It’s not your father’s package store. It may not even be your older brother’s liquor store. That’s because Colonial Spirits of Acton is fully embracing the 21st century business climate and getting on-line and wired-in.
The days of the fifth of vodka in the brown paper bag are gone (though Colonial Spirits is happy to package your goods this way, too). But it’s not enough for any business –let alone a liquor store–to just have a website. There’s a thing called “Web 2.0” out there, and what that means is: any business that wants to maximize itself online has to go beyond a website with a phone number, business hours, and directions to the store.
Colonial Spirits has been a fixture in Acton for more than forty years, providing the area with quality wine, beer, and liquor. A few years ago, Colonial Spirits got on-line with a website, but it soon discovered there’s more to succeeding virtually than having just an internet storefront. In 2010, Colonial Spirits decided that half measures were not enough.
Colonial Spirits first set about rebuilding its website. It upgraded the look and the functionality and dove headlong into the world of blogging, inviting store followers and the general public to read and respond to postings about beer, wine, and spirits. The store also added an event calendar so patrons can get a glimpse of upcoming tastings and special events and news. Store photos also decorate the site, including pictures of customers and staff alike at events and giveaways.
Perhaps the most important new endeavor Colonial Spirits has embarked on in the on-line world is e-commerce. Customers are now able to shop on-line with Colonial Spirits and have their products delivered to their homes or businesses. The store has set up a dedicated website for virtual orders called ColonialSpiritsDelivers.com. Online purchase of products in every sector of business continues to rise each year, and Colonial Spirits was determined to get in on this growing market with an e-commerce website.
On ColonialSpiritsDelivers.com, customers can choose from just about all products offered in the physical store and expect delivery to most towns and cities in Eastern Massachusetts. About this service, store owner and manager Tim Bush says, “We’re very excited to venture into the e-commerce and delivery sector. We think there is huge potential in this market. We can reach many more towns and customers with this service than we can with our brick and mortar store, and we’re looking forward to forging new relationships and bringing our wealth of products and knowledge to a greater number of people.”
Colonial Spirits expects people to be delighted with this new service. From sending gifts to supplying office parties to servicing that customer who just doesn’t want to be hassled running out to the store, Colonial Spirits believes online ordering and delivery of wine, beer, and liquor is a tremendous convenience people in Massachusetts will want to avail themselves of.
Though Colonial Spirits Delivers remains a relatively new service (it was launched in March of 2011), the website has already seen a number of orders. “We’ve seen all different kinds of orders,” Tim Bush explains. “Some are gifts for holidays or business colleagues wanting to say thank you. We’ve even had a few international orders, that is someone from out of the country wanting to send a Massachusetts resident a gift of wine or beer. Other orders are from senior citizens who find a trip to the liquor store (and lifting heavy boxes) a bit daunting. Most orders, however, are simply people who like the convenience of ordering from home and having their favorite selections delivered to their doorstep.”
In keeping with advances in the internet and how people shop and communicate, Colonial Spirits has made an aggressive push into social media. With accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and YouTube, Colonial Spirits can, like never before, converse and interact with fans and customers. With the press of a button, Colonial Spirits can get word out about store specials and events, the delivery service, and blog posts to thousands of people it may never have reached before. Colonial Spirits can also be found in most major directories and rating services such as Yelp, City Search, and Angie’s List.
In the coming months and years, Colonial Spirits hopes to break into the world of mobile marketing. People are not just shopping and browsing on-line from their laptops or personal computers nowadays. More and more, they are using smart phones and devices such as the iPad to make purchases and access information. Colonial Spirits is determined not to get left behind in this rising sector.
40 years ago –even 10 years ago—if you walked into Colonial Spirits you’d find a pleasant enough place to buy alcohol, but when you left the store that’s where the experience ended. Today, Colonial Spirits is committed to bringing its store into customers’ lives in increasingly novel ways.Whether it be through an online order or an interaction on the store’s website or even through a social media outlet such as Facebook, Colonial Spirits proves that you don’t have to be Google or Yahoo to thrive on the internet. Visit the store online at any of the links below. And if you’re still old-fashioned, feel free to stop by the store in Acton, MA. Colonial Spirits is located on Route 2A (87 Great Rd.) about one mile from the Concord rotary.
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“The click heard ’round the world!”