Whether we are toasting a friend's engagement, tossing one back at a party, or just relaxing at home with a drink at dinner or while watching TV, Americans rarely run out of excuses to partake in alcohol.
With so many reasons to sip, chug, or shoot, it should come as no surprise that nearly 7 in 10 Americans aged 21 and over (68%) are "regular buyers" of alcohol (purchase any type of alcohol, either for themselves or for someone else, at least several times per year).
Interestingly enough, nearly 1 in 10 adults 21+ (8%), or 12% of regular adult beverage buyers, say they purchased at least some of their alcohol online in the past 6 months. Among those regular buyers of alcohol who bought alcohol online at least once during the past six months, the percentage purchased online vs. in-store was highest for wine (42%), with beer (29%) and spirits (35%) trailing.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,060 U.S. adults aged 21+ surveyed online between November 9 and 11, 2016. Of those interviewed, 1,359 were "regular buyers," including 155 who had purchased alcohol online in the past six months ("online buyers"). Complete results of the study can be found here.
Compared to regular buyers who only purchase alcohol in-store ("in-store only buyers"), online buyers tend to be higher-earning, younger, male, married, and employed full-time.
Thinking about their most recent online alcohol purchase, nearly half of online buyers (48%) said their plan was to consume their purchase within that week, while 1 in 4 (25%) planned to consume (or start to consume) their purchase the day they received it.
Though they may buy online, half (50%) of online buyers receive the alcohol they purchased by going and picking it up at a store – about 2 in 5 (41%) get it delivered within hours, 1 in 3 (34%) say it gets delivered within 1-2 days, and more than 1 in 4 (27%) receive the delivery more than 2 days from purchase.
A significant proportion of online buyers – especially online buyers of wine – expect the amount of alcohol they purchase online to increase in the next year, while 11% of in-store only buyers say they are planning to give online purchasing a try in the upcoming year.
"While online purchasing of alcohol may be lagging that of other categories today, we expect it will continue to grow rapidly as more e-commerce channels are made available and online barriers are overcome, and as consumers become more accustomed to buying their alcohol online, especially to suit various consumption occasions," said Danny Brager, SVP of Nielsen's Beverage Alcohol Practice.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Source: The Harris Poll
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