Participating Retailers Toast Alcohol Delivery

Beer, wine and liquor boost the cost of a delivery order.

May 01, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Retailers that include beer, wine and liquor in their e-commerce efforts must tackle a maze of regulations, but the financial rewards are worth it, according to an article at Grocerydive.com.

When ordering groceries online, many consumers are just two clicks away from a bottle of red wine or a case of beer. By adding adult beverages to their e-commerce offerings, grocers can drive sales in a high-ticket category that’s conducive to home delivery.

Drastic differences in local and state laws governing alcohol have been a challenge for online retailers. While many antiquated laws don’t address today’s on-demand delivery economy, alcohol delivery is picking up pace. U.S. online alcohol sales hit $1.7 billion in 2017, according to Rabobank, a multinational banking and financial services organization that predicts that online groceries could become the main driver of alcohol sales in coming years.   

As e-commerce offerings become more robust and more consumers shop online, demand for alcohol delivery has increased. Amazon jumped into the game back in 2015, while alcohol startup Drizly, the booze delivery leader, launched same-day service in 2013 and now operates in more than 100 markets. 

Grocers have the advantage of being a one-stop shop for customers. According to Andrew Nodes, vice president of retail accounts at Instacart, alcohol accounts for almost 10% of online sales for grocers that have enabled it through the service. Basket size increases by almost 15% when alcohol is in an Instacart shopper’s order.​

“Consumers, if they’re going to order online, want all their groceries available to them,” said Caleb Bryant, senior beverage analyst, Mintel. “Grocery stores sell alcohol, so it’s necessary for them to make that part of their offering.”

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