Alcohol eCommerce has been rapidly growing over the years, and like a lot of other industries, the pandemic accelerated its growth. Convenience, safety & home delivery became important criteria for customers in the post pandemic era and so the sale of alcohol via eCommerce went up. Kantar reported that UK booze sales were up £261m & online and convenience stores were the biggest winners. The latest IWSR Drinks Market Analysis Report 2022 reported on another interesting trend – when ordering alcohol online, consumers prefer using websites v/s apps in most parts of the world except China and Brazil. In the UK the largest chunk of online alcohol purchases happens on a retailer website instead of an app.
To get a better understanding of this, we tracked 2 grocery retailers and 3 grocery Q-Commerce apps in the UK to get insights into Alcohol sales, pricing, trends & more!
Before the pandemic Tesco was the only Big 4 retailer to increase their alcohol market share & Waitrose was the biggest loser, with its share of booze sales falling from 5.4% to 4.7%. Maintaining Price Leadership is a critical element and plays a big role in increasing sales & market share because consumers will buy the most competitively priced product. We wanted to track and see which retailer was the Price Leader in the alcohol category – i.e., had the most number of lower-priced items in the alcohol category. We also wanted to see if & how Tesco’s position had changed post pandemic.
Discounts are a great way to draw in inflation-hit shoppers. Loyalty card discounts, reward vouchers, and other promotional strategies retailers offer help make their products more competitive & attractive to customers. To stay competitive, retailers need to be aware of the discounts their competition is offering. They also need to understand the risk of deep discounting and the impact on margins. We wanted an insight into alcohol related discounts in the UK so we dug into our data. Here’s what we saw.
We tracked the Price Index (PI) across these 5 retailers to measure how alcohol prices changed over a 5 month period from Feb – June 2022.
Note: Retailers selling at the 100% mark were selling at an optimal price & did not undercut the market. The pricing sweet spot is 95% – 105%. Anything lower would compromise margins, and higher would mean the retailer was not competitive.
Competitive pricing is critical to eCommerce success. Competitive pricing involves tracking your competitor’s pricing & strategically tweaking your own prices without hurting margins. We tracked the month-wise average Price change from Feb – June across all 5 retailers to see which retailer was making price changes and at what frequency.
Having a near real time view on stock availability is crucial to driving sales. Customers can buy products only when they’re available! So, we went ahead, looked into our data to see how each of these retailers managed stock availability from Feb to June.
For the most part, the UK market has a positive outlook towards buying alcohol online thanks to changes to shopper behavior arising from the pandemic. As per the IWSR Drinks Market Analysis Report 2022 in website-led markets, such as the UK, breadth of product range is important to customers along with price. These 2 play a key factor in purchase decisions. By contrast, consumers in app-driven markets have different preferences. While price matters, it is less important than convenience and speed.
As an alcohol retailer, if you need help tracking your competitor prices, discounts and product assortment, reach out to the team at DataWeave to learn how we can help!
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