The Rise Of The Online Liquor Store

shutterstock_521300515.jpg

Online alcohol sales are still a relatively nascent phenomenon, but there continues to be evidence that boozy e-commerce could shake up the drinks industry. E.J. Schultz discusses the latest news on the topic for Ad Age:

"Moët Hennessy doesn't want to use the web to merely offer its luxury champagne, wine and liquor online. It wants to provide the mixologist, bar and glassware—and maybe a trip to Scotland to boot.

The marketer of Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot and Belvedere vodka is trying to infuse its online sales with luxury experiences via a new site called Clos19, part of a broader effort among alcohol marketers to get more aggressive about e-commerce after years of trailing other categories. While 20 percent of U.S. shoppers bought groceries online last year, just 8 percent of buyers bought alcohol online, according to Nielsen data cited by e-commerce analytics firm Profitero.

Alcohol has lagged because of a complicated patchwork of post-Prohibition state laws that govern its sale and distribution. Generally, a so-called three-tier system requires most sales to flow from supplier to wholesaler to retailer. That means a beer brand, for instance, can't take an online order and ship it directly from its warehouse to the consumer.

But alcohol's online potential is now growing thanks to the rise of third-party sites that allow drinkers to order beer, wine or booze online and have it delivered from retailers like the corner liquor store. Among the most successful is Drizly, which began in 2012 and now serves 70 cities across 30 states. And of course, everyone is watching Amazon. While the e-commerce giant recently said it was closing its Amazon Wine program, it continues to expand alcohol delivery through its Prime Now service..."

Read the rest here.