At the time we were approached, Brampton Brewery had a very basic web presence. Customers did not have the option to buy their beers online, and with the exception of the homepage, much of the site had not been updated for several years. Revenue and brand awareness were generated through the three pubs it manages, the events and excursions it organises and the shows and festivals it takes part in. These were supported through traditional advertising methods and a solid Social Media presence.
According to a 2012-2013 CAMRA report craft beer sales were set to grow by 35% in 2014. Research by p]xe/ loom discovered that 61% of online beer retailers had been set-up in the last three years. This indicated strong market optimism. Online retailer, Brewdog raised £3 million in funding in just two months in 2014 (compared to £2.2m in the whole of 2011).
In the last 12 months Brampton Brewery had opened an on-site factory shop with best selling products ranging from three bottle packs to cases of 12 bottles. 5, 10 and 20-litre cases are also available plus a small range of gifts and accessories.
Sales had been small but encouraging. To its detriment, the shop does not enjoy a central position and its location in Chatsworth Business Park may be off-putting to some, especially if it is only open during office hours. Brampton Brewery agreed that an online store that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on a nationwide basis will increase exposure significantly. If Chris and the team had difficulty sustaining foot traffic, an online store might prove vital.
After further research I recommended the following provisions for a phased entry into eCommerce: