Daily Insights

The Macallan Gets Into the DTC Spirit

By: Rebecca Edelman | Jun 23, 2020

Spirits brand The Macallan has added a string to its digital bow by launching e-commerce from its U.S. website.

Due to strict regulations, the majority of spirits brands in the U.S. direct shoppers to specialist retailers like ReserveBar or grocers like Walmart to checkout. As of June 15th, The Macallan has partnered with Thirstie Inc. to allow consumers in 12 states to purchase spirits directly from its site. Thirstie Inc. essentially acts as an aggregator of localized liquor and grocery stores across the country that are already equipped with their own delivery service. The partnership allows the small retailers to expand their reach and consumer base. The primary benefit is that the sale — and accompanying data — remains with the brand itself.

The Macallan now offers direct to consumer commerce for shoppers in the U.S.

Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) commerce offers a number of benefits including giving marketers a greater understanding and ownership of consumer data, which in turn can help to inform brand strategy. This, as well as a spike in e-commerce due to COVID-19, has reignited an interest in DTC among consumer packaged goods companies. However, when considering whether to launch DTC, marketers must establish a significant value proposition to the consumer who would otherwise purchase from a major retailer.

To differentiate its own DTC experience, The Macallan has fortified its site with robust assets including tasting notes and educational content to appeal to consumers both new and old. Over the past year, the content hub “Exploring Our Single Malts” accounted for ~10% of site traffic indicating that visitors to the site are highly engaged and interested in additional education. 

To further entice customers  it is offering free shipping and donating 30% of sales to the James Beard Foundation Relief fund. While its DTC revenue is expected to only account for a small portion of The Macallan’s total sales, it can be a great way to engage with brand loyalists.