Like all good ideas, this one began in the pub.
While celebrating the midway point of a product management course with my classmates, I thought I’d run a small experiment; to see how quickly I could build an MVP of a case study we had examined in class, using only my phone.
Step 1 — Get a name
Registered the domain name: bringmewine.co.uk
Time: 10 mins.
Cost: £3.49 for a year (Godaddy)
Step 2 — Launch an online store
- Register on Shopify
- Select a theme
- Upload my first product (Blue Nun)
- Choose a discouraging price-point so I wouldn’t actually have to deliver any wine. £10 for the wine, £10 for delivery.
- Launch it
Time: 30 mins
Cost: Free (2 week trial)
Step 3 — Tell the world
I set up a twitter account, announced the launch of my new wine-on-demand product and immediately began trolling my friends.
Time: 10 mins
Within minutes I had my first order — from a skeptical classmate who wanted to see if I could deliver.
With no actual inventory, I went to the nearest bar, negotiated the barman down to a sub- £20 price for a bottle — and presented it to my first customer.
Time to delivery: 2 minutes
Profit: 20 pence.
Second customer: This is when S**t got real… ish. My second customer (whether impressed or skeptical) placed an order, then published an article on the process on their blog. Bluff called!
Could I deliver in quick time? nye…ope. But I came close!
Had this customer lived in central London, I could have use one of several delivery methods— but this was my challenge:
Evidently I was not going to deliver on the night, but could I match the nearest competition and get it there next (or technically the same) day? I thought I’d give it a go — I placed an order at a local supermarket and booked a delivery slot. I fulfilled the order, took the payment and went to bed.
Early this morning I received an urgent call from the supermarket’s bemused fraud team. Was I sure I wanted to buy one £5 bottle of wine and spend £4 on delivery, to a place half a mile away?
“Ok, we had to check because we get fraudulent transactions like this… [pause]... This makes no sense”
I issued a refund, but will let the delivery proceed anyway to see how well that works — I might update this post.
[update] — the wine arrived a few hours later. A good result for my first foray into on-demand delivery; with a network of delivery people, and a small inventory, this time could be much reduced…
- Test on real audience — and learn their price-point.
- Move into red wine.
- Setting up online stores is ridiculously quick cheap and easy.
- Wizard of Oz tests for on-demand services are hard — but fun — to execute.
- People will overpay for one-off novelty items.