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Purchasing Alcohol Online Flourishing

The adult beverage category is evolving quickly online, according to new research.

The Inmar Analytics team recently studied 2016 and 2017 transaction data and over 26,000 shoppers who had made a purchase in what is called the adult beverage category. It includes beer, wine and spirits
Eighty-four percent of shoppers in the category have purchased products online, which is 38 percent higher than overall shoppers at 61 percent.

Inmar said manufacturers and retailers are seeing growth in the space and are focused on developing marketing strategies. In fact, while laws vary by state and product type regarding alcoholic beverages, it has not deterred marketers from running promotions or leveraging social media. 

Other results from the research:

  • 46% of alcohol shoppers had their products delivered to their homes or another address
  • 37% picked up their order inside the store
  • 17% picked up their order curbside.

Inmar said 9% of shoppers said they have done this twelve times or more, which indicates that shoppers are willing to pick-up their items if they can save time by ordering their products online.

Inmar said alcohol shoppers who used a coupon are different from overall coupon users.

This group includes the educated (68% have a bachelor’s degree or higher) Millennials (72%) that are married or living with a partner (77%). They are employed full-time (68%) and over half of the group reported being male (56%) and having a household income of $75,000 a year or more (57%).

Inmar’s analysis found that 90% of alcohol shoppers looked for digital coupons, compared with only 74% of overall shoppers. One of four alcohol coupon users (25%) found their coupons in-store vs. 11% for all coupon users.

When Inmar asked shoppers how they interacted with brands and stores on social media, those in the alcohol category were much more engaged compared to overall shoppers. In fact:

  • 75% of shoppers claimed to look at a store’s social media page
  • 74% of shoppers claimed the same for brand pages – and they are doing it in every step of their shopper journey
  • 31% of overall shoppers reported they were engaged across brand and store social media offerings.

Collective Bias, the Inmar influencer company, has found influencer campaigns aimed at the beer, wine and spirits category typically outperform the food/beverage category overall. Engagements were highest on Facebook (36%), but Pinterest and Instagram were followed closely behind with 34% and 27% of engagements, respectively.

The research found adult beverage shoppers to be “adventurous” because they love to buy grocery products they haven’t tried before (71% vs. 56% of all shoppers), and they generally do not find advertising manipulative. In fact, 37% vs. 47% of all shoppers find advertising more manipulative than informative. This suggests this group of shoppers can be influenced to switch brands and try products that are new to the market, according to Inmar. Meanwhile, 70% of alcohol shoppers say that buying established, well-known brands assures them of getting the highest quality product (vs. 53% of all shoppers).

Inmar said the use of digital and e-commerce clearly signals change for the adult beverage category. And there are dynamic differences that are important for marketers to take note of in the adult beverage consumer as compared to overall shoppers.

For more information about Inmar Analytics, visit www.inmar.com.