People don’t buy beer online
But they can! There’s just not enough options out there, and we’re here to unpack that concept
You may be shocked to find out that only a small fraction of retail sales happened online last year, and even though we can buy just about everything from toilet paper to oversized sushi throw pillows (no, but actually) we still don’t see some of the staples that people love to buy large amounts of at the grocery store: beer! And why is that?
Food & Wine reported on this issue earlier this month, commenting on the restrictions that the United States places on alcohol sales and the oh-so socialized “three tier system” that has acted as the glass ceiling for small businesses in the digital world ever since eCommerce really took off in the mid-2000s. But this still doesn’t answer the question as to why some wineries are able to do this (and they do it well, might I add).
“There’s going to be a big push by [Amazon] to make their life simple, and to order as simple as they can, to stock as simple as they can, and to distribute in one trip to the distributor,” suggested den Elzen. Chris Steffanci, president of Columbia Distributing in Washington, agreed about Amazon’s ability to disrupt the current system. “Amazon is here to stay, and they absolutely want to be in beverage alcohol,” he said. “I believe, if anything, they are going to fundamentally change the way the three-tier system looks over the next 10 years.”
As breweries find more ways to move and promote their product retailers and online wholesalers will lobby for distribution rights and drive more consumers online to get what they really want (and no, it’s not that giant sushi pillow).