How to sell craft beverages online
The second webinar in the Ekos Crisis Mode series was “Ecommerce During a Crisis.” Ekos Director of Strategic Partnerships Landon Funsten was joined by John Kelley, CEO and co-founder of Craftpeak, and Matt Miller, co-owner and founder of Bearded Iris Brewing in Nashville, TN. You can find the video recording of the webinar below along with a brief summary of the content.
With total on-premise and direct-to-consumer (DTC) craft beer sales down 65% since the start of the pandemic, how long can you sustain your current business? Previously, online beer sales accounted for less than 1% of total revenue but have skyrocketed 441% since April 4, 2020. We took stock of Ekos customers and found that as of late April, 40% still didn’t have an ecommerce store for customers to order products online. In this session, John Kelley of Craftpeak – a company creating online solutions for the craft beer industry — provides guidance on how to get started with ecommerce, and Matt Miller of Bearded Iris Brewing offers a firsthand perspective of what ecommerce looks like in his brewery.
Ecommerce and DTC sales are extensive globally and in certain alcohol industries like wine, but these channels have been traditionally under-utilized in the beer industry. John Kelley presents several benefits of DTC sales, including higher margins, a direct connection to customers, and controlling the user experience. While he acknowledges there are some concerns over state/local regulations and how this affects breweries’ ability to sell online, he argues online sales can be extremely beneficial while taprooms are closed (and beyond) for those companies who can take advantage. If you’re looking to get started with an online store, we offer some tips for evaluating tools and deciding on your ecommerce strategy.
Matt Miller and the team from Bearded Iris Brewing have adapted quickly to the new reality. Though previously blocked by antiquated legislation, ecommerce has been enabled in Tennessee during COVID-19. Miller discusses the importance of customer connection that ecommerce allows and looks ahead to how ecommerce might play a role in his team's strategy moving forward.