Listen to the article

Alcohol and eCommerce have come a long way from the early days of local delivery. Local, State and Federal laws still make it difficult for many companies to deliver spirits, but that appears to be changing.

Sales across ten major markets are expected to top $24 Billion in 2021, and the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the alcohol market is expected to be 7.9% from 2020 through 2023.

Beer is still king

Beer purchasing continues to dominate the market with Beer at 44% of all purchases, with Spirits at 39.1% and Wine trailing at 16.9%. However, when it comes to purchasing alcohol online, Wine leads the way at 54% of all alcohol sales.

Beer brand loyalty remains low: Only a quarter of beer drinkers remain loyal to their brand, while half of all drinkers are open to category and brand switching. It is believed that beer drinkers are easily swayed by price, rather than brands. 

COVID-19 continues to be a factor in purchasing

Almost 44% of American spirits e-shoppers began buying their booze online this year. This can be attributed to lockdowns and consumers looking for more convenient (and safer) methods to purchase their favorite spirits. And the habit seems to have stuck: almost 7% of all alcohol sales will occur online as consumers continue shopping virtual shelves even after the pandemic has subsided.

Beer drinkers are expected to purchase 20% more of the their favorite suds after the pandemic subsides.

A younger consumer set, already comfortable with ordering products online, is expected to fuel the growth in online alcohol sales, and Ready-To-Drink Beverages (RTDs) in particular, for years to come.

New Trends are shaping the market: 

  • Seltzers are still wildly popular, look for craft seltzer makers to flood the market in the coming year. 
  • Tequila has surpassed traditional bourbons as the most popular in retail; look for Mezcal varieties to appeal to those new Tequila drinkers. 
  • New segments of flavored malt beverages (called ‘Alcopops), like Hard Lemonade and Hard Kombucha compete against other ready-made drink combinations. 
  • Alcoholic beverages as gifts increased over the year: Gifting rose to nearly 20% of all sales on Drizly in the month of December, and is expected to continue due to the convenience of delivery. 
  • Drinkers are becoming more health-conscious. A segment of drinkers are seeking healthier alternatives to traditional spirits, such as low calorie, organic, biodynamic, and even non-alcoholic drinks.
  • The alcohol eCommerce segment will continue to grow, as consumers have been introduced to the convenience of shopping for spirits online.

For more reporting on Alcohol and eCommerce, read the post The Technical and Legal Challenges of Alcohol Commerce


Alcohol Consumption Has Spiked during the Pandemic. Could the Consequences Outlast the Coronavirus?