Diageo ‘Connects’ with 1,100 publicans

Diageo Ireland has been first out of the traps in bringing online ordering to its customers with the launch of ‘Diageo Connect’ which went live on 1st June and which has 1,100 customers ordering product online already – and growing.

Before the advent of Diageo Connect, Diageo representatives would simply ring publicans or they’d phone into Diageo’s Call Centres (during working hours). The new online platform has proved ideal for pubs opening after 5pm or those who wish to place orders after closing time or at any other time of day or night.

(Diageo’s research found that in total nine per cent of all orders were placed on either Saturday or Sunday while 25 per cent of orders were placed out of hours, between 5pm and 9am).

Some of Diageo Ireland’s customers on the East Coast trialled the new system initially. The system brings a number of advantages to publicans including being able to place their orders for beer and spirits whenever and wherever they like and they can view their own 13-month order history. More pertinently, it’s also enabled for smartphones.

Ireland is the first country in the world to initiate Diageo’s new platform and the company has sub-contracted demonstrators to go out to its customers to help illustrate the effectiveness of the new system. First-time customers can not only  log on to pages already set up for them, but their first order can be placed then and there with the help of the demonstrator.

To date, publicans have been slow to make the leap to online ordering as tradaitionally there’s been a slower adoption of social media such Facebook and Twitter by the licensed trade which has led to the online presence in the industry itself being much lower than in other sectors, explained Ciaran Budds, Diageo Ireland’s Commercial Effectiveness Director, responsible for introducing the new system.

Diageo’s research, conducted in 2011, indicated that 55 per cent of the on-trade community had internet access in their outlets. This figure is quite low – considering how demanding consumers are now becoming. 

“Talking to the trade it became apparent very quickly that many publicans are already online and that Diageo needed to meet them in that space,” he told Drinks Industry Ireland.

“The lifestyle of the publican has changed pretty dramatically, pretty quickly,`’ he added, “They’re right back at the heart of their operations once more, having to do more planning around their pub.

“We see ourselves as opening up a platform for tham that can be built on by other components. Our customers will very shorly be able to access a whole range of different services from Diageo including news updates and other relevant information from this platform.”

The development also enables publicans to assert a greater degree of control over the ordering process and as the platform is ‘add-onable’, tracking orders and the consulting of individual order histories anywhere, anytime, coupled with the ability to place orders 28 days in advance has now been made possible.

Sean Noonan of Slatt’s in Inchicore, Dublin, certainly appreciates the new system.

“It’s brilliant,” he told Drinks Industry Ireland, “It’s foolproof, you’re not getting anything lost. You might forget to make a phonecall but you won’t forget to put in an order. There’s feed back too that the order has been received and it’s still on your computer which you can bring up whenever you want. It also allows you much more time to order whenever you want.”

For more info e-mail Ciaran Budds at connect.ireland@diageo.com or phone 1890230830.


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