That would put them at nearly $40 billion in 16 markets, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. Alcohol e-commerce grew 12% in 2019 and 43% in 2020. That's also lower that IWSR's previous prediction of a 66% rise in bev/al e-commerce across global markets between 2020 and 2025.
"The channel is still a key growth contributor for the total beverage alcohol market. Almost all volume gains in the total off-trade between 2021 and 2026 will come from e-commerce, despite slowing growth rates,” said Guy Wolfe, strategic insights manager, IWSR.
Driving the growth is convenience. Consumers are choosing to order online to stock up. At the same time, a weaker macroeconomic outlook and a return to pre-pandemic purchasing habits have hit the channel’s previously expected trajectory.
Rising costs have seen consumers start to turn to trusted brands and ‘strong value propositions’ in some markets and categories. However, the online channel remains a place to look for rare and unusual items, the IWSR said.
Spirits will contribute the most value to the e-commerce channel over the five-year period, the IWSR said.
Excluding baijiu in China, whisky and agave spirits in the US will lead e-commerce sales, with an expected value CAGR increase of 16% and 30%, respectively, by 2026.
The spirits sector is expected to account for nearly half of all online sales by 2026.
Non-alcoholic ‘spirits’, Indian whisky and Irish whiskey will show the fastest online growth across the focus markets, but they will remain relatively small in size.
Beer, cider and ready-to-drink products are projected to register the quickest growth over the next five years, and by 2026. Together, they are expected to account for nearly a quarter of online sales.
Wine, the most established category online, will see its share of e-commerce sales fall by under a third by 2026, the IWSR predicted.
The ‘value-driven’ omnichannel, which includes bricks-and-mortar retailers, is expected to account for US$3 of every US$10 spent on alcohol online by 2026.
IWSR looked at e-commerce sales in 16 markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the US.