Dan Murphy’s Connections Expands Online Range

By Rory Betteridge | 12 Nov 2014

Woolworths liquor branch Dan Murphy’s has launched a new Connections service, opening up its selling power to dozens of small-scale suppliers to vastly expand its product range.

Multichannel liquor retailer Dan Murphy’s has launched a new sideline of its online sales channel, establishing themselves as a middleman between their customer base and a wide range of craft brewers, artisan distillers and boutique wineries.

Dan Murphy’s Connections, a new endeavour launched last week in Sydney, will almost triple the retailer’s online product line out to 20,000, sourced from local producers along with a number of specialty imports that would otherwise be prohibitively difficult to find in Australia. The typical Dan Murphy’s physical store sells about 3,500 products.

Faye Ilhan, Woolworths Liquor’s Head of Multi-Option Digital Development and Innovation said that Connections helps to address a number of major problems the brand had, including overcoming a finite amount of inventory space and providing adequate support to smaller distributors and niche suppliers.

“We spent the previous five months thinking, researching and planning to solve problems,” Ms Ilhan told The Australian.

The new system opens up Dan Murphy’s as a vendor to many smaller producers and importers, as only a single item of inventory is enough to have the product listed. Australian suppliers already signed up with Connections includes NSW winemaker A. Retief, Melbourne-based Only Bitters, and Victorian spirits supplier Cervaco, which has used the service to expand its range with Dan Murphy’s from 10 to 200. International contributors AfriCape Wines and The Spanish Acquisition. Spirits currently make up the bulk of the Connections range, but TheShout speculates that wines will overtake them as more wineries sign onto the service.

Built in five months using technology developed within parent company Woolworths Liquor’s specialty digital centre The Wine Quarter along with partners in the US, the system represents unprecedented scale of similar projects in Australia. Using Amazon cloud computing infrastructure, an adaptable supplier portal and a cloud-based integration platform alongside drop-ship platform, suppliers can manage how their product is presented through Dan Murphy’s website, manage inventory and order lifecycle, and connect directly with customers.

Orders are processed through Dan Murphy’s in-house delivery group NexDay, which picks up pre-prepared orders directly from suppliers to deliver to the door of customers.