Trends in Online Alcohol Shopping
Online ordering & delivery of alcohol exploded in 2020. Liz Raquette, head of consumer insights at Drizly, an online ordering platfrom that connects consumers with local retailers, said that they were on a path of steady year over year growth for the past 5 years, then in 2020 that turned exponential and they had, "10 years of growth in 3 months''. Drizly saw a demographic shift from their usual customers. It went from young urbanite early adopter types, to older folks who were more cautious about Covid. They also saw a substantial uptick in average order size as people tended to stock up more.
The occasions people order for became more casual and frequent. Customers ordered online for things like midweek drinks, small celebrations, dinners, and date nights. Micro-celebrations became the norm in 2020 and people took every chance they could to have one. Customers mentioned ordering online to find the perfect beer to pair with dinner, celebrate life’s little joys, and for virtual happy hours and gatherings.
Gifting went through the roof, and was maintaining December levels throughout the year, and we expect to see an even bigger spike next December. One reason for the growth in gifting is virtual celebrations, situations where everyone is to be drinking the same drink and one person in the group sends it to everyone. People continued to celebrate during the Holidays, the biggest sales spikes being on 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Halloween.
The biggest growth driving categories were spirits as folks began to curate their own home bars as our breweries and bars began to shut down. People also reached for more convenient options causing ready to drink beverage to soar above pre-pandemic sales, with various seltzers and pre-made margaritas taking the top 10 spots. This is likely due to people going places where mixing a drink is not possible, like getting outdoors. IPAs were responsible for most of the growth in the beer category, whereas lagers saw flat or negative growth, depending on the style. Many of the lager drinkers have switched over to RTD beverages like seltzers. One category to keep an eye on is hard kombucha, it's still an extremely small category in sales compared to the others, but it is experiencing extremely rapid growth.