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How Does Drizly Work? The Service Explained

Last updated: January 11, 2022
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vector graphic showing a hand holding a smarphone with the drizly app on the screen wondering how does drizly work

In this day of push-button orders and instant gratification, delivery services — once the oeuvre of pizza places and Chinese food — have popped up in all sorts of industries.

Websites and apps allow people to order four-course meals delivered to their homes, and you can even have someone do your grocery shopping for you.

Not surprisingly, this delivery niche extends to alcoholic beverages, as well.

Drizly offers alcohol delivery from local liquor retailers to your home for a small fee, and it aims to do so within an hour of you placing your order.

What Is Drizly? A Quick Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic has been disastrous for many people, businesses, and economies.

But since every cloud has a silver lining, it makes sense that some good has come from it.

That’s especially the case for alcohol delivery service Drizly, which started in 2012 but really took off in 2020.

Founded by Nick Rellas and Cory Rellas, Drizly Inc. is basically Amazon for booze.

Its business model works like any other modern delivery service: using the company’s website or Drizly’s iOS or Android app, you tell Drizly where you want your alcohol delivered, shop for what you want, pay for it, and wait for your driver to show up.

What Can I Buy on Drizly?

Drizly offers just about anything you can buy at a liquor store because it has partnered with liquor stores throughout the various delivery areas.

When you first log on to the website, you’ll find that it offers four categories of products: beer, wine, liquor, and extras.

Clicking on any of the alcohol-related categories brings up a page where you can search for a specific product, take suggestions, and even get recommendations for local brews, wines, and other alcohol.

Since you’ll essentially be shopping at multiple alcohol retailers at once, you’ll find a large selection.

Browsing the site gives one the impression that if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you might not be trying very hard.

The Extras tab offers the stuff you need to make your alcohol work better for you.

Find mixers, like a two-liter bottle of Coke or various juices, ice, cups, even Monster energy drink for some reason.

Do you want wine but have no corkscrew?

Order one through Drizly.

The Extras tab is an extra-mile kind of thing that really makes Drizly sing.

Where Is Drizly Available?

Drizly operates in North America in 31 of the United States, the District of Columbia, and two cities in Alberta, Canada.

This extensive reach covers more than 1,700 cities.

You can find Drizly in the big ones like New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, but also small cities, such as the bustling metropolis of Cut Off, Louisiana.

However, where the service operates within each state can be hit or miss.

For instance, Drizly offers services in Oklahoma City, as well as the small cities of Norman and Edmond.

Yet you cannot use Drizly in Tulsa, the state’s second-largest municipality.

How Does Drizly Work?

vector graphic showing a hand holding a smarphone with the drizly app on the screen wondering how does drizly work

Drizly works as a liaison between customers and participating liquor stores in their areas.

Drizly’s retail partners offer their inventories to customers through the site, which means they can shop a more extensive selection of alcoholic beverages than they would by just walking into one local store.

This connection also allows for price comparisons, and customers can choose the local liquor store from which they order.

Drizly shows an estimated delivery time from each local retailer, so if you’re in a hurry, you can pick the fastest one if that’s something you need to do.

In general, Drizly offers delivery in under an hour.

To be clear, Drizly is not an alcohol retailer any more than Uber Eats is a restaurant.

But it connects alcohol retailers with a broader range of customers than they might typically encounter, which, in turn, gives customers more options.

And of course, there’s the ultimate convenience of delivery.

Key Features of the Drizly Platform

The best thing about Drizly might be the variety of products to which customers have access.

The delivery service is a big deal to many people, as well.

Other features include:

  • A wide variety of alcoholic beverages.
  • The online ordering platform (via website or app) offers shopping convenience.
  • Drizly’s alcohol delivery app offers push notifications so customers know what’s happening with their delivery throughout the process.
  • Customers can pay with a credit card when they order or pay cash upon delivery.
  • Get your delivery in less than one hour.

How Much Does Drizly Cost?

The bulk of the money you spend on the Drizly app will be for the beer, wine, or liquor you order.

However, most markets have a $4.99 delivery fee.

That’s per order, so if you order a six-pack of beer or four cases of Irish whiskey, you’ll have a $4.99 fee either way.

You can opt for ground shipping if you’re ordering through Drizly for delivery to a location not served by the platform (such as Tulsa, as discussed above).

Expect a two- or three-day delivery time, and you’ll pay shipping costs instead of a delivery fee.

Those costs will vary from market to market.

Finally, Drizly includes a $1.99 service fee on each order, as well.

According to the website, this fee helps cover operating costs.

What it means in practice is that each delivery, in essence, costs $6.98.

Ordering on the Drizly Platform

The ordering process could hardly be simpler, and it’s hard to imagine a better setup on the website when it comes to shopping and placing your order.

To shop and buy through Drizly, follow these steps:

  1. Register on the website or app (you can shop without registering, but you can’t place an order until you do so).
  2. Enter your delivery address.
  3. Shop for the beer, wine, liquor, or extras you need.
  4. When you select a product, you’ll have the option of choosing which Drizly partner liquor retailer you want to make the delivery (if you order from more than one liquor store, you’ll incur separate delivery fees).
  5. Once you’ve finished shopping, proceed to checkout.
  6. You’ll have the option of adding a tip or a promotional code.
  7. You can enter any instructions for the delivery driver, such as, “Don’t ring the bell,” or “Leave it on the porch.”
  8. Choose your payment option, then sit back and wait for the magic to arrive at your doorstep.

How Drizly Deliveries Work

Once you have placed your order, Drizly communicates it to the retail partner or partners you’ve selected.

Employees at the store then shop for your order, put it together, and send it out with one of their drivers.

Delivery drivers are employed by the stores and not by Drizly.

Potential delivery drivers can consult Drizly.com for a questionnaire that can help pair a person with a local liquor store.

Still, those who want to drive for Drizly can also contact a local retail partner of Drizly, as that’s the business that would employ them.

Does Drizly Check ID During Dropoff?

Drivers check ID as part of the delivery process.

Underage drinkers, move on, as Drizly is not the loophole you’ve been searching for.

Remember that the alcohol comes from a liquor store, and checking ID is not only part of their business’s DNA, but it’s also intrinsic to that store remaining in business.

Delivery drivers use Drizly’s proprietary tech to scan the ID, so it’s not like you can just show them a fake and get away with it.

Even if you are of legal age, the delivery will not occur if you can’t provide an ID.

In that case, you’ll receive a restocking fee of up to $20.

How Long Does a Drizly Delivery Take?

Drizly advertises a delivery time of less than 60 minutes, but that’s not a guarantee.

You may experience a delay due to weather, traffic, or high demand during the busier times of the day or night.

There is no on-time-or-it’s-free offer, but since Drizly shows customers the stores in their area, delivery times won’t often be more than an hour.

Wrapping Up

Drizly offers convenience, variety, and quick service.

Once customers have signed up through Drizly.com or via the alcohol delivery app, they’ll open themselves up to the best selection their cities have to offer them.

Since the Drizly platform allows shoppers to view products from several different retailers, customers escape the limitation of just one store’s inventory.

They can also compare prices to find the best deals on the beer, wine, or spirits they’re shopping for.

Delivery, in most cases, happens within the hour, and paying through the site or app can allow for no-contact delivery for those who prefer that.

Allowing liquor stores to reach a broader customer base and presenting customers with convenience and choice, Drizly brings these two together, and everybody wins.

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