The total value of the e-commerce sector in headline markets is expected to grow at an unprecedented rate between 2022-2025, according to IWSR.
Over the next five years e-commerce sales of alcohol across key global markets are predicted to expand by +66% to reach more than US$42 billion, according to a comprehensive strategic study published by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.
Among the 16 focus markets examined in the IWSR report (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States), e-commerce value increased by about +12% in 2019, and then by almost +43% in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.
The report states: “Looking ahead to 2025, e-commerce is projected to represent about 6% of all off-trade beverage alcohol volumes, compared to less than 2% in 2018. The greatest forecast e-commerce value growth will come from the US, thanks to average annual growth in the country of about +20%, which will see it become the top global market for online beverage alcohol.”
The newly released IWSR study also found that online business models for alcohol sales are becoming more diverse, leading consumers to increasingly shift between channels and retailers according to their specific needs at any given time.
“In general terms, the online beverage alcohol space can be perceived as two distinct, but overlapping, worlds: more ‘traditional’ e-commerce – often omnichannel or online specialists – accessed via websites and used by older consumers seeking good prices and known brands and who are prepared to wait for delivery; and more ‘modern’ app-driven e-commerce – often on-demand or marketplaces – used by younger legal drinking age consumers willing to pay for rapid delivery and looking for interesting/premium brands,” the report states.
Guy Wolfe, strategic insights manager, IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, commented: “Given the pandemic and overall changing consumer shopping behavior, it’s certainly not surprising that alcohol e-commerce is growing very quickly. But what’s interesting is to see the significant variations that have developed both across and within markets in how different consumer groups shop via e-commerce and what their priorities are.
“E-commerce has clearly become engrained for many consumers, cementing its place as the third sales channel for beverage alcohol purchase,” confirms Wolfe.
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