I can admit when I was wrong, and boy, was I wrong about Buttery. I initially shrugged them off thinking, “So what? It’s just another Drizly.”
After chatting with Buttery founders Gaurav Tanna and Gaurav Mehta, I found out that this Boston alcohol delivery app is everything that booze shopping should be. And with a new feature these guys are pushing out on their app this year, there could be plenty of other converts heading their way.
Where it all started
The founders of Buttery like good booze. From their personal experience exploring the realm of liquors, they noticed that many stores, including those that carry speciality spirits, weren’t taking advantage of online sales.
“Basically, we like trying out different things,” Mehta said. “In the process of buying stuff for ourselves – craft wine and beer products – we started talking to stores, asking them, ‘Can you list your products online? Why does it take so long to send out an email about what’s in stock?’”
“Retailers don’t have the time to set up an e-commerce website, or the expertise to maintain it,” he added.
Last April, these guys developed a platform to help liquor stores manage their inventory, as well as advertise their offerings online. In October, Buttery pivoted ever-so slightly. It expanded the platform out to a customer-facing app that lets consumers explore their alcohol options throughout the Boston area.
What’s in it for you?
Via Buttery, you can peruse what stores near you have to offer and pick out something from whichever retailer you’d like. Or, if you you can use the Global Search function on the app to pin down whatever kind of obscure booze you so desire. In either case, you can purchase the alcohol through Buttery and proceed either to pick it up or to have it delivered.
Another plus? The prices on Buttery match the in-store prices. Retailers are the ones paying to use the platform. They pay a monthly fee, as well as a small flat fee on every transaction. In turn, they’re able to have better insight into their inventory, finally sell their selections through an online channel and even have access to a dashboard full of sales analytics to help them improve their businesses.
“They can use our market to sell to existing customers in a better fashion, as well as bring in new customers from different neighborhoods in Boston.”
It’s different. Period.
Now to address my initial concerns about Buttery: How does it differ from Drizly or other alcohol-delivery apps available?
“An app like Drizly is based on location,” Tanna explained. “You’re assigned to a store that can deliver to your area. As a consumer, you’re limited to the choice of products provided by that one store. If it doesn’t have that Japanese whiskey you’re looking for, too bad. There’s no way to get it even if it’s available a half-mile down the road at a store that could easily service you.”
“With Buttery, you can choose,” he continued. “You can base it on price, selection or even convenience, if you want to pick it up or have it delivered.”
Additionally, what’s going to set Buttery even farther apart from other apps is a new feature they’re rolling out. Buttery Concierge will instantly connect you with a drink expert, with whom you can chat or text. A drink expert will listen to what you’re into for alcohol and what you’re looking for, make suggestions, track down the booze you want to go with and even order it for you.
Mehta and Tanna are hoping that with this feature, in addition to all of the existing functions, Buttery will be able to gain further traction in 2016. Which would be ideal for the venture as it actively raises its first round of funding from now until the summer.