AB InBev, the multinational beverage and brewing company, who are the world’s largest brewer, has announced it will be launching a pilot craft beer eCommerce platform as it ‘tests the water’ in various avenues in regards to finding fresh ways to attract consumers that sit outside its traditional marketing and advertising.
The brewing heavyweight has already dipped its proverbial toe in the water of the eCommerce pool following the piloting of the eCommerce app, Bud Light Button, in January 2015. The app allowed drinkers to have cases of beer delivered to their doors within an hour of pressing the button.
The renewed efforts will be rolled out in Brazil, Mexico, and Canada initially, as the brand set their sights on discovering ways of reaching beer drinkers who are turning to ‘trendy’ craft beers as opposed to the traditional flagship brands like Budweiser. The InBev bods at the heart of it all will be looking at digital solutions, as well as how packaging can enhance the consumer experience. Something many digitally active businesses, including Magento eCommerce users, could benefit from learning, it has to be said.
eCommerce is a curious space for FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) brands. Heineken is also flirting in the space too. In late 2013 it launched its home beer dispenser, dubbed The Sub, as a timid step into creating a direct eCommerce path for its beers such as Desperados and Birra Moretti. Execs have expressed their relatively cautious feelings about marketing it, in spite of the fact that there lies somewhat untapped potential to establish a steady flow of sales as home beer drinkers enjoy their beverages from the comfort of their own home.
AB InBev chief executive Carlos Brito said at the end of last year that the eCommerce push comes as it airs an increase in its focus on offering accessibility and convenience to consumers, with mobile representing a “huge opportunity” in this area.
“If you talk to some of the today’s most successful start-ups, they will tell you that the biggest business opportunities lie in solving consumer problems or ‘pain points’. One of these pain points around beer is getting the product from retail outlets to the consumer as quickly as possible. People, homes and venues are now connected all the time. This allows us to dream about using real-time data to fill our fridges before we even realise that they are running low on Budweiser.”