In an age of social distancing and self-isolation, many people have opted for at-home deliveries rather than risk infection by traveling to local stores. This move has increasingly included at-home alcohol orders.
Drizly, the leading digital alcohol delivery service, has announced a substantial increase in sales since the Coronavirus crisis took hold. For a deeper look into how Drizly sees the alcohol industry landscape now and into the future — and what exactly consumers are buying — we recently spoke with Liz Paquette, head of consumer insights at Drizly.
Beverage Wholesaler: How much have Drizly sales increased during this crisis?
Liz Paquette: The latest trends for the past week showed that Drizly sales are growing six times our average growth rate in 2020. Over the last three days, that rate jumped to ten times that average. As of Tuesday, May 17, GMV was up a whopping 500%, year over year.
BW: What products are customers buying?
LP: We’re seeing that consumers are placing larger orders, indicating a ‘stock up’ mentality, now spending on average 50% more than normal on Drizly.
Wine and liquor have been growing at a rate twice as much as beer in recent days. Red wine — particularly cabernet sauvignon — white wine, bourbon, and vodka continue to lead the pack. Hard seltzer is also still in the mix: White Claw continues to be a top seller on Drizly at this time.
BW: What does Drizly see in the next three-to-four months, business-wise, as we deal with the Coronavirus?
LP: Our top priority right now is the health and safety of our customers and partners, and being there when it matters most.
We know many consumers are turning to delivery services today as a safer alternative. At a time when many businesses are struggling, delivery affords an opportunity for retailers to continue providing real value to their customers at a local level. We have already seen significant growth over the past week and that continues to increase by the day.
Our short-term forecasts show that the next few days will continue at a similar pace. These are unprecedented times and when it comes to the next three-to-four months; there is no crystal ball. Awareness of the alcohol delivery category is taking off, and we believe this will have lasting impact on the role these services play in consumers’ lives for both the short and long term. We’ll continue to monitor updates from the CDC and WHO to prioritize the health and safety of our employees, our partners, their drivers and our customers.
BW: What recommendations does Drizly have for delivery drivers during these dangerous times?
LP: We are working closely with our network of partner retailers in more than 180 markets across the U.S. and Canada to help them navigate these times. Almost every store on the network remains open, and our retail partners and working day and night to satisfy the massive influx of orders. Our goal is to help them best meet this increase in demand — and most importantly, do so in a way that protects the health and safety of everyone involved.
We have asked our retail partners to implement changes to the delivery process, such as allowing them to forego the signature requirement within the app to provide contactless delivery, and providing them with fraud-protection insurance free of charge during this time period. A list of measures being taken today can be found here.
BW: What comes next for the alcohol industry?
LP: We’re really proud to be a part of this industry, especially given the support and swift movement we’re seeing across the three tiers. These are obviously unprecedented times and everyone is doing their best to continue to be there for our partners and customer when it matters.
What we see in the immediate future is the industry continuing to step up to meet these shifts in demand, to evolve as is necessary as the world evolves around us, and we hope to rally together to support one another in during this challenging times. We’re here to stay.
Kyle Swartz is editor of Beverage Wholesaler. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kswartzz. Read his recent piece Pennsylvania Closes All Retail Liquor Stores to Control Coronavirus.