Are you making the right kind of impact online?


Before Covid-19, 8% of all consumers globally had already bought alcohol online. In the UK one in five of us had purchased alcohol this way - making the UK the world’s 3rd biggest buyer of beers and cider online. Now many industry insiders believe Covid-19 has just fast-forwarded the influence of ecommerce on your sales by three years - in just three months. With market research agency IWSR predicting that ecommerce alcohol sales (currently standing at $21 billion globally) could more than double to $45.5 billion by 2024.

Our latest FREE White Paper reveals that beer and cider brands need to move quickly, to take advantage of the significant opportunities that exist, from sales to sampling, personalisation to subscription models.


The world of ecommerce is changing fast. We can help you keep up

Recent world events have dictated that staying home is the new going out. Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions and social distancing rules, all the signs are it will be some time before on-trade footfall and sales return to anything like normal. In fact, in a recent YouGov survey, 63% of us said we weren’t comfortable about returning to bars and pubs just yet.

This presents serious challenges for beer and cider producers, particularly the UK’s smaller, independent breweries. In a survey of 282 of its members by The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) shows that on average beer sales are down by 82% since the outbreak of Covid-19, with many businesses struggling to survive. Despite beer production being part of the food supply chain (and brewers designated as key workers) the closure of pubs, bars and restaurants cut-off a major route to market, leading to 65% of breweries stopping production completely. Whilst right across Europe, small brewers have lost an entire summer of festival trade and tap rooms doors firmly shut.

Beer Box

Meeting the challenges of selling your brand online

We are redefining ecommerce packaging for a changing world – and can help brewers like you to get online with our innovations in design, robust testing methods and our unrivalled insight into the complexities of supply chains across Europe.

For anyone selling their goods online there are three major issues to solve: 1) protecting products in transit (from damage, tampering and theft) 2) addressing customer concerns over excess packaging. 3) wowing your customers in their own homes when your parcel arrives.

In our experience ecommerce supply chains can be up to ten-times more complex than your existing, traditional routes to market. Your beer and cider can go through as many as 50 touch points between bottling or canning and arriving in your customers hands – and can incur damage at any point. However much your customers love your beer, they can be unforgiving. Our research suggests more than a third of shoppers wouldn’t order again from a retailer who sent them a poorly packaged product. And 75% of those who received a damaged product returned it and requested an exchange.

Using DISCS™. our industry leading real-world packaging testing process, we can scientifically assess your brewery’s requirements, review the risks your beer faces in transit and tailor a solution to match. Named after the types of testing (Drop, Impact, Shock, Crush, Shake), the patented system consists of five pieces of equipment, each replicating a part of the ecommerce supply chain, and therefore providing real world testing. It’s a process that will protect your package against six types of damage – and is proven to cut your returns by over 2/3rds.

Safety or Sustainability? Have both

Our FREE White Paper reveals that 39% of all shoppers who have bought online are concerned by excess packaging. So whilst your customers don’t want to receive broken bottles or crushed cans, they’ve also made it equally clear they don’t want wasteful packaging either. Across Europe we currently throw away an average of 170kg of packaging waste every year. Something that at DS Smith we are committed to stop.

Striking the right balance between protecting your goods and limiting the amount of materials used is a major consideration for anyone selling online. On average in ecommerce, 55% of each box is empty or filled with unnecessary packaging. Our bespoke, sustainable solutions eliminate void fill, improve operational efficiency & lower transportation costs and, by applying our revolutionary PACE programme standards, ensure no more packaging is used than absolutely necessary.

PACE stands for Performance, Assurance, Consistency & Environment. It’s our reassurance that no more material is ever used in our packaging than absolutely necessary – without taking any unnecessary risk with your beer in transit or incurring any unnecessary cost.

It’s much more than beer in a box

Don’t make the mistake of believing the taste of your brew is all your customers are seeking. To reach the new generation of consumers, the packaging your beer and cider arrives in need to stand-out. 58% of online shoppers now buy a product after looking up images and unboxing videos on social media. 85% of millennials are more likely to make an online purchase if it’s personalised. Moreover, if your packaging is Instagrammable, your brand profile will be given an extra boost.

Beer Cardboard box

With innovative designs, superior ‘Hi-flex’ papers and digital printing that makes genuine personalisation and quality presentation possible, we can really help your product wow your customers in their own homes. At our PackRight Centres, you can see our designers at work and walk away with a prototype that can become a full-scale production run in as little as two weeks. And for the ultimate impact, we can design you a total packaging experience, including innovative LinkReader technology, that transforms physical packaging into digital experiences that your customers will be excited to share.

Last but not least… as well as impressing your customers (and marketing team) our tailored solutions are equally designed to please your ops teams and we create solutions using our revolutionary R-FluteTM technology that work seamlessly with your production lines.

Discover the future of beer and cider packaging now

Our latest FREE White Paper ‘Make the right kind of impact’ will tell you more about making your beer stand out online. It also explains how we are helping brewers meet challenges of increased competition in the off trade, sustainability, including eliminating single-use plastic and reducing CO2.

Download it today. It could give you a competitive advantage and help you succeed in a challenging, changing world.