Online Sales: A Change That Will Stick for the Brewing Industry

Remember visiting a local taproom to watch a sporting event, grab a happy hour drink with coworkers to celebrate a win at work, or meet up with family and friends on a Saturday afternoon?

With social distancing and stay-at-home mandates changing in communities nationwide, small business owners in the food and beverage industries have been forced to reimagine the way they can bring the same community-based experiences to consumers while keeping them safe. The brewing industry in particular has been hit hard by COVID-19 and evolving government-mandated safety measures.

A large majority of breweries in the U.S. are small businesses that focus on providing a great experience and product for local customers in their taprooms. As the onset of the pandemic rattled customer confidence and closed the doors on indoor dining experiences, many breweries that had never sold their beer online were faced with the decision to either halt their sales or to open online storefronts that allowed for contactless payment and delivery for consumers.

Cabarrus Brewing Sells Out New Release in 18 Minutes Using Arryved Online

“The only retail growth we saw in 2020 was with our can releases and retail sales,” says Corey Sloop, chief financial officer at Cabarrus Brewing Company. “In March, our point-of-service provider Arryved launched the ability for us to open an online store, and we thought, ‘Why not give our specialty beers a pre-order release online and see how it goes?”

Cabarrus Brewing’s first product on the online store sold out in two days, where previous specialty releases were on the shelf for anywhere between two weeks and a month. “Our second release took 2 hours to sell out, and our latest (and largest specialty release ever) sold out within 18 minutes,” says Sloop.

The online store, which made it possible for beer lovers to order safely and prevented lines forming during the day of the release, was a success for Cabarrus and for its fans. Cabarrus plans to keep its online store up and running, even if social distancing guidelines don’t demand it.

A growing trend  

Cabarrus’ POS provider, Arryved, is the leading platform serving the craft beverage industry. As COVID affected breweries nationwide, the POS provider quickly worked to launch Arryved Online, an ecommerce solution that allows craft beverage and experience-based venues to create custom branded online stores and sell their products online.

Since March, as much as 40% of monthly revenue generated through Arryved has been attributed to online orders and to-go or curbside pickup sales, marking a huge change year-over-year, as pre-orders from manufacturing taprooms were negligible prior to COVID. Although mobile payments in breweries are still far from the normal procedure for customers, Arryved’s data, pulled from more than 800 craft breweries nationwide, shows that its consumer app downloads have doubled month-over-month in 2020 and that more than 1000,000 unique customers have paid for their craft beverages using the app on their  phone.

“The revenue we projected to do in a month, we did in the first two days of lockdown,” says Sloop. “During our lockdown, we utilized the Arryved store and app was our only way of providing revenue. Arryved made it possible for us to sell just about as much product as we possibly could during this time and make it safe for both our staff and our customers.”

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  1. Pingback: Can Digital Ads Boost Your Brewery’s Physical Foot Traffic Right Now?

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