A Report Shows State-By-State U.S. Consumer Interest In Alcohol E-Commerce

Online Shopping

Digital Commerce 360 reported, according to Internet Retailer analysis of industry data and historical U.S. Commerce Department figures, “consumers spent $517.36 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2018, up 15.0% from $449.88 billion spent the year prior.” 

A packaging company might find it not just interesting but essential to know America’s e-commerce shopping habits—and so, that’s what U.S. Packaging & Wrapping (USPW) set out to discover. 

The company used Google Trends data to help it compile a chart that shows in which U.S. states the most interest in online shopping lies by ranking more than a dozen products.

The criteria USPW applied for search terms that began with the word “buy” (buy alcohol, buy books, etc.) was based on which ones had the highest Google search volume. 

The top five states for the term “buy alcohol” were: Indiana, Maine, New Mexico, Vermont and Utah. Indiana only recently allowed retail alcohol sales on Sundays; could that be why the state leads in “buy alcohol” today?

Wine shipping across state lines remains a contentious subject, especially when it comes to out-of-state retailers—an upcoming Supreme Court decision this June may—or may not—address that situation. Still, people are interested in buying wine online.  The top five “buy wine” states were: Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, North Carolina. Does anyone find it a surprise not to see California or New York in the top five list? You shouldn’t. Each state supports a thriving bricks and mortar retail wine trade, as do a few others. 

The varietal wine list of overall U.S. consumer interest includes: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Muscat, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, White Zinfandel, Riesling and Malbec, in that order. 

The top locales with the highest consumer interest in varietal wine varies by varietal; for instance, the top five interested in Chardonnay are California, Rhode Island, Connecticut, District of Columbia and Hawaii. The top five with the highest interest in Cabernet Sauvignon are California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii and New York. It’s no surprise that California interest is at the top of each.

Oregon, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia and New York are the top five in consumer interest in Pinot Noir; New York, District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Washington State are the top five for Riesling. It’s a fact that Oregon is known for premium Pinot Noir production and New York and Washington State are known for premium Riesling production.

The top five states with consumer shopping interest in spirits are: Rhode Island, Illinois, New Hampshire, Nevada and Minnesota. Considering the weather in four out of five of those states, understandable. The top five spirits brands are Jameson Irish Whiskey, Tito’s Vodka, Patron Tequila, Captain Morgan Rum and  Tanqueray Gin. 

To round out the USPW effort, the top five list for “buy cigarettes”: Nevada, New York, Massachusetts, West Virginia and Arizona. 

Sticking with smoking, the top five states where consumers are keen to “buy weed” online come as little surprise: Nevada, Colorado, Washington, West Virginia, Massachusetts. These have legalized, of course.

The general term “buy plants” top five: Delaware, Montana, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Idaho. The top five “buy guns” states: West Virginia, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Idaho and Indiana. 

Rhode Island, Mississippi, Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio can take a bow; they were the top five states for “buy books.”

The largest metropolitan areas seem to show the weakest interest in online shopping. Part of the answer could be the fact that shopping in major cities, with their myriad choices remains a desired leisure pastime. Another part of the reason could be a state’s sales tax structure—some states have been more aggressive at enforcing sales tax collection from remote online sellers. 

Finally, it appears online shoppers in Wyoming, Nevada, North Dakota, Maine and Idaho go the most for “buy mega millions tickets.”