Why ecommerce should be part of your brewery growth

woman holding mobile phone with Super Ecommerce Market written on it

Gone are the days when breweries relied solely on traditional sales channels.  Covid-19 saw an endemic shift in consumer behaviour, and those successful breweries were agile and quick to change. Many implemented small ecommerce platforms to sell their products direct to consumers (D2C), bypassing the locked down pubs and restaurants.

E-commerce has revolutionised the way breweries do business. Successful breweries are learning that a website and online shop provides 3 key advantages.

1: Control of the conversation and brand image with the consumer.

2: Ability to market the entire brand range with a wider variety of case sizes.

3: Crucially, access to customer data that can help drive product innovation and sales strategy.

Ok so as a growing brewery, what the goals you should be aiming for as part of your ecommerce platform?

Microbreweries, craft breweries, or brewery pubs find marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, Amazon, and Facebook convenient for presenting and selling their products.

While some might rely on established platforms with proven systems, fees related to setup, hosting, and management, coupled with the lack of data ownership and potential product fit issues, can be drawbacks.

Alternatively, managing your own ecommerce platform brings significant advantages, there’s relinquishment of a key benefit: not being where vast user bases are (consider Amazon’s tens of millions of dedicated shoppers!). However, the trade-off is total control over product placement, sales procedures, advertising, and customer data, which is invaluable.

This customer data forms the bedrock of optimisation for an enhanced shopping experience, steering high-demand, seasonal, or high-revenue products to the forefront of your business.

For breweries, an owned eCommerce platform allows for the showcasing of accessory products and alternative revenue sources:

  • Brews
  • Apparel
  • Merchandise (such as glasses, bottle openers, hats)
  • Seasonal brews
  • Monthly subscriptions
  • Gift cards

By transitioning these products online, breweries can streamline sales, enhance the buying experience, optimise inventory management, and accelerate product turnover, thereby augmenting revenue generation.

In order to make any ecommerce system work, you need to make sure you have a good point-of -sale (POS) and back end order fulfilment system to ensure a smooth flow of information from view, to buy, to process, to charge, to ship, to replace. These systems need to integrate with your ecommerce platform, which may influence which ecommerce platform is right for you.

Custom built platforms and off the shelf options such as Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCommerce are available to integrate into most websites such as WordPress. Other options are available for small businesses such as Wix, Squarespace and Weebly. But those come with several compromises compared to the more popular and more scalable solutions.

With a fully functioning ecommerce platform, how do you make the most of a digital presence and drive shoppers to your site to transact?

You might want to read our next blog post on ‘Generate more revenue through direct online selling

You can also contact our specialist in the brewing industry Richard Smith to find out how you can make the most of your ecommerce platform.