Has eCommerce Sales Affected Your Sales Strategy?

Having to switch to some sort of online sales model may have changed how the future planning of releases could happen for some breweries.

For Topa Topa, although the brewery’s Chief Peak IPA is still the best seller in all available channels of sales, it’s seeing the small sample size of online sales that have helped shape how the Ventura, California brewery will work with distributors from now on.

“We have found that in certain sectors, whether it be a distributor territory or online, having a specialty release tends to boost the sales of our cores,” said co-founder Jack Dyer. “One of our distributors, Scout Distribution in San Diego and Orange County, has seen explosive growth of our brand year-over-year employing this as a strategy.

“Lead with a special release and the cores will follow.”

New brands can bring in consumers, having a solid backbone of core products keeps them around. The one thing that has changed in Topa Topa’s planning beyond what happened in 2020 is committing to a regular special release calendar, which has become more common for smaller and smaller breweries. Consumers like to know what is coming, and what is new, and giving them some “rotating core seasonal brands” can drive excitement to releases that may have even been around just a year ago.

“With monthly special releases and a rotating seasonal there is almost always something new for our customers to experience,” Dyer said.

​Early in the pandemic, The Bruery hosted paid virtual happy hours for other businesses where ​the Placentia​, California brewery could​ curate packs of beer and deliver​ it for small tastings. ​”​Overall, we saw a spike in eCommerce business at the start of the stay​-​at​-​home orders in California, but that has slowly regressed back to the mean,” said Head of Marketing Daniel Munoz. “While we haven’t been able to do special events in some time, we did pivot to virtual events (nonpaid) and have seen great viewership and engagement.”

Since The Bruery cranks out more than 150 brands per year, Munoz said it’s hard to put a finger on one beer that sells the most. However, he did say by style, they see canned pastry stouts move very well online.

“In the Tasting Rooms, we move through lots of tasters of big barrel-aged stouts along with hop-focused beers from our sub-brand Offshoot Beer Co.,” Munoz said while adding that in distribution the brand’s hazy IPA Relax leads the way.

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