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Shoppers want to buy Beer, Wine and Spirits In-store

For Immediate Release

July 27, 2021

Shoppers want to buy Beer, Wine and Spirits In-store, New ChaseDesign Survey Reveals

Survey shows buyers want to see all options, physically touch and read labels, sample product, access the expertise of associates and find new beverages

SKANEATELES, NY –Almost 90% of all beer, wine and spirits purchases in the last year were made in-store, and that number is expected to rise post-pandemic. Customers still prefer shopping in-store vs. online because they enjoy being in control of their experience and want the ability to browse, according to new research by ChaseDesign, the human-centered design agency.

The ChaseDesign Beer, Wine and Spirits Shopping Trends survey also reports that while buying alcohol online for pick up at store and home delivery levels increased dramatically during the pandemic it is in now experiencing a decline. During the pandemic 40% reported buying alcohol online, but is down to 35% now, and trending toward the 30% pre-pandemic levels.

“The results of our shopper survey certainly support the need for both online and in-store as part of an overall solution in adult beverages.  But overall omnichannel strategies should recognize shopper’s preference toward in-store, and be mindful of the trade-offs online purchases mean,” said Joe Lampertius, President at ChaseDesign.

When shoppers buy alcohol online, the top fulfillment method is through home delivery, different than most other consumer product purchases. So customers ordering alcohol online often result in a lost trip to the store. And when shoppers choose to pick up online orders at store, only 13% report also shopping for other things when they go to the store to pick up. This is substantially below the 50% of shoppers who report going into stores for additional purchases when buying mainstream groceries.

And, while buying alcohol online provides the convenience shoppers like, they report missing the in-store experience, with 53% saying they enjoy seeing beverage choices in person, 42% reporting they like to pick up products to learn more about them, 41% saying its easier to discover new brands in-store, 37% indicating they like the overall atmosphere in a store.  And 35% commented that store associates who know about options and choices, are missed while shopping online.

The online buying experience isn’t one that tends to deliver inspiration, discovery or emotional satisfaction, Lampertiusconfirms. In fact, it’s all about convenience. And after convenience, the top reason reported by shoppers for buying alcohol online is a desire to stay safe, with 44% of shoppers buying online for pick up at the store so  they can “limit potential exposure to Covid-19.” Lampertius adds that as the pandemic continues to recede, this powerful motivator will diminish, likely followed by still more in-store shopping.

The retailers providing the best overall experience for beer, wine and spirits? Walmart is ranked #1, with Target, Costco and Total Wine among the top five. Perhaps the surprise?  Independent Liquor stores are ranked by shoppers as #2. Lampertius suggests it certainly isn’t due to selection, lower prices, or one stop shop convenience but instead, the power of localization and trust in store associates – often the most undervalued asset at retail.

Lampertius concludes that the future of shopping is neither digital nor physical stores, but rather the convergence of digital and physical in a retail shopping environment that truly makes the customer journey more enjoyable and productive. This is supported by survey findings, which reports 25% of respondents use a retailer’s app most of the time or always when shopping and another 23% use it at least sometimes. And the retailer’s app is where shoppers go to expand the experience and possibilities of the physical store.

Note to Editors: The complete survey is available. Please contact


On June 1, 2021, ChaseDesign fielded an online survey through our proprietary research platform, mPulse amongst 1000 consumers between the ages of 21-54. Respondents were screened to be the primary or secondary shopper of beer, wine and spirits in their households.

About Chase Design:

ChaseDesign is a leader in translating how and why people interact and transact into more meaningful and persuasive retail experiences.    ChaseDesign delivers strategic value to clients and retail partners that directly impact their business success, by developing strategies and design solutions – including retail environments, products, digital innovations and packaging. ChaseDesign is headquartered in Skaneateles, NY, and has locations in New York City, NY and Cincinnati, OH.  Learn more at or follow us on LinkedIn.



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Ronald Margulis

RAM Communications