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Online liquor delivery numbers dwindle as consumers opt to click and collect

As Covid-related restrictions begin easing up, fewer people had online liquor products delivered last year, with more consumers opting to click and collect, reports IRI Australia. 

The market research company recently held an E-Commerce Expansion webinar in partnership with consumer and liquor insights platform Growth Scopes, which provided e-commerce data from last year showing trends in the retail liquor industry.

Areas of focus included liquor-consumption occasions, consumer perspectives, market performance, and service trends.

The report found a 6 per cent decrease in consumers purchasing online and having products delivered compared to 2020. In contrast, the number of consumers to use click and collect last year jumped from 47 per cent to 55 per cent.

“This shows that even with restrictions easing and people being able to go out and go to the shops and shop, people still prefer to buy things online,” said Ishakaya Gunaratne, senior consultant, IRI Australia.

Deliveries were instrumental for many stores to stay afloat during the pandemic, but according to IRI’s data, the business model may see a decline in the coming years.

Mel Anderson, research and product director for Growth Scope, explained that slowing online liquor delivery sales could be due to several reasons – from challenges to navigating shopping websites, dealing with couriers, or the fact that “they want it now”.

“I think there’s a huge role in that and into the psyche of individuals and how they see the world,” said Anderson.

The report also revealed that while mid-strength beer was among the top 10 liquor formats purchased online, craft beer sunk.

“I think we’ve shown that craft beer buyers are less than other types of beer buyers because it is a smaller category,” Anderson added.

In terms of retail performance, BWS and Dan Murphy’s from Endeavour Group performed well with online sales last year with $859 million, around six times higher than First Choice and Liquorland of Coles Liquor. 

These numbers, however, exclude sales sold through, which is reported separately in the supermarket’s e-commerce sales.

Endeavour increased its customer base by 2.2 per cent during the first half of this year, which IRI’s Ishakya Gunaratne attributed to its omnichannel presence. 

Gunaratne said the company could reach out to the same consumers online and in-store because 25 per cent of its customers who visited online also shopped in-store.

“They’ve done a terrific job driving that to digital traffic,” she said.

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