Study: Instacart Surpasses Drizly As Top Liquor E-Tailer

Everyone knows alcohol ecommerce has boomed over the past two years, but where are people doing their shopping -- and what’s driving them there?

“Consumers are still changing their retailer preference when it comes to buying their booze online, and there are also new and emerging platforms and technologies for alcohol advertisers,” noted Sasha Reyes-Guerra, director of international business development for ecommerce platform MikMak, in a Wednesday webinar presented with Heineken.

On the retailer side, Instacart has surpassed Drizly as the top alcohol ecommerce retailer. according to the latest stats from MikMak. On the platform side, Pinterest is rising rapidly as a source of such retail traffic.

Over a five-month period ending Jan. 31, MikMak found 7.9% of alcohol shoppers checking out on Instacart, followed by 7.6% on Drizly and 4.3% on ReserveBar. Local grocery stores combined, though, made up a whopping 63.9 % of all checkouts.



While Meta’s Faceboook and Instagram totaled together held an equally dominant leadership position in traffic sources with 64%, Pinterest rose from 5.4% in third quarter 2021 to 9% this January. Programmatic advertising from Google came in third at 7%.

Heineken, meanwhile, is going further afield in driving traffic to ecommerce, with its digital media director Julia Nizinski pointing to a merger of performance marketing with more traditional media last year, as the company’s new AriZona SunRise hard seltzer placed a QR code for retail checkout into Hulu CTV Pause ads -- which appear when viewers press “pause" while streaming content.

The results: a 400% increase in add-to-cart rates versus the AriZona SunRise average, and a 47% increase over MikMak’s average alcohol add-to-cart rates.

Post-pandemic, Nizinski explained, “Ecommerce highlighted the importance of through-the-line, full-funnel media…We definitely saw a shift in our approach to buying media….It became really important to us to link the top of the funnel with the bottom of the funnel and drive more cohesion between what we do at the top – driving awareness -- and what we do at the bottom of the funnel, where we get consumers to actually transact.”

In other, totally unrelated, Heineken digital news, the company on Thursday launched Heineken Silver, whose video touts “no calories, no hidden ingredients…and no beer.”

Dubbed the “world’s first virtual beer,” Heineken Silver is available in unlimited quantities only from Heineken’s virtual brewery. It’s said to be brewed “with 100% purified pixels, tripled-filtered through firewalls, and uploaded with 5 million megabits per second.” The beer contains “100% computer-generated ingredients…is brewed with Binary Coded Hops grown by NPC (non-player character) farmers…and of course, the whole virtual brewing process is overseen by Heineken’s dedicated Virtual Brewing Assistants.”

But don’t take this too seriously, even in the metaverse.

“Heineken Silver is an ironic joke,” admitted Bram Westenbrink, global head of Heineken Brand. “It is a self-aware idea that pokes fun at us and many other brands that are jumping into the metaverse with products that are best enjoyed in the real world. For now, you can't taste pixels and bytes.

“We know that the metaverse brings people together in a light-hearted and immersive way that is really exciting – but it's just not the best place to taste a new beer.”

For that, we’re sure Heineken and MikMak would suggest home delivery.

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