As craft beer grows in popularity, it’s increasingly important for Beer Cartel to highlight their value proposition online. “We continue to see lots of smaller players starting up in the industry, so we need to reinforce our point of difference and give customers a reason to come to us,” says Richard.
A significant factor in this differentiation is the online shopping experience, and ensuring shoppers can find the products they’re looking for. “We have about 1,000 different beers onsite at any one time, and we get 20-30 new beers on the site every week. With changing inventory and customers buying up new arrivals very quickly, we were encountering an issue with out-of-stock products taking up valuable space on search and category pages. To customers, it would often seem like we didn’t have any products in stock.”
This problem was exacerbated by limited filtering capabilities on the site. “If you clicked on one category, take beers from New Zealand as an example, you couldn’t then narrow down those products to just IPAs. Shoppers weren’t able to drill down to the results they were most interested in.”
Increased demand as a result of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions put added pressure on the business in 2020, but ultimately generated a substantial increase in sales. “Almost overnight, we went from doing 50 orders in a standard day to 200+. We had a shutdown of bars during the first wave, and people were nervous about going to physical stores, so they went online to buy things like beer. We filled a need there, and after seeing how easy it was to buy beer online, many people have continued to do so.”