In a world where everyone’s favorite bars, restaurants, and cafes have temporarily shut down, consumers are looking to get their fix on these experiences they’re missing. 

Surequarantine has some perks, like all the shows we’re catching up on and the comfy clothes all day and everyday, but what about our luxury coffees? Our Friday night cocktails and wine Wednesdays? Well, people have figured out how to get access to these goods from home, and it’s through direct-to-consider (DTC) food and beverage ecommerce brands.

There are a ton of brands to discover within the Shopify ecosystem alone, and facts show us that DTC food and beverage brands are doing insanely well while everyone is in quarantine. This is because customers are discovering ecommerce stores like Skinny Mixes, which allow you to make delicious brews and cocktails right from home. 

To understand more about this upward trend for food and beverage brands, we asked a few ecommerce brands, marketers, agencies, and other tech apps for their opinions on Twitter (thanks to everyone who helped out!). Here are some of the key insights:

 

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Meal at home

 

1. Customers are spending more time at home than usual

Although this may seem obvious, it's a major factor in the increased DTC sales for many brands since people aren't purchasing from restaurants, cafes, or bars anymore. This idea was pulled from a Klaviyo article, a leading email marketing ecommerce platform. 

 

Cookies in box

 

2. Products with a long shelf-life are more desirable

With the current pandemic, people want to leave their house as little as possible, which means not going to the grocery store often. Consumers want food that's going to last a long time in the pantry. This was pointed out by Lucas Walker from Gorgias. 

When it comes to DTC food and beverage brands, they typically have a longer shelf life since they already have to go through days of shipping to get to consumer's houses. This type of food and beverage is desirable right now, which is part of the major increase in sales!

 

Drink Haus

 

3. Consumers want outside experiences in their homes

It's no doubt that consumers miss going out for dinners, going to the cafe to study, and heading to the bar on the weekend. To fill the void, many of them have found brands that can offer the same taste of great coffee and cocktails right in their home. 

Although many brands have leveraged this in their ads, even without advertising and targeted messages people search for these brands to help give them a bit of their outside experience in the comfort of their home. Hello DIY cocktails!

 

The Good Kitchen Box

 

4. Consumer and society trends

Aside from what consumers want, Carter Lewis from The Good Kitchen noticed natural spikes during quarantine when consumers received support money from the government. 

These type of factors are difficult for brands to track, but it makes sense that people are going to spend money when they get money, especially in the DTC food and beverage industry while stuck at home. Take note of these trends and how they may impact your sales.

 

Sanzo sparkling water

 

5. Consumers exploring new products to spice up quarantine

Look at trends for what's popular, and get marketing if your brand fits that. For example, the sparkling water industry has done well for itself during this time while people have made it clear they're shopping for it. Sparkling water brands were growing pre-quarantine, but now that people are at home, they're looking for the next best thing to try to keep them hydrated. The Twitterverse noticed sparkling water is doing well during this time.

In fact, the brand Sanzo found revenue for March was up over 60% compared to February, and April saw an increase of around 50% compared to March. Who doesn't love flavoured sparkling water? 

 

 

 

 

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Donating Check

 

6. Getting involved in community outreach initiatives

Community outreach is a great way to help the community while getting a fresh pair of eyes on your product, and your current customers will respect your brand more for doing it. People like supporting a good cause!

This is something a lot of brands are doing right now, but one of the most unique versions we've seen is through Haus' restaurant program. Essentially, customers can pre-order a product from a restaurant, and Haus pays the restaurant immediately for an immediate impact. 

 

Skinny Mixes Cocktail

 

7. Referencing quarantine life in key messages 

Your customers lives have completely changed, and your original marketing messaging just won't work the same anymore. This has been especially beneficial for DTC food and beverage brands.

By making your key message about a better in-home experience, customers will be reminded that your alcoholic beverage, caffeinated brew, snack food, or meal is what they need to enjoy quarantine more.

 

Phone and Instagram

 

8. Leaning into their most-used channels

Remember where your customers live. What are people doing the most right now while they're indoors? Checking social media all day long. Leverage this to reach out to them.

Your email, SMS, and messenger marketing is waiting to shine during this situation. Food and beverage brands are in the perfect situation to reach out and create new relationships with a lot of new customers. 

 

Haus box

 

9. Improving their shipping to stand out to shoppers

A good shipping experience is always important for customers. One brand that has been doing this well is Bev, which is currently offering same-day delivery for anyone in the Los Angeles area, and they're donating 100% of their online sales to Covid relief. The same-day delivery is hard to beat when customers are missing the instant gratification of purchasing in-store. 

This has people questioning whether brands are able to keep up with the increase in sales. We'll let one of the pros herself answer this one, and that's Helena (founder of Haus, the apéritif alcohol brand). 

Brands that are able to keep up with the increased sales and continue shipping will do a good job of standing out. Offering a good shipping experience is one great way to optimize the overall shopping experience customers have with your brand. But even if your can't, the best solution is to just be transparent with your customers to keep their loyalty.

 

Girl on phone

 

10. Offering a great customer experience for retention

Despite the increase in sales right now, brands aren't sure whether they'll continue to sell this much as soon as quarantine ends. Only time will tell. But thinking about retention methods now will help ensure brands keep all these new customers they've acquired.

For example, Social Tonic has used social media to stay in touch with customers who miss going to the bar. They've created an official “Stay-At-Home Fun Guide” with 4 games related to their drinks that can be played at home. This ensures a great customer experience by going beyond just their products to engage with customers in a new way.

 

Wine in crate

 

The future of DTC food and beverage brands

The future of DTC food and beverage brands is unknown, but we do know they're crushing the ecommerce game right now. 

With all the customers they've acquired while people are in quarantine, we'll be keeping an eye out for strategies brands use to retain these customers post-pandemic. 

For now, enjoy your in-home speciality coffee, wine or cocktail, or easy meal, and stay safe!

 

 

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