Alcohol E-Commerce Is Booming In China: IWSR
Online alcohol sales are growing at around 15% per year in China, and consumers are spending four times more on online alcohol purchases than their US counterparts, according to a new IWSR e-commerce study.
China's online alcoholic beverages market is valued at $6.1 billion (€5.25 billion), according to the study, and is four times the size of the US alcohol e-commerce market, and three times the size of the markets in France and the UK.
In China two e-commerce platforms, Tmall and JD, share more than 70% of the market among themselves.
Their combined share is three times the size of the entire alcohol e-commerce sector in the US.
The frequency of online alcohol purchase was found to be low in most markets, except China and the UK.
More than 50% of the consumers purchased alcohol online at least once a month or more, the study found.
Other Leading Markets
At present, online sales of off-premise beverage alcohol in the US is only 1%.
However, these numbers are growing at double-digit rates followed by heightened consumer demand, and ease in state and federal level restrictions on alcohol distribution.
The study also found that the e-commerce sector is most developed in France and the UK.
France and the UK are the most mature, taking the highest percentage of off-trade sales derived from e-commerce activity.
France’s online share of its off-premise alcohol sales is the highest at nearly 9%, due to the successful development of the 'click-and-drive' model by the major supermarkets such as E. Leclerc and Carrefour.
The online sale of off-premise alcohol was found to be the highest in France (9%). It is mainly credited to the successful development of the 'click-and-drive' model by major supermarkets like E. Leclerc and Carrefour.
Additionally, France has a thriving online wine sector, with over 400 specialist e-commerce sites.
In the UK, wine and beer were found to be purchased more frequently as part of online grocery shopping. Tesco and Asda emerged as the leading players in online alcoholic drinks sales.
Established specialist wine retailers in the UK, such as Majestic and The Wine Society, were also found to be making headway into online operations.
The Convenience Factor
The study also found that the primary motivating factor driving online sales of alcohol in most markets is convenience.
In markets where retailers have not given much impetus to move to e-commerce, Amazon is filling the gap.
In Germany, the e-commerce giant has acquired more than 50% share market share.
The company is also making its presence felt in major markets, including Japan, the UK, Spain and Italy.
With more emphasis on premium products, like spirits and wine, Amazon has developed a dedicated category management teams staffed by ex-retailers.
Wine is the major alcoholic beverage category sold online, typically with 60% to 70% share of online beverage alcohol sales, the study found.
According to the study, Jack Daniel’s was in the top spot in terms of online beverage alcohol brands, and Heineken the leading beer brand.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.