Online shopping has no doubt boomed over the past couple of years with changing consumer behaviours and online retail therapy becoming the new norm. The alcohol industry has been relatively slow in following retail trends.
This has not stopped Australia’s newest Vodka label, Smilov Spirits from dominating in the ecommerce space.
Smilov Spirits is a start-up Vodka label, produced in Margaret River, Western Australia, and founded by Mary and Mitchell Smilovitis. Smilov Spirits launched its ecommerce website on the 25th of June 2021 during the covid pandemic and sold out online across Australia within 2 weeks. It did not follow the usual routes of partnering with 3rd party distributors or going down the traditional brick and mortar approach. Whilst the plan later will be implemented to distribute and wholesale across Australia the core focus remains on the direct-to-consumer segment where they feel there is a gap in the market.
There has been a shift in how people not only shop but also consume at home.
“It was important that at the beginning we made the direct-to-consumer mission statement. We don’t want to be a distillery; we are brand builders. We have no cellar door, no in-house bottling facility, we outsource all non-core activities in our business and remain completely focused on our strengths which lie in e-commerce, digital marketing, and fulfillment. Whilst traditional operations and distribution methods will play a part in our overall growth strategy, our day-to-day is all e-commerce focused and we think online first.” Says Mary Smilovitis
Smilov Spirits was birthed out of a passion for good quality locally made Vodka which was complementary to the founder’s lifestyle around home consumption.
“It is not 2nd nature to buy alcohol online, people buy goods online, furniture, clothing, and a range of other items so we know it is not about pricing or even the ability to test product quality beforehand. It is a mindset that says we will go to a liquor shop a couple of days before the weekend and pick up a few bottles rather than sit at home or at your desk and order a couple of bottles of Vodka to be delivered to your door for the weekend.” Says Mitchell Smilovitis
There is a shift around purchasing and stocking at home thanks to the pandemic, where traditionally alcohol is a purchase typically for immediate consumption and not something stocked in the cupboard like cans of food.
“Our ability to market and use digital and social media channels to connect with our audience, showcase our product, the ongoing story behind it and the people behind the brand is core to how we are growing Smilov Spirits, there is a huge market with digital buyers and we ourselves buy online in the same way we market. We see a brand, we connect with that brand, and we remain loyal to that brand” Says Mary Smilovitis
Innovative marketing, a deep understanding of digital tools, e-commerce analytics, and an understanding of how to create the right content is their strength. They are e-commerce entrepreneurs first and foremost and not distillers, we have an amazing product, a great quality premium locally made Vodka and we are confident we have one of the best Vodkas on the market and we want to showcase that to Australia and beyond.
Convenience, personalisation, backing the people behind the brand and the ethical approach to bringing a sustainable product to the market is what people are connecting with. Mary and Mitchell operate with a small team and remain hands-on showcasing a lot of their lifestyle around home consumption as that is how the brand was birthed.
“We do not resonate with crystal clear beaches and poolside in the sun with sparkling cocktails, we are a family, and weekends are typically spent at home, cooking, listening to music, and enjoying a few drinks together. This is what our brand represents. Our quality of Vodka is second to none and that is a big part of how we ourselves consume, we prefer a better choice of spirit, something clean, that does not need to be mixed with too much and can be drunk straight or as a Vodka and Tonic or a Vodka martini complemented by the right food.” Says Mary Smilovitis
Smilov Spirits premium artesian Vodka is distilled six times from Australian wheat, before being charcoal filtered for that clean, smooth taste. The special blend of spirits creates a subtle yet distinct flavour from the locally sourced ingredients used, keeping the spirit of the family past alive.
Made using only the most premium Australian wheat farmed locally, prior to harvest the wheat is ripened in the Australian summer sun which gives it a peppery, aniseed, and lemon zest flavour. Premium water is used in production to produce a clean, crisp, and smooth mouthfeel with no after-burn.
Smilov Spirits has contracts with all major logistics and postage delivery services across Australia and they have operations in the South West of W.A as well as Melbourne to ensure seamless door-to-door delivery is achieved.
For further information check out the website www.SmilovSpirits.com.au and take a look at the amazing content on Facebook and Instagram @smilovspirits