Amazon Australia is branching out to the grapevine and launching its own wine, beer and spirits store as online alcohol sales skyrocket.
This move adds 125 million items to its ever-growing categories in an effort to capture more attention from Aussie consumers.
The online retailer will be housing names such as Curatif Cocktails, SOFI Spritz and Lawrenny Estate. It will also feature brands including Penfolds, VB, and Johnnie Walker. This is a direct hit for competitors such as Dan Murphy’s, BWS and online retailers such as Vinomofo and Wine Depot.
“We’re excited to bring customers our new Wine, Beer and Spirits store, featuring a range of much loved local and international brands,” said Matt Furlong, Amazon Australia Country Manager.
“Customers will be able to experience the convenience of ordering their favourite wine, beer or spirits alongside all the other products available on Amazon.com.au from household essentials, fashion and beauty, through to video games and books.”
As with all alcohol sellers and distributors, there are strict regulations for purchasing the drinks via Amazon’s platform. “All alcohol deliveries are age verified, with unattended deliveries not supported,” the retailer explained.
Amazon’s move into the alcohol market isn’t unprecedented.
The online wine market has ripened over the last few months as the pandemic shook the world. Globally, there has been a boom for online alcohol retailers, with Vinomofo experiencing a ‘significant uplift’ in sales as lockdown began. “We have seen a significant uplift in sales as people have shifted their wine buying online due to restaurants and bars closing and some avoiding physical retail due to safety concerns,” said Justin Dry, the Co-Founder of Vinomofo.
“We are seeing a lot more traffic and more frequent conversations with our community,” Dry explained in April. “Conversion rates are also much higher as online becomes the channel of choice.”
Amazon will work with local breweries and distillers in its new venture, selling brands such as Curatif Cocktails. “Australian brewers, distillers and winemakers make some of the world’s best beverages from Organic Wines to Curatif Cocktails. We’re particularly thrilled to work with local brands at launch and help them access our customers, marketing tools and logistics expertise to grow their business,” said Furlong.
Curatif Cocktails will also use this platform to market Amazon-exclusive creations. “Curatif is thrilled to be in the first wave of Australian liquor companies to launch on Amazon Australia,” explained Matt Sanger, Co-founder of Curatif.
“We are so excited that we’ve decided to make our latest ready-to-serve creation exclusive to Amazon.com.au – the Curatif Plantation Rum Pineapple Daiquiri.”
While Australia braces for its next place to shop online, other e-commerce platforms are getting ready for its new competition. “We are excited for them to start Alcohol Category,” said Nitesh Bhatia, the Founder & CEO of Just Wines Australia.
“We intend to sell our products via Amazon. We hope this will shift more customers from Offline to Online Purchase as Online Retail in our category was still in late Single-digit percentage compared to the total Wine Purchased in Australia.”
While Amazon’s 2017 launch into Australia was underwhelming, Justin Dry, CEO & Co-Founder of Vinomofo says it’s unwise to underestimate the power of the e-commerce platform.
“It is never a good idea to underestimate the impact Amazon can have on a market which is why we will continue to keep an eye on it,” Dry told Power Retail.
“However our unique model which focuses our buying power on a highly curated and limited number of premium wines from small to medium producers, allows us to deliver better value than even the biggest of players, so I’m confident that we will continue to appeal to wine lovers at scale.”
Of course, it’s not competition for everyone, but those who directly contend against the US giant may have to keep an eye on the recent launch. “I think Amazon entering this market presents the biggest challenge to those that are offering a broad range marketplace type model so if we were playing in that space, I’d be taking this very seriously,” Dry said.
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