IBA liquor retailers are celebrating bigger basket sizes and a premium brand boom following the launch of the e-commerce initiative Shop MyLocal.
IBA launched Shop MyLocal in partnership with Marketplacer on April 6, after less than three months in development. It sells wine, champagne, beer and spirits for next day delivery from the nearest store to the customer.
The initial plan had been to kick off on a much smaller scale, with a smaller geographical coverage. IBA intended to pilot the platform with a select number of stores in NSW for three months, then broaden out the reach from there.
But COVID-19 restrictions meant the approach needed to be revised. IBA decided to open Shop MyLocal up to all the IBA retailers who expressed an interest.
Raff Palermo, Head of Digital Commerce & Loyalty, said that while COVID-19 upscaled the launch of the project, IBA always intended to create a strong e-commerce offering to meet the shifting shopping habits of Australian consumers.
“With more people choosing to buy and sell online, the surge in marketplaces has been the dominant force of the e-commerce market, as consumers hunt for the best deals and the convenience of a one-stop-shop,” he explained.
“Putting all other considerations aside, this is the main reason why we have done what we have with Shop MyLocal, looking to unify online with offline worlds.”
A number of retail stores within the IBA network have been experiencing a pronounced uplift in sales during this unprecedented period.
“With Shop MyLocal, our purpose simply was to connect with shoppers being restricted to their homes, offering them the convenience to deliver to their homes, but more importantly to enable them to continue to engage with their favourite drink brands and favourite local stores during this time and hopefully ongoing,” Palermo explained.
He said the biggest challenge encountered while broadening the scale of the e-commerce marketplace was the ability to nationally reach, educate and train retail stores in a virtual capacity.
“We are fortunate and blessed to have a wide support network ranging from finance, IT to our state sales teams playing leading roles in executing this launch,” Palermo said.
Since the soft release of the platform, 11% of IBA’s potential network are now live and trading.
“We are adding stores nationally every day and hope to increase to 75% of our network in the first 12 months,” he added.
Early signs of success as basket size grows
While it is still fairly early in the journey for most stores that have joined Shop MyLocal, sales are steadily increasing week on week.
“We are optimistic that online sales growth will be in line with current category growth rates and our market share commensurate with our bricks and mortar stores,” Palermo said.
“Our current online basket size is three times the normal basket value.”
Wine and Champagne combined present 50% of the current sales, “fuelled a little by Mother’s Day activity”.
“Moet & Chandon is one particular brand in this category that has been noticed and popular, but as we speak a number of red wines are being searched as it is getting cooler,” Palermo added.
“Spirits is roughly around 30% and beer around 20%. Interestingly, browsing and enquiries are skewing to more premium offers, as shoppers have the time to research and discover something new. In saying this, popular and well known brands will always be at the fore.”
Shop MyLocal marketing drive begins
Shop MyLocal’s first marketing campaign commences on May 6.
“Our intention is to build Shop MyLocal from the ground up, suburb by suburb, postcode by postcode and all marketing efforts are being centred around ‘localisation’ and highlighting both ‘Click & Collect’ and ‘Home Delivery’,” Palermo said.
“We are very much taking the traditional approach of building this as a brand for the long-term, albeit with a digital mindset.
“This awareness drive will embrace both physical store and digital touch points. Whether it is in-store point of sale, front of store signage to digital radio or local social media activity, our message will soon be out there.”
Shop MyLocal can be accessed via a number of avenues:
- Directly via www.shopymylocal.com.au
- Clicking through IBA’s retail banner websites
- Shop MyLocal Facebook and Instagram pages