How to Use ‘Extras’ to Maximize Sales
Retailers can grow order value by adding ice, mixers, snacks, and more to their online inventory
Alcoholic beverages are the lifeblood of any liquor retailer’s business, but there’s another product category beyond wine, beer, and spirits that can help boost profits: extras. Defined on Drizly as non-alcoholic inventory items — from ice to cocktail mixers to snacks — these products can increase sales opportunities and give retailers an edge over their competition.
While the category accounts for a small percentage of Drizly’s overall year-to-date sales share at 2.2 percent, and year-over-year growth from 2020 was flat, share is up slightly from 2.1 percent in 2019.
“Retailers can increase order values by adding extras to their inventory where state and local laws allow,” says Liz Paquette, head of consumer insights at Drizly. “Whether customers are looking for add-ons to complete their alcohol beverage purchases, like ingredients for mixed drinks or a pack of gum to meet the store’s order minimum, extras in online inventory allow retailers to attract new customers and convert higher-value orders.”
The ‘Where’, ‘What’ and ‘When’ of selling Extras
This has proven true for Argonaut Wine and Liquor in Denver, which offers ice and a variety of drink mixers on Drizly. The store consistently sees strong sales for these items through the platform. “Any kind of incremental purchase helps with increasing order size and profitability,” says co-owner and liquor buyer Josh Robinson.
Argonaut’s top-selling SKUs in the extras category include ice, Canada Dry Club Soda, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Schweppes Club Soda, ReaLime Lime Juice, and Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail. “Ice is an especially good one for us,” says Robinson, “since we make it ourselves, and our costs are basically zero.”
Drizly’s Top-Selling ‘Extras’ SKUs, Year-to-Date
3. Diet Coke
5. Canada Dry Ginger Ale
6. Red Bull
7. Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail
8. Canada Dry Club Soda
9. Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer
10. Tropicana Orange Juice
11. Red Bull Sugar-Free
12. ANGOSTURA Aromatic Bitters
13. Dole Pineapple Juice
14. Tres Agaves Margarita Mix
15. Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Beer
16. Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water
17. Luxardo Maraschino Cherries
18. Topo Chico
19. Jose Cuervo Classic Lime Original Margarita Mix
Denver, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, and Phoenix currently see the highest sales share on Drizly compared to their overall sales on the platform.
Retailers across the country typically see higher sales for extras on weekends relative to overall sales on Drizly. “Saturday is the top order day for extras, accounting for 22 percent share year-to-date,” Paquette says. “This is second to Friday at 19 percent and Sunday at 11 percent.”
At-Home Cocktails Drive Gains for Mixers
By far, the “soda, water, and soft beverages” subcategory accounts for the largest percentage of extras sales on the Drizly platform. Share is currently 64 percent, compared to 61 percent during the same period of 2020 and 71 percent in 2019.
The “mixers, syrups, and bitters” subcategory saw significant gains last year, fueled by 2020’s pandemic-inspired at-home mixology trend. Sales share totaled 14 percent in 2021 year-to-date, compared to 23 percent in 2020 and 11 percent in 2019.
“Though share for mixers has dropped in 2021, it remains above 2019 levels,” Paquette says. “This suggests that customers are still shaking and stirring drinks at home more than they were pre-pandemic, despite the re-opening of bars and restaurants.”
Margarita mixes dominate Drizly’s list of best-selling SKUs in the mixers, syrups, and bitters category, occupying five of the top 10 spots. Year-to-date the top sellers include: Angostura aromatic bitters, Tres Agaves Margarita Mix, Jose Cuervo Classic Lime Original Margarita Mix, Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix, and Rose’s Lime Juice.
Sales share for the food and snacks segment has been steadily rising year-over-year since 2019, presenting opportunities for retailers to add these products to their online inventories. The category’s share accounted for 3 percent in 2019, 6 percent in 2020, and 10 percent in 2021 year-to-date. The top five best-selling snacks on Drizly currently include: Doritos Nacho Cheese, M&M’s Peanut, Kettle Sea Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips, Doritos Cool Ranch, and Ole Smoky Moonshine Pickles.
Not surprisingly, pandemic restrictions on gatherings caused a drop in sales share for ice, party supplies, and barware — from 10 percent in 2019 to 5 percent in 2020 — but in 2021 year-to-date, sales share rebounded to 8 percent.
Fruit and garnishes comprise the smallest share at 4 percent, down from 5 percent in 2020, but up slightly from 3 percent in 2019.