Swiggy and Zomato have started delivering alcohol in partnership with authorised retailers and wine shops in a couple of cities of West Bengal. The food delivery services first launched home delivery of liquor in Jharkhand and Odisha, and now it has been expanded to West Bengal. The alcohol delivery service has gone live in Kolkata and Siliguri first – after obtaining necessary approvals from the West Bengal government. Over 24 other cities in West Bengal are expected to get Swiggy’s alcohol delivery soon. Zomato hasn’t revealed where else it plans to start deliveries alcohol in the state. Alcohol delivery option became an attractive business opportunity during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Swiggy has partnered with several authorised retailers and wine shops in Kolkata and Siliguri to offer alcohol delivery. Retail partners are given access to a dedicated partner app to manage product listing and update the availability of items in real-time. They can mark items as ‘in stock’ or ‘out of stock’ through this app to inform its customers of real-time availability of liquor. The company is working on a feature wherein the delivery partners will have to scan the QR code on each bottle to ensure the authenticity of products before shipping. The aggregator notes that it has partnered only with those retailers that have a valid license and other required documents, as outlined by the state government. Proper training is also being offered to the retailers to ensure smooth delivery via Swiggy.
At the customer end, Swiggy asks for one-time instant age verification by uploading a picture of their valid government ID, followed by a selfie which the platform will use for authentication. All customers will have to give a unique OTP to the delivery agent at the time of handover of liquor – to ensure that no under-age person is ordering alcohol. Swiggy has also introduced a capping on the order quantity to ensure a customer does not order alcohol above the prescribed limit as per the state’s excise law. To access the new alcohol delivery category, Swiggy users in Kolkata and Siliguri will able to see a new Wine Shops category inside the Swiggy app.
Zomato confirmed the launch of liquor home delivery in Kolkata and Siliguri to Gadgets 360, however the service hasn’t shared any details on which other cities it will be bringing the service to over the coming weeks.
Similar to Swiggy, Zomato had earlier stated that the company has placed several safety processes and checks for alcohol home delivery. This includes age verification at the time of ordering as well as when the product is getting delivered. Just like Swiggy, customers will also be required to upload a valid ID proof.