In the 2022 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, John Carmody, Managing Director at Liquor Legends, discussed how online sales, digital marketing and strong promotional activity have contributed to an incredibly successful year.

Liquor Legends saw out 2021 with a flourish, with online playing a key part according to Managing Director, John Carmody.

“A key success of late was our Black Friday sale, where we achieved our largest day ever online,” he told National Liquor News.

“In a single day, we almost achieved an entire weeks’ worth of sales.”

E-commerce has been a gamechanger for Liquor Legends, delivering some extraordinary returns.

“Our online sales are up 1000 per cent on last year, with a positive trajectory in sales maintained week to week,” Carmody explained.

“We have come leaps and bounds ahead of where we were at the same time in 2020, and we have no plans of slowing down.”

Indeed, Carmody says that immediate focuses for the group in 2022 will include the creation of a multitude of innovative point of sale options to support members, and constant improvements to the company’s online platform.

Carmody is aware however, that the same tactics that work in bricks and mortar locations might not translate to the digital space.

“It’s a different shopper. The customer has the power – they can browse and compare us to other retailers. We need to deliver the best possible experience to keep them engaged,” he said.

“Reward them, and get our messaging spot on to let them know why Liquor Legends should be their preferred retailer.”

According to Carmody, marketing and customer base are two more areas where Liquor Legends will look to improve in 2022, with an ambition of: “More targeted campaigns around key dates, and more opportunities for our venues to recruit new membership.”

Industry influences

Carmody tips certain consumer behaviours developed during the pandemic will continue into 2022.

“Based on this year, we think customers will continue to enjoy premium products and the at-home occasion,” he said.

“Buying better is the number one trend for us. Customers are rewarding themselves to something better in quality and enjoying it at home. We have seen this across all categories and don’t think that it will stop anytime soon.”

Nevertheless, despite Liquor Legends’ triumphs this year, Carmody recognises the challenges faced by the drinks business.

“It’s been a difficult year for the industry, with uncertainty surrounding lockdowns and stock shortages,” he said.

Carmody believes it is these uncertainties that have necessitated the rise of e-commerce in the industry.

“We are seeing the digital lightbulb turn on for all parties involved in the industry,” he added.

“Previously this space was almost exclusively dominated by national chains and a few direct to customer players, however the independents are catching up!”

RTDs drive growth

The Liquor Legends network has benefited from a booming RTD market in the past two years, beginning a massive growth trajectory in 2020 with no sign of slowing.

Carmody said RTDs now account for 37 per cent of total sales across the group, with premium RTDs alone showing 45 per cent growth compared to 2020.

Read more from the 2022 National Liquor News Leaders Forum here.

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