UK consumers embrace online wine shopping
Brits are three times more likely to buy wine online than the global average, with more than one in five UK consumers (21%) having bought alcohol online behind only China (27%) and Japan (22%).
This is according to a report from global e-commerce analytics firm Profitero, in conjunction with Nielsen, which revealed that the global average is only around 8%, according to Nielsen’s Global Connected Commerce study surveyed more than 30,000 respondents with online access in 63 countries.
“This makes alcoholic beverages one of the least-shopped categories in e-commerce, but one with tremendous potential”, said the report.
And demand is already increasing, and growing in pace, according to the report’s author Keith Anderson.
“Already, there’s a large opportunity for brands and it’s growing at pace,” he said. “Many signs point to a consumer clearly ready to shop for alcohol online and sales growth via the web is inevitable.”Retailers, brands and technology companies were increasingly exploring and experimenting with online platforms and delivery mechanisms to make buying alcohol online easier.
“Liquor brands have plenty of opportunity to influence shopper behaviour and engage with online retailers and technology platforms.”
Growth is being driven by six factors, including the expansion of retailer click-and-collect and home delivery services, which was prompting migration from in-store to online sales as well as the convenience and ease of choosing wine online compared to in a retailer’s wall of wine.
Other factors noted were the emergence of new online buying platforms such as Deliveroo, or the “Etsy of craft beer”,startup EeBria, the growth of challenger brands with a large digital presence, the coming of age of tech-savvy millennials who are used to buying online, and the proliferation of “drink-worthy ‘events’” such as awards, driven by TV and social media.
The early adoption of click and collect by the retailers had accelerated adoption of e-commerce in the UK, particularly in contrast to the US, where consumers are less able to buy alcohol as part of their grocery shop and the three-tier model which acts as a barrier for the category.
Pernod Ricard is a case in point, where its online sales in the UK account for 5% of the total, compared to 2% globally, fuelled by its collaboration with Amazon, Asda and Tesco to push digital sales.
Amazon UK is another growing platform for craft beers and wine, was was becoming an area “to watch”.