60% Indians prefers to buy alcohol online - YouGov Study

60% Indians prefers to buy alcohol online - YouGov Study
PIcture Courtesy : Paul John Single Malt Whisky

COVID-19 has accelerated India's commercial digitization, but can all industries be channelled online? Is e-commerce actually the next evolutionary step for all industries? YouGov, one of the world's largest full-service market research firms, conducted a poll to ascertain customer attitude and interest in the availability of alcoholic beverages via e-commerce. Around 2,000 consumers across five states responded to the lengthy poll.

The survey's findings confirmed that 97% of customers have encountered difficulties while purchasing alcohol. According to study responses, safety concerns, congested/crowded stores, overall inconvenience in terms of time and effort, and a lack of choice all contribute to the lacklustre experience of purchasing alcoholic beverages from traditional outlets. As a result, it's unsurprising that 57% of consumers said they would purchase alcohol via online platforms if they become available in their states. For example, consumers in Maharashtra, one of the few progressive states where the government has permitted home delivery of alcoholic beverages, have jumped on board quickly, with 90% stating that they had a positive shopping experience. This adds another revenue stream for state governments and the entire industry.

According to the poll, 58% of consumers visit e-commerce sites in general for the variety of products available, paving the way for high-decibel prospects in product innovation and premiumization.

From a state-by-state comparison, 62% of respondents in Maharashtra indicated a preference for obtaining alcohol via established home delivery channels, followed by Haryana and Chandigarh at 59%, where customers are eager to order via e-commerce platforms. This demonstrates Maharashtra's capacity to promote growth while also clearing the path for additional states to adopt the home delivery or online model of alcohol sales in light of its success. Since we move forward, 61 percent of consumers indicate that they would like to continue using e-commerce platforms even after the pandemic, and 52% highlight that e-commerce platforms have been extremely beneficial throughout the pandemic, as they allow consumers to avoid congested stores.

Another intriguing finding from the poll was that customers' preferred alcoholic beverage was beer, with 43% of respondents indicating a preference for the beverage.

According to the study findings, the Indian consumer and alcohol beverage sector are waiting on authorities to provide the ecosystem with much-needed efficiency by embracing worldwide best practises through a dramatic shift to e-commerce. Additionally, the epidemic has boosted the importance of the e-commerce channel for alcohol globally. According to IWSR, the main source of data and analysis on the beverage alcohol market, the value of beverage alcohol e-commerce will increase by 42% to US$24 billion in 2020. There have been notable increases in key markets, including France, where the channel experienced strong growth, Italy, where the channel's environment has historically been unfavourable, but has seen robust growth in the last year due to on-trade wholesalers entering the channel, Argentina, where e-commerce offerings were rapidly developed in order to implement strict lockdowns, and finally, China, where the channel benefited from strict movement restrictions. Given India's favourable demographics, the e-commerce model for alcohol may prove fruitful in that it creates new revenue streams, promotes moderation, increases access and availability to greater variety, and therefore innovation.