“Direct to customer” – breweries on the web: small brewery – big, digital world
For the first time, the Internet is giving small breweries the opportunity to supply their customers directly, bypassing the retail and food service sectors. But the shopping experience in many online stores still has room for improvement – not only for the small D2C brands, but also for the top dogs in the market.
André Roitzsch, CEO of Shopmacher
The brewing industry is one of the oldest in the world. And the almost insurmountable front from gastronomy and trade is felt to be just as old. It makes it very difficult for smaller and new players to steal market share from the top dogs with what could be first-class products – or at least to shake up the market.
But as in other industries, digitization is increasingly shaking up established sales structures. “Direct to Customer”, or “D2C” for short, is the buzzword that provides young brands with customer contacts in a direct way. With their own online stores, on the social web, or via online marketplaces, breweries reach their clientele directly without having to discuss listings with restaurants or retailers.
With the Corona pandemic lockdowns, the shift toward the Internet has accelerated further. Traditional distribution channels are losing importance, and in the new channels established traditional breweries and young challengers together started from scratch again. And in (digital) evolution, it has always been known that it is not the biggest and strongest that survive, but the most adaptable.
D2C is more than a webshop
However, no one should jump into the new digital adventure unprepared and naive. This is because D2C commerce is a special discipline with its own rules. It’s not just about running an online store and shipping goods in a package – which, incidentally, poses considerably more complex challenges for breweries that think in terms of crates of beer than a cosmetics brand that ships lipstick. Rather, brewers need to rethink their understanding of customer relationships. Instead of having creative agencies come up with claims, as in the past, which are then widely distributed across all TV channels in elaborately staged TV campaigns with budgets in the millions, today it’s all about storytelling and building up a loyal fan community. Campaigns are no longer twice a year, but ideally daily.
Read now the entire publication in the Magazine “Drinks! Technology & Marketing 3/2022” .
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