Monday November 25, 2019 0 comments
DENVER -- As the U.S. voice commerce market continues its ascent to $40 billion in annual sales, Denver tech startup Handoff has introduced the first voice-controlled liquor delivery platform.
Because voice orders to Alexa or Google Home are routed through Handoff to the nearest GPS-tracked partner liquor store, deliveries are guaranteed to arrive within an hour.
The surcharge compares favorably with the delivery fee for a large pizza, just $5 per order.
While other retailers deliver alcohol locally, no company is using voice assistant technology and artificial intelligence to make alcohol delivery smarter and faster for the holidays.
During its four-month soft launch, Handoff said it served thousands of customers and expects orders to double during the upcoming holiday season.
“There are more than 60 people in my office and there’s always a birthday or another reason to celebrate, which means wine or champagne,” said Lillian Malmberg, who works in downtown Denver and has been a customer and fan of Handoff since the start of its soft launch.
“For the Halloween party we just had, I used Handoff to order wine and I’m sure I’ll use them a few more times before the end of the year, including a “Friendsgiving” celebration (a Thanksgiving for office friends) I’m planning for the end of November.”
Ian Oakes, another Denver resident, said he relies on Handoff for smaller orders. A bourbon drinker, Oakes orders individual bottles of Maker’s Mark from Handoff.
“I haven’t visited a liquor store in four months,” said Oakes. “Just as we all take pizza delivery for granted, I think we’re all going to take alcohol delivery for granted, too.”
While orders can be placed through a smart phone app and chat service, customers appear to be most excited about the company’s speech-empowered ordering capabilities.
In fact, Handoff, the first voice-powered local liquor delivery service in the U.S. is part of a booming voice assistant tech industry, a market expected to reach $40 billion in annual sales within three years.
Handoff’s liquor-ordering is the latest of more than 100,000 “Skills” on Alexa. Skills are third-party apps that add new abilities to the world’s most popular voice command platform.
“This is the year and this is the season to launch our exciting service and our platform in the voice tech industry. In fact, we tell customers that we’re so excited we’re almost speechless…almost!” said co-founder Tommy Riley.
“If you have Alexa or Google Home for the holidays this year, you can use your device to go voice shopping, play holiday music, learn how to stuff a turkey, and now, with our help, you can tell Alexa to bring you spiked eggnog, Mistletoe Martini, or other festive holiday beverage to make sure the party lives on.
After the holiday season in Denver and Boulder, Handoff said it will introduce its conversational liquor-ordering service to residents in Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and other large cities in Colorado before moving onto the largest U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.