The e-commerce craze has taken the retailing industry by storm, and the alcohol category is no exception. Despite limited availability, according to
Euromonitor, the online alcohol market has
grown 20% YOY over the past 10 years, which
is five times the growth rate of overall off-trade
alcohol sales. And there’s more opportunity on
tap: Right now, only 4% of consumers who drink
alcohol in the United States buy beer online, but
20% of alcohol drinkers would likely buy beer
online if they had the option, according to a
BCG alcohol eCommerce survey (December 29,
2017 – January 8, 2018).
As adoption for online alcohol sales accelerates,
customers are expecting to buy beer online—
and they will switch retailers to do so, making
alcohol e-commerce options a critical area of
focus for food retailers.
targeting a new segment of shoppers
Digital channels are an opportunity for
incremental sales, as online beer shoppers look
very different than average grocery shoppers.
They are more often male, higher income,
younger and buy beer as part of their routine
shopping. This is a new segment that food
retailers should be capturing.
For example, one national retailer found that
90% of online shoppers were incremental in the
first year of launching e-commerce options. This
number will likely come down as e-commerce
penetration increases, but it suggests that the
first movers will steal share from competitors.
By bringing current customers online, retailers
can also increase their lifetime value by 20%
to 50%, according to IDC FutureScape, Kantar
Retail Analysis. An omni-channel customer
spends consistently more and is more loyal than
an in-store only customer. One national retailer
found that customers who used click-and-collect were spending just as much time in the
store but shopped in higher margin categories.
Additionally, a CPG found that 30% of sales were
incremental for products offered online, and that
number grows for expendable categories such
discoveries about the online shopping trip
There are nuances in the way online shoppers
behave when buying beer versus other
grocery items. Grocery shoppers tend to rely
on department navigation functions, whereas
beer shoppers rely on the search feature to
find beer, indicating the importance of search
optimization. When it comes to the beer results
page, shoppers direct most of their attention
towards glancing at product images and not
much else, though in some cases they can be
swayed by recommended products.
Detailed findings on the above, along with
actionable insights and more can be found in
eCommpass, Anheuser Busch’s premier toolkit
for guiding category growth in beer e-commerce.
what’s next for alcohol and e-commerce?
Determining the right product selection
is imperative for success in e-commerce.
Anheuser-Busch’s research and insights on
the online beer shopper information can help
to inform what products and SKUs are most
attractive to online customers.
Also, don’t forget to consider marketing efforts.
In-store advertising and promotions to boost
online sales may seem risky in the short term,
but omni-channel customers are more valuable
over their lifetime..
As leader in the beer industry, Anheuser-Busch
is well positioned to work with CPGs on cross
merchandising promotions to grow your total
grocery category online.
e~commerce is evolving the Alcohol category How e~commerce is evolving the Alcohol category