E-commerce has spread fast into the alcohol industry. One of the newer apps is BlueCart, which streamlines business between suppliers and restaurants. It is free to download and use.
Beverage Dynamics recently spoke with the BlueCart’s CEO Konstantin Zvereff about the process of launching an alcohol app — of finding tech-savvy users and working within different state laws — and where he sees his product in the ever-growing category.
BD: What does BlueCart do?
KZ: Our app allows restaurants to place all their orders to all their suppliers in one click, and organizes all those orders for suppliers on the other end.
Let’s say you run a bar and you order from five different distributors. Just open up your phone, build your cart, click “place order” and all five of your suppliers will get their specific order automatically simplified and organized.
It’s a private order management tool that was built for both buyers and suppliers. You can run a tiny dive bar in Baltimore, or be a massive corporate distributor in Chicago.
BD: How do wholesalers and suppliers use it?
KZ: For wholesalers, BlueCart is all about driving more business and simplifying the business you already have. BlueCart automatically organizes incoming orders onto one, simple dashboard that managers can break down by sales rep, product, historical ordering patterns, etc.
Sales reps love it because it saves them tons of time spent processing orders, so that they can get out there and make more sales (which should make everyone a lot happier).
Instead of waking up in the morning to a hundred different voicemails or emails, wholesalers simply log on to BlueCart and everything is right there. They can customize prices on an individual client basis, and communication is tied to specific orders or even products, so that fewer sales get returned, and everyone is clear on what’s supposed to be happening.
BD: What was the process like of launching an alcohol app?
KZ: It was definitely a learning experience. Before we launched the alcohol part of BlueCart, we had no idea how many complications the industry has to deal with.
From relatively simple things like splitting orders and breaking cases, to complicated dealings with state agencies, we gathered a ton of user feedback to make sure that our app worked well in any situation. It took some time to get it right, but listening to our users was the key.
BD: When did you launch and where?
KZ: We launched BlueCart (formerly under the very difficult name “Improvonia”) in Washington, DC in July of 2014.
BD: How does it make money?
KZ: BlueCart is 100% free to use. Our user base got so large that small advertisements can pay our bills.
Companies like Square, for instance, want to talk to restaurants and suppliers right at the moment when a decision-maker is placing or taking an order, and we can make that happen for them with very simple, unobtrusive ads. Plus, we plan to launch some paid premium features down the road.