Amazon Australia has launched its online alcohol store today, after being granted its first liquor licence in November.
The store features emerging local brands such as Curatif Cocktails, SOFI Spritz and Lawrenny Estate, alongside well-known brands including Penfolds, VB, and Johnnie Walker.
Amazon Wine, Beer and Spirits will offer free delivery to Prime members on domestic Prime-eligible products.
Matt Furlong, Amazon Australia Country Manager said: “We’re excited to bring customers our new Wine, Beer and Spirits store, featuring a range of much loved local and international brands. 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.
“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.”
Matt Sanger, Co-founder of Curatif, added: “Curatif is thrilled to be in the first wave of Australian liquor companies to launch on Amazon Australia. 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.”
Last year, Amazon Australia operations director Robert Bruce noted: “This investment will benefit both customers and the local economy by generating new jobs and providing small and medium-sized Australian businesses who sell on Amazon.com.au and use our Fulfilment by Amazon program, with an opportunity to more easily access millions of customers across the country.”
A BWS spokesperson told Business Insider Australia via email it welcomed the competition.
“At BWS, we’re focused on offering our customers the most convenient shopping experience in our stores and online,” the spokesperson said. “We have an unparalleled network of more than 1300 stores across Australia, offering great value, localised ranges and fast home delivery.
“We welcome competition because it will help keep us at the top of our game for customers.”
Anastasia Lloyd-Wallis, head of consumer insights at Retail Doctor Group, told 9News: “You can now get your alcohol while watching Amazon Prime, it’s really trying to create this whole community.
“Amazon’s method for growing is to get people to be members of Prime. I’d say for them this is a way of adding more services to people to persuade them to become a Prime member.
“Around 60% of American households now have Amazon Prime. Now it’s around nine or 10% are members of Amazon Prime in Australia.”
Online sales boom set to continue
Overall, online sales surged by more than 26% month-on-month and by 76 % year-on-year in April, according to ABS data.
The Australian Financial Review reports that COVID-19 is estimated to have accelerated the pace of online retail penetration in Australia by about three years in three months, taking the market closer to rates seen in the US and the UK.
“People shopped online during the COVID-19 crisis who had never shopped online before, buying hardware, office supplies, consumer electronics, sporting goods and food and alcohol,” the AFR reported.
“While many consumers will head back to the shops once they are convinced it is safe to do so, others will continue to shop online, particularly for commodity purchases and discounted stock.”
Online drinks retailer HelloDrinks noted last month that it had seen a huge sales spike during COVID-19 restrictions, as consumers migrate to technology to make their purchases.
“HelloDrinks is purely an online store, so when COVID-19 came, we were in a strong position to cater for the increased traffic and sales to our site, we have seen sales increase up to 600% at times, but has levelled at 300% increase over the past three months,” said owner JP Tucker
“In terms of operations, we have seen a huge influx of suppliers knocking at our door to get their products into the online space, which we are still in talks with regarding ranging their products.
“We have taken on new staff, and plans are in place to expand the team further in the near future.”