I saw the future of Laithwaites, yesterday. Not my granddaughter but the new online software called Laithwaites Recommends.
We have been doing Wine Plans for customers for thirty years. I'm sure every customer would be on a Plan (regular, scheduled, automatic deliveries at a big discount) if it weren't for the worries. Worries to do with lack of choice and flexibility. And "won't that Tony Laithwaite bully me into drinking stuff I don't want?" (Never! But my writing partner might. He's called Bully!)
But now these worries have all been addressed after years of work on this software programme called Laithwaites Recommends. Yesterday I saw how it works.
We send you an invitation to join and if you like the offer you sign in. Then you can start to play on the Laithwaites Recommends webpages.
The first screen shows a picture of your case but with the cardboard removed so you see every bottle. You can click on a bottle or bottles or, well, everything and remove it or them. Then you can look at alternative bottles. You'll see the Customer Favourites first but there are over a thousand wines available. As you 'virtually' pop your replacement bottles in the case the screen shows you the new case price and savings. (Usually 10% or more off normal list).
You can switch to a completely different wine plan if you want. With a click. You can vary the frequency of your case, bring forward the delivery or put it back. You can book a time and day for delivery. You can skip a delivery or cancel altogether.
Clicking on bottles gives you enough information to be able to make much better choices. Enough, actually, to make you sound like a Master of Wine. Better still, included with the case are neat little Information Cards on every wine. When your order is being packed these cards are printed out by the computer and placed in your box.
There's much more to tell and show. We are going to get someone to do a demo film on You Tube. Not me I think. But a quick witted youth. But have a look now. If you are a customer of mine you're bright enough to figure it out yourself.