience and one that’s more likely to lead to a second order.

eMarketer: How are you managing the customer feedback loop?

Ayotte: We have a strong customer service team that handles calls about specific orders, and we are measuring which stores are more effective for delivery time and how customers are rating those specific deliveries. Customers who call our customer service team, even though it stinks that they have to call because there was an issue, have a much higher frequency of repeat orders.

And we’re going to be exposing that type of data on which stores have better customer ratings to inform customers to make a purchase in the future. We’ll take more of an agnostic view of those customer insights in presenting them to the end consumer as well. For example, even though there may be a slightly cheaper price at Store A, Store B has faster delivery times and customers have rated it higher, and that might be a better option for you.

Photo Credit: Drizly


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