eCommerce Study: Where to Find the Best Beer Assortment This Summer

eCommerce Study: Where to Find the Best Beer Assortment This Summer

Summer is around the corner and with that comes long weekends and hopefully some time away from the computer. To help you get ready, we used our newly launched Geo Reporting module to figure out where the best places are to buy beer.

First, a little context on what it takes to win in online grocery:

  • Just like in-store, assortment matters a lot in online grocery. The more facings you have, the more you're likely to sell. If you only have one or two products available in a given store, your brand simply won't show up on the digital shelf.

  • With Amazon plus Whole Foods, Kroger, Walmart and others battling for grocery marketshare, price competition has never been tougher. Like assortment, price varies by location. For this study we focused on assortment--but we'll share our price findings in a separate post.

  • If your products aren't labeled correctly, don't have the right content or were setup incorrectly, shoppers won't be able to find them. 

Spoiler alert: when it comes to beer, there's one clear assortment winner--at least today. 

But before we tell you which brand that is, let's take a look at the digital shelf. 

In the first 10 search results--the first two rows of items--one brand is beating out the nearest competitor 2:1.

 

digital shelf

 

Owning the search results--the facings or placements on the digital shelf--is key. But we also wanted to take a look at who had the greatest overall assortment. 

Assortment matters for multiple reasons, but one important one is that on some sites, the brand with the greatest assortment gets listed first in the brand selection area:

 

digital shelf brand filter

 

You probably already have a sense of who's winning.

But what about across stores?

Assortment varies by store, and with online grocery pickup (OGP for short) becoming ever more popular, we wanted to see how things looked across multiple locations.

We used our recently launched Geo Reporting capability to take a look. 

In the donut below:
  • Each ring represents a single store
  • The width of the bars indicates the breadth of the assortment
  • Each color represents a different brand

geo reporting assortment

Here you can see the details of what's going on:
 
geo reporting data

Looking at the four stores we analyzed, Bud Light and Budweiser are winning in assortment. There's a bit of variability store-to-store, but Bud Light consistently has 17 or 18 SKUs on offer. Combined with Budweiser, the count is as high as 29 SKUs per store, beating out the competition by a long shot.

The other players in the market have less consistency and less assortment overall.

Corona Tools--Not a New Beer

If you've been paying close attention, or if you know your beers, you may have spotted a naming issue in one of the screenshots above. Let's take another look:

geo reporting search

A quick Google search confirms that Corona Tools sells tools, not beer.

What happened? Likely a taxonomy mixup when the items were submitted to the retailer, or when the retailer setup the items. (Corona brand managers: we hope you've already got a fix in the works, but if you don't, give us a call. We'd be glad to help.)

In Conclusion

You probably don't need an analysis this sophisticated to figure out where to buy your favorite beer this summer. We hope you'll drink responsibly and get to enjoy some time away from the computer.

But if you're in the business of selling beer--or any other grocery product online--a lot has changed from brick and mortar to online. At least one thing is still the same, however. If you want to understand what's driving sales, it pays to examine the data.

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