As Novac/Bernard Ivezic writes, when the country’s anti-epidemic measures relax and the powers that be allow it, you’ll now be able to organise a house party within a mere 150 minutes without moving from your armchair. The new Croatian webshop Tipsy delivers drinks, snacks, platters, ice and even condoms within the aforementioned period, but only in the Zagreb area. In the rest of Croatia, it uses a delivery service with which the process lasts as is standard for online stores, with deliveries arriving in one to three days, especially if said delivery is going to the islands. Such fast delivery has so far existed mostly only for items like laptops, food and various office supplies.
Tipsy isn’t a new Croatian startup. However, it is a local project, a very competitive web store, which was conceived a little over four months ago by three friends known for selling and promoting wine through Wine & more – Ivan Kovacevic, Dario Drmac and Dubravko Vancas.
“More than 200 people have signed up for Tipsy’s newsletter, our deliveries are regular, and we’ve already been contacted by entrepreneurs from neighbouring countries who are interested in franchising. It seems a bit too early for us although we’re convinced that our concept makes sense, regardless which, unlike our other projects, is focused on the Croatian market,” said Drmac.
He added that they started thinking about the Croatian webshop Tipsy when they realised last year that the closing of the catering and hospitality ”world” would be repeated throughout the pandemic. Drmac says their primary business is in HoReCi. He states that they had a warehouse full of a variety of drinks and that they could offer competitive prices out there on the market. However, at the time of the economy’s closure, their main customers, like caterers and hospitality businesses, were all but written off. It also helped that retail chains successfully switched their sales process to the Internet, and despite a slight decline in sales, they recorded growth in the segments in which Tipsy also operates.
“Still, it wasn’t enough just to start a webshop and be done with it, when there are already a million of them, and so based on the experience we gained in marketing and in online sales, Ivan and I, together with Dubravka, who has extensive experience in HoReCa, started an enterprise that puts emphasis on fast delivery and that somewhat different approach,” Drmac said.
Ivan Kovacevic refers back to his experience in marketing and online sales of glass on projects such as Konzum Klik, today’s largest online retail store, and on the Volim meso/I love meat project.
“We worked on the Konzum Klik project from the very beginning, including working on the very first sales mobile app on the iPad in Croatia, which was made by Konzum. The other big project we worked on was Volim meso, and both of us pointed out that for the success of the Croatian webshop Tipsy, it is actually necessary to connect not only good sales logistics but also content, so that we’re interesting to our customers like the likes of Coolinarika is to those who enjoy cooking,” said Kovacevic.
Dubravko Vancas added that it isn’t easy to sell drinks online due to the current epidemiological regulations in force in Croatia. Tipsy, he explains, therefore has working hours very similar to those of petrol stations.
“We may be able to sell drinks after 22:00, but we don’t do that. If you want your drink(s) delivered the same day, so in a period of 150 minutes, you have to order it by 22:00. It’s not that you can’t buy it later, but if you do, you’ll only get your order the next day. Such are the epidemiological measures. Likewise, if you’re not an adult, and we check that in several ways, you can’t buy from us,” Vancas said.
Ivan Kovacevic says that they’re still learning a lot as they go on when it comes to Tipsy. In addition to regulations, he says, they are still researching what customers on their new website actually want and how to provide it to them.
“It’s interesting that delivery is extremely important with this type of webshop. This is one of the reasons why we’re currently mostly focused on Zagreb, because we have our suppliers here. We have customers who remember those suppliers and establish a very friendly relationship with them. Some even ask for a certain driver to deliver their drinks to them,” concluded Kovacevic.