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Amazon to run whisky tasting live-streaming event

The world of eCommerce is often said to be limited for being convenience-led. Consumers can’t touch, feel, smell and experience the brand, the argument goes.

Once again Amazon is trying to turn such a theory on its head – this time by hosting a whisky tasting event for its customers via live stream.

The online titan has teamed up with drinks group Bacardi, and on 24 October will host an event to educate new and existing whisky drinkers about Scotch. The live-streaming will be available to Amazon UK and Germany customers who purchased the Single Malt Discovery Collection, which Amazon began selling exclusively on 14 October.

The Scotch collection from Bacardi-owned John Dewar & Sons comprises two 12-year-old drops, Aberfeldy and Aultmore, and 13-year-old Craigellachie, each of which are presented in 200ml bottles. Those who have purchased the item will have an opportunity to tune into a live stream broadcast led by John Dewar malt master, Stephanie Macleod, drinks commentator, Alice Lascelles, and Dewars brand home ambassador, Matthew Cordiner.

Mike Birch, vice president of digital commerce at Bacardi, said: “We are excited to be at the forefront of Amazon’s live stream movement, the live tasting is a global first for Amazon UK and we’re really proud to be a part of it.”

Citing figures from drinks analyst group, The IWSR, he remarked: “The online marketplace for the drinks industry is rapidly expanding, particularly in the UK which is one of the biggest single malt markets in Europe worth $630 million alone. 

“Single malt whisky is one of the hottest drink categories in the world, growing at 10% each year and seeing the increase in online sales, we are serious about leading and innovating this growing channel.”

He added that Bacardi’s involvement in the live-streaming event represents a move to appeal to a new generation of online whisky shoppers.

Amazon’s move to digitise what is typically a very physical experience is the latest use case of retailers using technology to bridge the gap between traditional and online retailing. Harvey Nichols, Levi’s and Size? are among the retailers using Hero’s software to connect online shoppers to store staff at the point of purchase, for example.

Meanwhile, conversational commerce company iAdvize helps connect retailers and brands with product and service specialists, so shoppers can get the additional information they require from a dedicated expert at the moment they wish to buy goods online. Decathlon, Lacoste, and The Kooples are among the brands using France-based iAdvize’s tech and services.

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