How Your Website Helps Distributors Sell Your Beer

When it comes to your relationship with the distributor, there are a few easy steps you can take to ensure better sales and promotability of your beers. Let’s dive in and learn more about how you can partner with distributors to take your beer from the shelf to the fridge.

A passion for brewing is an obvious key to success in the craft beer world. But the most enterprising brewers understand that in order of importance, sales come in at a very close second. There are numerous hurdles to overcome when building your brand, like determining a visual identity (beer name, logo, tagline, etc.), increasing consumer awareness and fandom, and partnering with distributors to sell your product, to name a few. All of these touch points directly impact your beverage sales and all are critical to achieving success as a brewer.

When it comes to your relationship with the distributor, there are a few easy steps you can take to ensure better sales and promotability of your beers. Let’s dive in and learn more about how you can partner with distributors to take your beer from the shelf to the fridge.

More Information, More Sales

So you’ve secured a partnership with a beer distributor. Well done! Unfortunately, while that’s a huge accomplishment, it isn’t quite enough to sustain your brewery for the long run. Ensuring your beers make it into your customers’ hands isn’t a one-step process. Distributors should be intimately familiar with you (the brewer) and your beers, and knowledge is the key.

Provide as much information as you can, and enable the distributor to speak on your behalf to prospective and current customers. Giving them the tools to promote your brand only increases their chances of selling your beer. How do you accomplish that? Start by packing your website with information. Here are some particulars you should feature on your site to help distributors:

  • Prominently placed beer name and logo
  • Images of packaging variations and brief product descriptions
  • Specific beer information like Style, ABV, IBU and SRM
  • Tasting notes / flavor profile, including proper serving temperatures and glassware recommendations
  • Ingredient usage (Malt, Hops, Yeast)
  • Release dates
  • Food pairings, recipes to consider
  • Quality photography to use for marketing materials.
  • Packaging photos
  • Bottle/can photos
  • Lifestyle photos (if you can swing it)

Depending on your website structure, it might benefit you to include a designated product information page, specifically geared toward retail sales and to help store clerks. You could create a simple printable PDF that would highlight the most important and useful information you could provide. That way, retail locations can refer to it and become more knowledgeable about the products they’re selling on your behalf.

Think about it this way. Let’s say a grocery store learns that your brewery released a new beer and wanted to find out if it was a seasonal selection or one-time-only production. They search your website but can’t locate the information. That puts them in an awkward position when a customer asks more about the product and they can’t give an answer. It could even make them less likely to talk about your brewery in the future. However, by creating a simple product page or printable PDF, you can answer those questions faster than they can say, “try this new beer.” That’s worth the time, don’t you think?

Pair Up

Another example of good information sharing is food pairings. You know better than anyone how your beers pair with certain foods. Maybe your blonde ale perfectly complements a burger or salmon has never tasted better than when paired with your IPA. That’s incredibly useful information for your distributor, especially if that distributor is a grocery store.

Most grocery stores want to stock their shelves not only with beer, but also with cross-selling opportunities. If you provide that information to them, it increases the likelihood that they will use that on an in-store display, increasing your sales without any extra cost to you.

Think about the average consumer and their shopping tendencies. If they’re in the grocery store contemplating that night’s dinner options, and they’re also hoping to relax with a cold beer, they’re more likely to ask a store associate which beer pairs well with which foods. If you’ve previously informed the distributor about your blonde ale and burger pairing – or have made that information readily available on your website – they’ll be armed with that knowledge and able to help the customer choose the best option for them.

That goes for the holidays, too. If they know your brewery carries a selection that pairs with turkey, they’ll know when to start promoting your beer in advance of the holiday rush. By providing that information ahead of time, you enable them to better prepare and consider the best times to push your product. Remember: knowledge is power. Share more about your brewery and your beers and set yourself up for continued success, all year long.

Customer Reviews

We don’t have to tell you about the importance of good customer reviews. It’s one of the single greatest aspects to your brewery’s success, and it’s essential to your beer’s promotability. With an enormous amount of competition in the craft beer industry, word of mouth and online reputation management are the real difference makers between the almost-had-its and the we-finally-did-its. Distributors rely on this information, too.

Go back to the grocery store example. Even smaller markets offer more than one selection, and are continually answering the question of which beer to try. Have you given them the resources to confidently answer with your brewery name? More importantly, has your customer base?

Beer enthusiasts are constantly reviewing and recommending favorites online. Those BeerAdvocate scores, Untappd recommendations and other information can be used by distributors and their employees to promote your beer. Again, it all comes down to knowledge. When a sales clerk is silently determining which beer to suggest, a myriad of factors run through their mind, like price, taste, demand and popularity. The latter two might be the most critical of them all. If they know that consumers enjoy your product, highly rate your product, and, here’s the big one, recommend your product, they’re likely to do so, too. Make sure you know what people are saying about you, and then make sure to pass the good word along to your distributor so they can say a good word, too.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to this: sales are paramount to your brewery’s success. Knowledge and information are critical components to ensuring your beer stands out from the crowd and distinguishes itself as a must-try. Begin by funneling the key touch points listed above into your website. Consider optimal pairings and make that information readily available. Watch your online reviews and reputation, and then share that feedback and positivity with the distributor. If you can make it easy for them to learn more about you, you can make it easy for them to know how to sell you. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.