It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a seismic impact on the area of e-commerce. By some accounts, the pandemic hastened e-commerce adoption five years into the future in a matter of months.
Nowhere was this acceleration felt more strongly than the food and drink industry, as it quickly became the fastest-growing category in online retail.
However, the section with the most chance within food and drink is alcohol. In May of 2020, online alcohol sales shot up by 243 percent , according to eMarketer. And while that first spike has receded from the months since, it is apparent that online alcohol sales have carved out a more meaningful part of the station mix going forward. According to new IWSR study , the worth of alcohol e-commerce is forecasted to grow by 42% this year, across 10 core markets, to reach $24 billion.
For alcohol manufacturers, retailers and distributors, the complete potential of internet sales and supply looks limitless — and has just begun to be tapped into.
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The challenge for alcohol manufacturers
E-commerce presents a special chance for alcohol brands. However, selling alcohol online also presents very unique challenges. Legislation dating back to Prohibition made a three-tier distribution system which divides brands from retailers. To make sure that the alcohol brand does not have any retail relationship with the merchant, the manufacturer is forced to sell its products through a distributor or wholesaler.
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Online marketplaces such as Drizly (recently acquired by Uber), Instacart, Minibar and Vivino also act as electronic storefronts and are fueling much of the rise in online alcohol sales.
Based on what their local laws permit, alcohol manufacturers are just left with three situations when exhibiting purchase options to interested customers:
- Brand screens retailers just
- Brand screens marketplaces (and market apps) just
- Brand screens both retailers and market apps
The Chance for alcohol manufacturers
More than anything, your customers want a simple, seamless purchase experience. So give them one. That strategy begins by meeting those curious customers where they navigate and spend time. On mobile devices. On social platforms. And via market apps.
Making a more seamless buying experience will enhance your brand equity, cultivate more loyal customers and ultimately create more revenue for your brand(s).
Make Your Digital Efforts (& Website) Shoppable
ChannelAdvisor’s Shoppable Media solution keeps curious customers on their path to buy — from your site or electronic campaigns — by offering a smooth and lively connection to your favorite retailers.
Shoppable Media is built especially for social, screen, video, email, influencers, your brand site, and multimedia campaigns. For multimedia, we can provide unlimited campaigns with branded landing pages which direct interested consumers right to your favorite retailers or market apps.
Or you could use our exclusive Dynamic Shopping Links to connect to an in-stock merchant automatically, without a landing page.
Specific for alcohol, we’ve built a dynamic experience which allows your brand to abide by local alcohol rules while still allowing e-commerce nationwide. Plus, we’ve got sales data from most retailers and delivery apps.
Prove Your Website Visitors Where to Purchase
Coupled with Shoppable Media, our Where to purchase technology for your site gives your customers a seamless experience across any touchpoint. With Where to get Online, you can send ready-to-buy shoppers directly to your goods on retail websites.
And our Where to purchase Local performance shows customers how to find your goods at brick-and-mortar shops near to them with near-real-time stock status (from our partnership with Nielsen). As click-and-collect (or purchase online, pick up in-store) options grow in popularity with customers, you may also work these details into your own promotions.
This Brand Was Ahead of this D2C Game. Subsequently E-Commerce Marketplaces Changed the Rules
In 2000, when many brands were still heavily focused on conventional wholesale channels, 1 manufacturer saw a different kind of opportunity.
Though e-commerce was still in its infancy, casando had its own webstore and was selling goods online. It was a terrific time to be ahead of the game, and the brand’s direct-to-consumer selling strategy worked well for at least 15 years.
But finally, as the business started to change at a faster and faster pace, there came a time when the e-commerce website alone was no longer enough. Hence the company continued to pursue new approaches — and once again came out on top.
This is the story of how a forward-thinking brand is taking advantage of every e-commerce prospect.
It started with an Internet store
Established in 1959 from Holz-Richter GmbH from Lindlar, casando provides an assortment of home improvement products to over 100,000 clients: solid hardwood floors, doors, decks, grills, garden furniture, privacy fences and much more. What started as a small wood store over 60 years ago is now among the greatest and most renowned woodworking centres in Europe.
While wholesale trade still plays a prominent part in Holz-Richter’s operations, the casando brand has given the company another avenue for connecting with customers directly. With close to 42,000 square meters of space at its logistics centre and a complete fleet of trucks, the business has managed to deliver orders quickly and easily — making its goods highly attractive to customers.
When casando first started its online store, the group was able to rely on electronic marketing to drive traffic. However, there was lots of manual effort involved. And as customers turned to e-commerce marketplaces, some of the traffic started to be deflected.
By 2017, casando recognized it was time to begin reaching new audiences and started to construct a strategy for scaling its internet business.
Next came expansion to marketplaces
When starting out with e-commerce marketplaces, the casando team began using internal IT resources to handle orders. But, it immediately became evident that handling sales across multiple channels may easily result in overselling scenarios. They set out to obtain a better choice — and found ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces.
“The solution appeared to be the acceptable building block we had for the strategic development of the internet business,” Senior Manager Marketplaces Lucas Finsel clarified during an interview with ChannelAdvisor. “What stood out to us was the structured data storage and the fundamental manipulation of product data and product data feeds.”
Casando turned to ChannelAdvisor’s robust e-commerce platform to centralize market management and automate critical tasks, with a focus on attributes such as:
- Global market integrations to expand to new stations and reach wider audiences
- Consolidated inventory management to sync data across channels and prevent overselling
- The strong data transformation engine to have product content automatically optimized for earnings
“Without ChannelAdvisor, our job would be more complex,” Finsel said of the move away from manual processes. “I’d need four workers solely focused on switching orders into warehouse and transport orders.”
Because customer orders flow fast and mechanically into Holz-Richter’s systems, casando can deliver at the rate its customers have come to expect.
Looking forward, casando’s future is even brighter
Equipped with a central platform designed to simplify multichannel selling, casando intends to keep on expanding to new markets. The brand is now busy on Amazon and eBay, and plans to expand to more marketplaces like ManoMano and Rakuten.
“We chose ChannelAdvisor due to the simplicity it gave us to include extra marketplaces and scale,” Finsel stated. “It’s not let us down. 1 thing is for sure, the future is bright with ChannelAdvisor.”
Casando’s story is not only an encouraging one to see. It’s also an illustration of what virtually any retailer or brand can achieve with the correct solutions in place.