Never has the Internet been more powerful than during the coronavirus pandemic. Restrictions and lockdown across the world have forced the consumers to stay indoors in order to prevent the spread of the disease. As more people logged online, e-commerce sales have surged pan world as customers stocked up on their favorite products.
In India, the demand for an online liquor delivery platform shootup again amid the coronavirus lockdown as liquor sales in various states upsurged after partial lifting of lockdown. In India, the economy revival will also depend upon the Liquor industry. Currently, barring few states, direct sales tax from Liquor sale contributes to approx. 20-40% of the state revenue. Since customers are staying at home due to the fear of getting infected by the virus, they are gravitating towards delivery.
The pandemic is an unforeseen crisis but it is also an ‘opportunity’ for many industries, especially e-commerce. In order to deliver liquor at door steps, there are various challenges that needs to be looked after. The Industry needs to push and go for modification in Liquor distribution plus sales network. The end customer demand has been High and consistent in the market, but brands/startups need to ensure a contactless delivery model with “full availability” of products in the system. Another major challenge is the wastage of prepared resources - Bars, Distilleries and Restaurants remain closed and deserted. They hold quite good volume of Liquor discarded unused - full wastage.
In this Global pandemic, it is highly risky to buy alcohol over the counter as there is no assurity of sanitization & hygiene. Recently, we saw the inclusion of “corona taxes” in alcohol prices. That further puzzled the end customers, as they weren’t aware of neither the price of Brand nor the availability of the product at the nearest shop. Crowd hasn’t been avoidable even with a token system. On a long run, delivery at doorsteps also shall ensure & check the spread of the virus.
On the other hand, Female customers are also facing issues. From commuting to struggling amid the the male dominated counter, their alcohol shopping experience is not less than a ‘horrible story’. The delivery platforms shall also leverage this void & ensure smooth delivery.
The online delivery of alcohol will also help avoiding stockpiling. Due to the lockdown, people bought & stored alcohol in huge quantity forsighting the uncertainty in the market. With easy accessibility, the consumer will avoid this and surely will buy right quantity that will lead to a dramatic shift in consumer behavior on a longer run.
The liquor companies have seen a big revenue loss due to COVID19. On the other hand, it has also impacted the Government revenue. The sale of liquor is an inevitable service and that should start but in a safer way. With the use of technology, companies can administer the challenges including black marketing, adulteration, channel distribution, geographical range & the most important, the age factor.
The article has been penned down by Aryan Solanki, Founder, Liqhub