BevAlc Commerce Initiative
The Path to Purchase Institute’s BevAlc Commerce Initiative (BACi) is an industry share group and learning platform devoted to helping beer, spirits and wine marketers meet the new omnicommerce expectations of their shoppers. To join the group and learn more, contact Patrick Hare at [email protected]
“That’s the kind of metrics that Aki can track and are very useful,” Black says. “But what’s useful to me as a brand owner and somebody who wants to drive the business is: How many people are coming to visit my website? How many people are going to the retailer stores where we’re sold? And we saw incredible traffic. We still, since we ran the campaign, have never had traffic like that to our website, even from Facebook and Google, where we spend relatively significant money over time.”
While Westward tested tap-to-map ads directing consumers to a nearby retailer, the campaign objective was to maximize digital engagement, so most of the ads linked to Westward’s website. “Our website is where we can capture consumers and we’ve found workarounds [to restrictive regulations] where we can ship to 25 states in the U.S. … so traffic there is as critical as driving people to retail stores at the moment for us,” Black says.
That’s a bold strategy for a category that has historically shied away from the e-commerce business for myriad reasons. “The spirits industry is a little behind when it comes to digital,” Black says. Yet the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift online in this category as in others, and Westward moved rapidly to adapt to the change in consumer behavior.
One of the key learnings that came out of the campaign and will inform Westward’s future digital engagement efforts was the importance of a landing page to close the sale.
“I would have wanted stronger conversion rates on the click-through, and we needed a landing page because consumers never knew our brands,” Black says. “We were getting these incredible amounts of traffic, and they were just landing on the product page so they weren’t getting enough information around what this is and why I should buy it.”