The Irish Whiskey Association has listed e-commerce as an area of growth opportunity for whiskey companies in its newly-published "Irish Whiskey 2010-2020" report.
As reported by The Irish Independent, head of the Irish Whiskey Association William Lavelle said that a rise in e-commerce sales in Asia and the African's continent's digitisation mean that Irish whiskey could reach consumers in markets in which sales have been weak in the past.
The Irish Independent quotes Lavelle as saying, "2020 has seen an explosion in online sales of Irish whiskey, and this has played a vital role in protecting many jobs in our industry which would otherwise have been lost. While COVID-19 may have been the stimulus for this shift in consumer behaviour, it looks like this shift is here to stay.
"E-commerce is going to be an increasingly-important sales channel for the future, and it is already offering unique opportunities for Irish whiskey brands to break through into new markets and new consumer segments."
Brands That Have Already Benefitted From A Rise In E-Commerce Sales
Lavelle added that many brands in Ireland have already benefitted from a rise in e-commerce sales.
Global sales at Irish Distillers' Jameson's online store are up 200%.
The Irish Independent quotes Irish Distillers business acceleration director Simon Fay as saying, "The pandemic has fundamentally changed how we think, behave and consume, which in turn has changed how we engage with our consumers.
"While we remain hopeful for the day that we can welcome guests from all over the world back to our brand homes, for now, the team in Midleton are very focussed on replenishing orders coming through online.”
Meanwhile, Dublin Liberties Distillery master distiller Darryl McNally said that the distillery has sold 6,000 bottles online since it bolstered its online sales platform in April of 2020, and the distillery's Dubliner whiskey has a new US e-commerce website for consumers in Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Texas.
Online selling has also helped employment in the Irish drinks sector. Sliabh Liag Distillers managing director and Irish Whiskey Association vice chairman James Doherty said that Sliabh Liag's online presence has allowed it to keep the company’s distillery tour guide employed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Doherty stated, "We had no online presence last year, and our tour revenue was only about €15,000.
"This year, since March, we have done €80,000 in sales, about 20% of our turnover. Our tour guide would have been furloughed, but the online shop kept him employed."
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