Mumbai, Maharashtra, India:
Maharashtra leads the way in-home delivery of alcoholic beverages, with 1 in 5 respondents indicating this as their most often used mode*
Safety and convenience have been cited as key reasons to prefer the e-commerce channel to buy alcoholic beverages
The online channel offers consumers more choice leading to innovation within the category and incremental revenue opportunities for state governments
COVID-19 has fast-tracked the digitization of businesses in India, but can all industries be channelled online? Is e-commerce truly the next step for every industry? YouGov, one of the world’s leading full-service market research companies, surveyed to understand the consumer sentiment and interest towards the availability of alcoholic beverages through the e-commerce channel. The extensive survey received around 2,000 responses from consumers across five states.The survey’s findings brought to life the fact that 97% consumers have faced challenges while buying alcohol. Responses to the survey highlighted safety issues, cramped/ crowded stores, general inconvenience in terms of time, effort, and lack of variety as top factors contributing to the underwhelming experience of buying alcoholic beverages from traditional outlets. Therefore, it is unsurprising to see that 57% consumers say they are likely to purchase alcohol from online platforms if made available in their states. For example – consumers in Maharashtra, one of the few progressive states where the government has permitted home delivery of alcohol beverages, have swiftly hopped onto this bandwagon, with 90% stating that they have had a positive shopping experience and generates an additional revenue stream for state governments and the entire industry as a whole.The survey highlighted that 58% of the consumers log onto e-commerce channels in general due to the availability of a diverse range of products, opening inroads for high-decibel opportunities in product innovation and premiumization.
From a state-to-state perspective, 62% respondents from Maharashtra showed a higher preference of purchasing alcohol through existing home delivery channels, closely followed by Haryana and Chandigarh at 59% where consumers are keen to order through e-commerce channels. This highlights the potential Maharashtra has to drive this growth while also paving the way for more states to follow the home delivery or online model of alcohol purchase based on its success. Fueling this change, as we move forward, 61% consumers indicate that they would want to continue using e-commerce platforms even post the pandemic, and 52% noted that e-commerce platforms have been of enormous help during the pandemic when one can avoid stepping out to crowded stores.Another interesting point revealed by the survey was the alcohol drinking preferences of consumers where Beer emerged as the favoured drink of choice where 43% respondents indicated a preference for the beverage.The survey findings indicate that the Indian consumer and the alcohol beverage industry is waiting for policymakers to offer the ecosystem and the much-needed efficiency by adopting international best practices through a revolutionary shift towards e-commerce. Globally as well, the pandemic has catapulted the value of the e-commerce channel for alcohol. Estimates by IWSR, the leading source of data and analysis on the beverage alcohol market, has revealed that the beverage alcohol e-commerce value has grown by 42% in 2020 and will reach US$24 billion. There have been notable increases in key markets, including France, where strong growth for this channel was witnessed, Italy where the environment for this channel was historically unfavorable, the last year witnessed robust growth with on-trade wholesalers moving into the channel, Argentina, where e-commerce offerings were rapidly developed to implement strict lockdowns and finally, China where the channel benefitted from strict movement restrictions. Given India’s favourable demographics, the e-commerce model for alcohol could prove to be fruitful as it opens new revenue streams, promotes moderation, offers accessibility and availability to more choice, and subsequently, innovation.Survey Demographics:2000 responses were received from five key states Haryana, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana. 70% respondents were men while 30% respondents were women. YouGov’s online panel of 200,000 Indian panelists and all participants are validated citizens who had to be registered with YouGov to participate in this survey.
*Home delivery of alcohol is available in Maharasthra amongst the states surveyed
YouGov is an international research and data analytics group. Our mission is to supply a continuous stream of accurate data into what the world thinks so that organisations can better serve the communities that sustain them. Our 15 million registered members provide us with a highly engaged proprietary panel that delivers thousands of data points on consumer opinions, attitudes, and behaviour on a daily basis. We combine this continuous stream of data with our research expertise to provide insights that enable intelligent decision-making and informed conversations. With operations in the UK, North America, Mainland Europe, the Nordics, the Middle East, India, and Asia Pacific, YouGov has one of the world’s largest research networks.