Beverages 2014

September 29, 2014

Key Findings Site E-Commerce

  • Only 10 percent of Index brands include direct e-commerce for beverage products.
  • While thirty-one percent of brands have site account programs, only 35 percent of those include a transactional loyalty program, led by Coca-Cola's My Coke Rewards initiative.
  • Brand visibility on online grocers is highly variable and largely immune to brand influence.

Key Findings Digital Marketing

  • Beverage brands send on average only 0.27 emails per week, trailing all industries except for Beer and Spirits.
  • Average monthly searches for beverage brand terms in 2014 were up 16 percent as of the end of July, largely driven by a 23 percent rise in the soda category.
  • Paid ads appear on 80 percent of Google brand searches, but brands control just 17 percent of paid results.

Key Findings Social Media

  • Brands are not actively moderating the response to the videos they post on YouTube—only 11 percent reply to comments on their most popular piece of content.
  • Beverage brands are making limited use of sponsored content to aide discovery of official Twitter feeds via either brand term or long-tail search.
  • Energy drink brands dominate Instagram, with Red Bull and Monster Energy both boasting communities of more than one million followers.

Key Findings Mobile

  • Sixty-three percent of Beverage brands have adopted mobile-optimized sites, but only 17 percent have implemented UI/UX templates distinct to the tablet.
  • Nearly half of Beverage brands have released a mobile app for iOS devices and over a third have ported those experience to the Android platform.
  • Gatorade's Where to Buy functionality exhibits a best-in-class example of a retail locator on a mobile site.

About the Report

Beverage titans are slowly rethinking business fundamentals to counter changes in consumption habits. Big conglomerates are acquiring new brands, diversifying offerings, experimenting with direct e-commerce, and beginning to prioritize partnerships with online grocers.

The first annual Digital IQ Index®: Beverages study benchmarks the digital competence of 54 Beverage brands in the U.S. market across five categories on more than 850 data points across four dimensions: Site, Digital Marketing, Social Media, and Mobile.

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