Online liquor purchases accounted for just 13 per cent of total retail liquor sales in 2021-22, according to a new report commissioned by Retail Drinks Australia.

The Retail Drinks Online Alcohol Sale and Delivery Research Report, which was released today by Frontier Economics, also found that the vast majority of online alcohol sales (65 per cent) are not purchased for same-day delivery.

Interestingly, online purchases for express delivery (within two hours) account for less than 22 per cent of sales, with less than eight per cent of these delivered within 30 minutes.

Michael Waters, CEO of Retail Drinks, said that the report is the first of its kind and provides new insights into how consumers utilise online platforms to purchase liquor.

“There is a growing misperception that online purchasing is fuelling a generation of tech-savvy liquor consuming millennials. However, this report debunks such myths with empirical evidence,” says Waters.

The report found that a majority of online customers purchasing alcohol for delivery are aged 35 years and over. It also found that postcodes with higher shares of 16- to 17-year-old residents do not have higher online sales.

Waters continued: “It’s clear our Online Code of Conduct is working. Introduced in 2019, it requires delivery drivers to have RSA qualifications, implements age verification procedures, bans same day unattended deliveries, and blocks out times for deliveries, to name just a few of the rules placed on signatories to the Code.

“The report also dispels the notion that online orders are mostly made by heavily intoxicated individuals with a desire to continue consuming immediately.”

According to the report, most online alcohol sales are coming from individuals residing in inner-city urban areas of major metropolitans rather than rural regions. And that most people place online orders around dinner time regardless of whether they request same day delivery or delivery at a later date, with 65 per cent requesting a different day.

Beer and cider account for the largest share of total delivered online sales (41 per cent), and wine accounts for the largest share of same day delivered sales (35 per cent). RTDs account for the smallest share of total delivered online sales, whether same day (11 per cent) or non-same day (seven per cent).

Delivery and industry compliance data indicates that checks are undertaken for age and intoxication and orders are refused on this basis.

Findings of the report were based on analysis of almost nine million real time transactions from retailers, marketplaces, and delivery partners across Australia.

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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