First things first, beer is beer. NBWA 2018 hit home for some attendees, raising topics such as e-commerce, supplier/distributor trust, and ultimately, no beer shaming.
“As a united beer industry, beer shaming needs to end. Our consumers are the final judge,” said Jim Matesich, NBWA Past Chairman, “…and whether they are drinking a light lager or a pumpkin ale, they are drinking beer. And we love them for it.”
No beer shaming is simple: whatever you drink, beer is beer and there is no shame in that. So, embrace the tang of sours and sweet comfort of ciders because it’s all beer.
Product Success Online
Nowadays it’s easy for a product to be successful online, but the reason products are successful is often overlooked. Justin Robinson, SVP of New Business and Co-Founder of Drizly hit on e-commerce with data to back it up.
The main parts of online product listings are a picture, name, and description of the product. Product listings containing a photo and 5-6 description points have an overwhelmingly higher chance of selling than products with no photos and 4 or fewer description points.
The number one point is that the picture is key. When a product listing does not contain a picture, the product’s sales will suffer.
Data to Website
In addition to product listings, website presentation and ease of understanding can directly affect sales. For example, the beverage industry is filled with industry-specific terms and abbreviations, which are not common knowledge to consumers. Tending to consumer understanding is also known as data cleanliness.
Data cleanliness must transfer all of the company’s relevant information to their e-commerce site in an easy to consume manner. Spelling, grammar, word choice, data policy, procedure, ownership are all areas where data should be clean.
E-commerce fulfillment pushes the limits of monotonous, day-to-day workflows. Fulfillment hits two main points within a warehouse: operations and people.
E-commerce affects operations by picking, sortation and order fulfillment. While processes between e-commerce and non-e-commerce are similar, each demand different attention. Warehouse employees are picking and sorting products in different areas, and packaging delivery products in boxes instead of crates.
But, in full, complete fulfillment is more than just warehouse employees on their own, it is a combination of employees and machines.
Machines can complete a large amount of work, but people drive fulfillment home. During the feature session on e-commerce, parallels between Amazon and the beer industry were drawn. Amazon warehouses have constructed a way to combine people and machines, eliciting efficient warehouse operations.
There are two priorities when combining people and machines: employee health and technology understanding.
Employee health is important because manual labor can take a toll on anyone’s body. At Amazon warehouses, every employee starts their day with simple stretching and exercises, so they are not beginning their day with a cold, injury susceptible body. Next, employees must understand the technology because it creates an environment based on teamwork where operations are streamlined and used to the best of their ability.
Within e-commerce, machines can do a lot of work (especially since the industry is driven by electronic and online interaction), but people drive complete fulfillment home.
Our Encompass team was at NBWA this year! Check out more about what Encompass can offer with e-commerce!
“Termination without cause…creates distrust in trading partners,” says NBWA Chair, Jim Matesich. Wholesaler and distributor trust represents a partnership which has existed for a long time. This trust, in short, is threatened by wholesalers terminating hard working distributors.
In this instance, effective alcohol regulation on the state level is important to protect distributors from broken trust.
NBWA 2018 brought up important topics about the industry which needed to be addressed so distributors and wholesalers can continue to build each other up. E-commerce is changing the way warehouses operate and complete fulfillment is necessary. The main idea is no matter what you drink, or who you work for, we are all on the same team.