JC Stock is the CEO and co-founder of Shots Boxan expertly curated delivery service for craft, craft and small quantities of spirits.
The events of the past two years have forced many otherwise active people to stay at home, often for extended periods of time for health or other personal reasons. While streaming providers and e-commerce services certainly thrived in this unprecedented time, so did another industry: food and drink delivery.
It wasn’t just traditional food delivery services that benefited from the increase in sales, either. Alcohol e-commerce also reported a strong rise in popularity† This increase in direct-to-consumer services over the past two years marks a new era in alcohol distribution. This is especially true for craft and craft brands, many of which were previously overshadowed by larger companies.
The switch to delivery
Home delivery services were already a growing sector of the market before 2019. As the lockdowns continued and people stayed at home, the switch to alcohol and liquor delivery services was a natural development. Statista reported a 75% increase in liquor sales in 2020, with a whopping 243% increase in total alcohol sales in March of the same year, as many people were willing to stay at home for extended periods of time.
A recent study indicates that: almost a third of people who ordered alcohol online plan to continue with these services even if traditional venues reopen. This is because alcohol can provide e-commerce benefits beyond the convenience of online ordering and delivery. For example, providers offer custom blends of the latest craft and craft drinks, often beyond the options available locally.
Increased popularity of whiskey
gotechbusiness.com notes that the US spirits industry is experiencing a period of exceptional growth. American whiskey and Irish whiskey have seen an increase of 6.7% and 16.3% respectively. The number of whiskey chests sold has increased every year since 2010.
An important facet of whiskey growth in recent years has been the higher expenditure per capita and, with it, a lingering willingness to pay for finer selections of spirits. Consumer optimism remains strong as many people plan to treat themselves or something else excess in their spending† For alcoholic e-commerce services in particular, this trend toward premiumization is helping to continue to recognize the value of these services, even as in-person venues reopen.
Finding success in today’s market
When spirits such as whiskey are part of an alcohol e-commerce business, the use of small samples can enable consumers to take advantage of trends such as single barrel whiskey and native whiskey from the comfort of their home. drink dynamics points out the difference between these two trends. Single barrel whiskey is made in just one barrel and is often used by retailers to provide consumers with a unique experience. Native whiskey is used to meet current demand while a distillery’s products mature.
Companies can also use social media to influence whiskey trends. For example, they can partner with influencers to promote their favorite brands to their followers. More and more online groups have also been formed, with a focus on whiskey-related culture. The increased buzz about whiskey distilleries, as they shed stereotypes and promote diversity in their production processes, could affect “whiskey tourism” and lead to increased traffic and on-site purchases as more distilleries return to full-service operations.
There is also a desire for a frictionless shopping experience that continues to drive the alcohol e-commerce experience, as well as the availability of subscription services. Consider offering a half-year or full-year membership to online services. Plus, offer a variety of selections year-round, or add a taster club or whiskey box. I’ve noticed that some plans even integrate expert selections into their services, adding value to consumers.
usher in a new era
While restaurants and other hospitality providers resume normal operations, the convenience of e-commerce delivery services remains. By using alcohol e-commerce, consumers not only receive their alcohol and spirits at their front door, but also get the chance to try craft and craft brands that they may not find locally. E-commerce and direct-to-consumer selling can offer the added benefit of flexibility, allowing consumers to try out different selections and adjust their preferences over time. As more consumers explore these alternatives to on-site alcohol sales, new trends will emerge and alcohol e-commerce will cement its place as an integral part of shaping a new era in the food and beverage industry.
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