Online alcohol delivery sales grew 32.7% last year, an average growth rate of 3% month-over-month, according to a new survey of 5.5 million online shoppers from Slice Intelligence. December alone, the biggest month for alcohol beverage delivery, contributed 12.2% of those sales, according to the report.
The newest players in the space are driving much of that growth, although some are breaking out of the pack, Slice said. Last year for example, Drizly's revenue grew 61.8% while revenue at rival Minibar grew just 6.5%. E-commerce growth overall last year was 23%. Drizly now operates in more than 70 markets nationwide, the company told Retail Dive in an email. Minibar, which says it runs in more than 50 markets, claims Slice's numbers are off, telling Retail Dive in an email, "Minibar Delivery declines to disclose numbers but disputes the estimates herein."
A patchwork of state regulations has long made alcohol delivery tricky. Supermarkets (which now includes Amazon) have the advantage because they run local stores already familiar with rules and limitations of what can and can't be delivered.
In fact, Amazon's biggest challenge comes not from online competition in the space, but supermarkets, which enjoy home-grown shopper loyalty and targeted promotions on beer, wine and spirits in their markets. Retailers with physical locations can and are staging events like beverage tastings to draw people in.
Still, a growing number of online shoppers are turning to such services. More women than men order up alcohol delivery, and they account for well more than half (55.7%) of such purchases, Slice found. Nearly 57% of women's beverage delivery purchases were wine orders. Wine was number one for men, too, making up 47% of their orders, followed by beer (27.3%) and spirits (25.6%), according to the report.
The most popular wine ordered online is Veuve Cliquot, followed by Barefoot Cellars, and Bota Box, Slice found. Tito's is the most popular online spirit brand, accounting for 3% of online alcohol delivery revenue.