High-End Cognac Blazes Higher Path for DTC

High-End Cognac Sets a Higher Path for DTC
Louis XIII's new e-boutique sells a decanter and glass holder, among other products.

Leave it to high-end cognac to add its own type of class to the direct-to-consumer (DTC) trend.

Louis XIII, a cognac brand owned by Rémy Martin, now has what the company, appropriately based in the French town of Cognac, called “an immersive e-boutique platform that takes visitors on a journey through its key values of time and experience.”

The new e-boutique offers a user experience that enables visitors to explore the world of Louis XIII via imagery and video designed to better educate consumers about the brand and increase their loyalty to it.

Shoppers visiting the site can get what Rémy Martin described as a cultivated luxury experience that includes private personal contact with Louis XIII brand ambassadors, along with access to limited-edition products, customization and instant premium delivery. Other benefits include an exclusive online concierge service and personalization services — for instance, custom engravings on decanters and glasses, and personalized text gift messages to accompany purchases.

Additionally, the site enables consumers to locate bars, hotels, restaurants and certified retailers of Louis XIII cognac. My Collection, a personal collection space on the site, can be configured with a customer's preferences and itemizes the customer's purchase history, making reorders easy. “Louis XIII's most valued clients will also have access to a preordering system and a privileged direct contact with a Louis XIII private director,” the company noted.

This effort doesn't mark the first DTC push from the cognac brand — earlier e-boutiques were launched in 2016 in Beijing, and a year later in London and Xi’an, China. This new offering not only reflects the growing importance of proving rich online experiences to consumers, but also the ongoing spread of DTC commerce, especially during the pandemic.

For example, Coral Gables, Florida-based Del Monte Fresh Produce recently launched its first e-commerce website with same-day delivery in the Dallas market. Earlier, Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat launched an e-commerce site that sells its plant-based products directly to consumers, taking advantage of another hot food retail trend: the increasing rate of plant-based food innovation. Rival Impossible Foods, based in Redwood City, California, launched its own DTC operation in June.

As all of that happens, online sales of alcohol continue to grow. A recent example of that trend came from online alcohol marketplace Drizly Group, which in late August closed a $50 million Series C funding round. The investment comes as Boston-based Drizly has marked growth of more than 350% in 2020 compared with the prior year, while achieving sustained profitability.