Monday, August 11th, 2014 - Roy Morgan Research

Amid news that online shopping while under the influence of alcohol is now a recognised phenomenon, Roy Morgan Research investigates online shopping for alcohol, and finds that 2.5% of Australian adults purchase alcohol via the internet in any given four weeks — with Vintage Cellars and 1st Choice customers being considerably more likely than the average Aussie to buy booze online.   

In the two years to June 2014, 11% of Vintage Cellars customers made an online alcohol purchase in any given four-week period, as did 7.2% of 1st Choice customers. Incidentally, 1st Choice and Vintage Cellars are both owned by Coles Supermarkets, while Dan Murphy’s and BWS (whose customers were third and fifth respectively for buying booze online) are owned by Woolworths. 

Bottleshop customers who bought alcohol online in last 4 weeks:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2012 – June 2014 (n=35,363)Base: Australians 18+ who bought alcohol from a bottleshop in last 4 weeks

Something special

1st Choice customers also rated well above average for agreeing that ‘I choose to shop where there are good specials’ when buying alcoholic beverages. Whereas 59% of Australians 18+ who bought alcohol in an average four weeks agreed with this statement, 71 % of 1st Choice customers did (By comparison, this was even higher than Aldi liquor customers at 69%). This could explain why they are more likely to buy booze over the internet, taking advantage of the lower prices often found online.

Beyond booze

But it’s not just alcohol that customers of Vintage Cellars and 1st Choice are buying online. They are also more likely than the average Australian (or customers of other liquor stores, for that matter) to buy groceries online, and over-index for online shopping generally.

While 2.0% of Aussie adults buy groceries online in an average four-week period, this figure rises to 6.2% among Vintage Cellars customers and 2.8% among 1st Choice customers. Customers of Dan Murphy’s and BWS are slightly less likely, with 1.8% and 1.9% respectively doing their grocery-shopping on the internet.

Warren Reid, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“While Coles-owned liquor stores are not as popular as their Woollies’-owned rivals in terms of visitation, our findings show that their customers have a greater preference for online as a shopping channel – whether it’s for buying booze, groceries or other products.

“This represents an exciting opportunity for Coles to develop this side of its liquor operations, so as to encourage customers who may be more used to visiting their bricks-and-mortar stores (or buying their booze from other online sources).

“As we’ve seen, 1st Choice customers are far more concerned with snagging a special than those of other major liquor chains, and are also more likely to have bought groceries online. Therefore by making more ‘online-exclusive’ offers — for example, offering bigger discounts if you buy their alcohol and groceries in the one order — might be one simple way of increasing sales among those customers.

 “Buying alcohol online is becoming increasingly popular, and retailers that respond innovatively to this trend stand to succeed in this competitive, digital market.”

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Roy Morgan Research


Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Samantha Wilson
P: (03) 9224 5268
W: www.roymorgan.com

Roy Morgan Research


Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332
W: www.roymorgan.com

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alcohol online shopping

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