The Times They Are E-Changin'—Where Alcohol Brands Can Win Online
We explore the four largest alcohol e-commerce channels, and help brand owners understand the unique opportunities and disadvantages they face within each.
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U.S. online alcohol sales reached USD 1.7bn in 2017, according to Rabobank calculations. While the total dollar value is quite small, growth within online channels is dwarfing that of brick-and-mortar retail. Data from IRI indicates that off-premise alcohol sales had a five-year CAGR of 1.44 percent. Over the same period, sales from winery websites have quadrupled; on-demand delivery apps processed USD 100m in annual sales in 2017 (up from zero in early 2013). Even beer, whose declining market share is well-documented, is doing great business online.
While the growing power of online sales cannot be ignored, brand owners are facing a new problem. There are at least a dozen online channels, and each channel affects brands differently. If brand owners want to carve a space in the booming online segment, they must sort through the jumble of companies and identify the channels in which they can be most successful. In the following report, we explore the four largest alcohol e-commerce channels, and help brand owners understand the unique opportunities and disadvantages they face within each.