NIQ gives insight into ways Australia’s liquor industry can capitalise on omnichannel

May 13, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Recent third quarter results published by both Coles Liquor and Endeavour Group have shown strong e-commerce performances despite the challenging trading conditions.

This follows on from Michael Courtney, CEO of Coles Liquor, outlining a planned development of its omnichannel presence in February this year. 

Despite this, NIQ Omnishopper – AU data, as revealed via this Drinks Association webinar, shows that overall liquor e-commerce penetration has dropped down 2.8 percentage points to 9% over the past two years.

James Phillips, Client Solutions Director – Liquor at NielsenIQ and host of the webinar, explains that the true benefit of omnichannel is not directly tied to the sales results and penetration data. 

“It isn’t just that transaction that moment of purchase we can obviously start to measure that e-commerce element through our omnishopper panel and how that dynamic changes and the value that is going through there but it’s really important to consider this journey from the occasion that people have whether it’s that change from the on-premise into home,” said Phillips. 

Considering omnichannels as encompassing the full consumer experience, including both the lead up to, and following on from, the moment of purchase, can greatly develop relationships with customers.

“Digital can play a different part along each of these steps in the journey, but then more than that, it’s about that post-purchase and that loyalty loop as well as how they then go to interact with the brand and then consider it as part of their future journey,” said Phillips.

“Thinking of that, the on-premise is another area where we start to have to think about that ongoing online presence and consumer journey as well.”

In addition to having a strong digital presence, CGA by NIQ data reveals the importance of loyalty-based programs for developing longer-term relationships between customers and on-premise venues.

According to last month’s CGA Pulse+ on-premise consumer report, 39% of consumers aged 18-34, 31% aged 35-54, and 16% aged over 55 currently use loyalty-based rewards programs in bars, restaurants and pubs. Out of these consumers, 36% use the programs every time, 42% most times, 19% sometimes, and only 3% never, revealing the heightened engagement and developed relationships that these programs can bring to the venues. 

“It’s really interesting to start to thinking about loyalty in the space of the on-premise where I think for a long time It’s been thought of just in the in the off-trade,” said Phillips.

“Consumers really use them quite frequently… 36% saying they’re using these loyalty based reward programs every time they visit a bar, restaurant and pub: which is huge.”

Currently, examples of successful loyalty-programs in Australia’s on-premise span a number of categories and styles, including ALH Group’s pub+ app and the more premium Applejack app. Both seek to drive engagement and provide personalised offers to users.

CGA’s April Pulse+ report asked consumers what would encourage them to sign up to and use a new on-premise loyalty-based rewards program. 55% of respondents said food and drink combination discounts, 53% said reward offers, 44% said price reductions on specific days, 40% said easy to use, 33% said happy hour offers, and 12% said group serve specials

According to James Phillips, the growth of on-premise loyalty programs over the past few years “provides a great opportunity for suppliers and operators to work together to not only provide great offers to consumers, build that one-to-one relationship and start to understand consumers more, but also to continue to drive footfall back out into a channel, which we know is super valuable for a lot of suppliers.”

Last week’s webinar also provided exclusive insight into the the changing landscape of liquor sales in Australia, with cost of living pressures moving on-premise occasions into the home.

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