Half Time Beverage, a leading New York craft beer and cider retailer, has relaunched their website after a significant overhaul. This includes a focus on e-commerce: the retailer can ship to over 35,000 zip codes within thirty states throughout America.
“What differentiates Half Time’s new website is our ability to perform both age and zip code verification on the home page to immediately inform customers if we ship to their state and zip code,” explains Half Time Chief Operating Officer Jason Daniels.
Having the ability to create your own 12-pack or case of beer or cider one bottle or can at a time allows customers to assemble their own hand-picked selections. Although this option hasn’t changed from the previous website, one new feature has attracted some brewery’s interested in direct-to-consumer.
“Our new website allows us to restrict any product’s distribution and sales based on zip code,” says President and CEO Alan Daniels. “So, if a brewery wants to place an item on our web site but restrict where it can be sold, we can accommodate them.”
“For example, we recently launched a relationship with Decadent Ales Brewing, our neighbors located next door to Half Time’s flagship store in Mamaroneck, NY,” he adds. “Currently, Decadent’s most recent can release has gone wide release on Half Time’s website, aka, all zip codes while future can releases may have some restrictions to prevent tasting room cannibalization.”
The new Half Time website search capability provides shoppers with eight different ways to help find their favorite beer or cider, including when it arrived, domestic or international, style, state, what color the beer is, ABV and, of course, price.
“The site features not only the best we have to offer, it also picks up on trends across the U.S. which allows us to add in items most people would not think of purchasing in another state all together,” says Daniels.
This comes at a time when many beverage alcohol retailers are considering their online retail options, while also keeping an eye on Big Box competitors, as those corporations also look to make a move on the digital alcohol landscape.
“We have thousands of beers and ciders in the stores, and it’s amazing what people will send across the country,” adds Adam Wolloch, director of purchasing. “At times, it can be the most unlikely of selections and can be humorous as well.”
Added to this year’s list of main profit centers is a collection of six beer gift boxes each with free shipping. These gift boxes were hand-picked by seasoned staff members Wolloch, and Tim Langly.
“We designed each beer gift box especially for the craft enthusiast who wants great beer without the frills,” says Adam.
“There’s no fancy tin basket or Half Time glass inside these boxes. Just great beer,” adds Langly.
Trending as their best seller is Half Time’s Haze Craze, an assortment of hazy, juicy, dank beers from some of the best breweries in the business, including Toppling Goliath “King Sue,” Burlington Beer Company “Uncanny Valley,” Interboro Spirits and Ales “Premiere,” LIC Beer Project “Coded Tiles,” Sloop Brewing “Down Under Bomb” and Decadent Ales “72 Nelson,” “Vanilla Latte” and or “Coco Ecto”.
Eleven new beer and cider gift baskets, and seven new beer and cider of the month clubs, round out Half Time’s newest web launch.
“New for this year is the ability to purchase an E-Gift Card and immediately email it to a friend or loved one with a personalized message,” says Jeffrey Paine, Director of Marketing. “This was a huge request of our online shoppers who were in a panic for finding that last minute holiday gift idea.”
The website did not come without challenges.
“It’s been a slow climb back onto the internet since UPS sent us a cease and desist letter a few years back,” recalls Alan Daniels, Half Time President & CEO. “We are now relying on several regional carriers to get our packages delivered. Our New York regional carriers are in the next town over from our Mamaroneck store and they are delivering our packages into New York City within one to two days. We Love it.”
In terms of what products are selling the best on the website, “gift baskets and gift boxes are better than ever, and we attribute that to lower prices and a change up in the quality of the contents of each package,” says Alan. “Consumers are also choosing more from our selection of both gluten-free and non-alcoholic. I believe this is for two reasons; awareness and available choices. A lot more breweries are making non-alcoholic and gluten free beers and they’re good!”