Why Levante Leveraged ​Flagship Sales with Online Platform​

​Starting even a year before the pandemic​, Levante Brewing entered the online sales market and its flagship IPA — Cloudy and Cumbersome — led the charge.

​Located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Levante was the first brewery in the state to ship cans direct to consumers starting in February 2019.​

With consumers enjoying the brewery’s retail spaces and having access to the full variety of products released weekly but mainly just focused on a radius surrounding its home​ ​base brewery/taproom and its second location in Chester Springs while the wholesale reach mainly focused on the Philly region at that time and didn’t include all releases from the brewery, it left most of the state without easy access to the brand and a full array of products, explained Amanda Floros, Director of Marketing.

“With much of retail moving toward e​Commerce business, and the ability to send beer through mail systems, we saw an opportunity to expand our full brand reach further across the state and eventually into the Virginia and DC markets,” she said.

Cloudy is consistently in the brewery’s Top 5 for products sold monthly because many orders will add a four-pack of it to their order, Floros said.

“Additionally, as we continue to expand our wholesale market, we’ve had to increase production of Cloudy as it’s our No. 1 wholesale product,” she said. “In addition to Cloudy & Cumbersome, our second top product is Tickle Parts IPA, which leans more toward the IPA lover where Cloudy and Cumbersome is both a solid go-to product but also a great introductory IPA for those newer to the IPA world.”

READ MORE: How Engaging Consumers with Innovation Can Drive IPA Sales

Floros said the flagship IPA has been one of our most popular brands for good reason. It’s an IPA great for a customer being introduced to the IPA style with its fruity hop character and low bitterness, but also tends to be a staple brand for repeat customers to go back to for its drinkability.

“Our brand phrase for Cloudy and Cumbersome is ‘Make one a Cloudy,’ Floros said. “We know our customer loves variety and to try new styles, however, when you’re choosing a few styles to bring home, always make one a Cloudy because it’s that ‘go-to’ IPA any time.”

Through ​its eComm platform, ​Floros said Levante team members can easily pull reports to see pockets of brand awareness across ​its sales area.

​”​It’s also helpful from a marketing perspective to understand where to focus on growing brand awareness​,” Floros said.​

The brewery created its own web store internally and continues to manage it internally.

​She said it was a slow start since it was a new concept, and convincing someone to buy a 4-pack without tasting the product first has its risks. But as the pandemic arose, online purchasing became essential.

Having that time prior helped a lot as well, she said.

“Initially, we sent out multiple survey emails to get customer feedback on the usability of the website and the ease of the delivery partner,” Floros recalled from 2019. “Most of the issues initially stemmed from the delivery service. Once we could ship via UPS, most of those issues were resolved.”

Additionally, the first year of eCommerce business wasn’t a huge piece of sales so Levante could slowly work through operational processes.

“Once the pandemic hit and our retail sales shifted to all website traffic, we were able to scale up quickly and smoothly with the operations we had established,” she said. “We added a buy online, curbside pickup service as well, which allowed us to maintain retail staff when the taprooms had to close.

Now, with retail locations being open again, the online business isn’t what it was in 2020, but it’s a great, convenient option for customers to get their hands on Levante products that are only available through the brewery and not through a wholesale channel near some parts of the state.

“It’s a great tool for locals to order ahead and get their product without leaving their vehicles, or for someone further away from our retail locations to get their favorite year-round style or our latest releases,” she said.

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