While browsing the latest spring styles in a store, the hottest new accessory is a glass of champagne.
Stores such as Nordstrom, Crate and Barrel, Target, and Whole Foods are partnering up with wine and spirits brands to offer customers a glass of wine or even a cocktail in the hopes of increasing a customer’s total spending. For customers, the shopping experience can feel more luxurious or fun with a drink.
“From a marketing perspective, it’s genius,” Kate Carey, a professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University told The Washington Post. “Draw people in [with] the novel pairing of drinking alcohol while shopping, and then lower their inhibitions as you are presenting them with things to buy.”
The more you drink, the more you spend
Forget the bar happy hour– head to your favorite retailer instead. Stores are offering happy hours for customers and a customer’s drink of choice impacts their ticket size at the cash register.
Customers drinking gin will spend $82 more on average, according to a study by Archstone Recovery Center. White wine drinkers tend to spend around $46 more, red wine drinkers average $42 more, $40 more for whiskey drinkers, and beer drinkers typically spend less than $40 in stores.
The link between drinking and spending doesn’t just apply to stores. The survey found that 79% of people admitted to making at least one online purchase while having a few drinks at home, which is good news for stores that rely on online retail.
The best part is that while drinking customers feel less inhibited, 94% of them still said they did not regret their tipsy purchases.
What stores are serving
Past the shoe aisle at the new Nordstrom in New York City, is the Shoe Bar. It’s an actual bar that serves cocktails such as “Husband Daycare” and “Greenwich Village.” Customers can sit at the bar, or take a drink around the area while they shop.
“I don’t know why it took us so long to put drinking and shoes together, but it’s a great combination,” chief executive Erik Nordstrom told The Washington Post at the National Retail Federation’s annual conference last month. “Customers at the bar, drinking — it helps sell things.”
Stores like Crate and Barrel offer private registry events for engaged couples, giving them a chance to enjoy champagne while scanning gifts someone else will hopefully buy them.
At popular organic food supermarket Whole Foods, customers can sit at the bar and enjoy some light snacks, or order a drink and take it around the store with them while they shop for their groceries.
How to start serving booze in-store
Unfortunately, you can’t just pop a bottle of champagne in your store and start serving. First, check to see if the states you’re operating in allow bars in stores. Serving booze offers a few other challenges for stores to consider, such as checking IDs and ensuring customers don’t drink too much.
If your state does allow alcohol served within stores, brands can partner with stores for a double win. For brands, this gives your product some exclusive exposure to customers. For the stores, it will help customers enjoy the shopping experience and encourage them to spend more.
Both the brand and the store can promote a “sip and shop” event at the store on social media, online, or posted in-store. The events can be a one-time or a monthly occurrence to promote new sales or products. For spirit brands, think of fun themed cocktails that match the store’s mission or products, which will get customers to share it on social media for some free publicity.