Online alcohol shoppers seeking cheap wine and good range

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 30th September 2013

Recent improvements to online alcohol shopping websites from major Australian retailers will appeal to customers seeking good value and range, the latest findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research show.

In the year to June 2013, 71 per cent of Australian adults who bought alcohol in an average four weeks ranked ‘good value’ as an important purchasing factor — but that figure increased to 80 per cent among people who bought alcohol online.

The second most important factor was a ‘good range’, with 47 per cent of all alcohol buyers, and 56 per cent of online shoppers citing this as influencing their purchase decisions.

Cheap wine important to online shoppers, but not beer

But Roy Morgan Research found wine price was the biggest gap between those who bought alcohol in-store and those who bought it online. Online buyers were 70 per cent more likely to say low wine prices were important. More than half (56 per cent) of online shoppers said it was a purchasing factor for wine, compared with just a third (33 per cent) of all alcohol buyers.

With beer prices, however, Roy Morgan Research found the difference was less obvious: 37 per cent of online buyers compared to 30 per cent of all buyers said beer price was a purchasing factor.

“Wine prices are important to more online buyers than are beer prices,” said Warren Reid, Group Account Manager Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research. “The online wine market is clearly where big barn liquor retailers such as Dan Murpheys and First Choice will have to compete more effectively, especially as mainstream consumers start to adopt online as their channel of choice for buying alcohol,” he said.

“But this raises very real questions for premium wine brands: is there a risk of devaluing a brand by it being stocked in a ‘discount’ environment?” Mr Reid said.

Bulk buys important online

Online shoppers also expressed an interest in bulk-buying options, with 17 per cent saying this was important. Just 12 per cent of alcohol buyers overall said bulk-buying options were important.

“These survey results show just how different online shoppers are from traditional alcohol shoppers, with value and range particularly important to those who buy online,” Mr Reid said.

Roy Morgan Research said the shift to online purchasing for alcohol has, like grocery, been much slower than for other retail categories.

“But recently some of the biggest liquor retailers have overhauled their websites to woo customers online with bundle deals and bulk-buying offers,” Mr Reid said.


Online alcohol shoppers have different needs to in-store shoppers