You Can Now Buy Patrón Tequila With a Swipe on Instagram

It's the first liquor brand to sell via ads in Instagram Stories

an ad for patron tequila on instagram stories
Drizly, Instacart and ReserveBar will fulfill the Patrón purchases. Illustration: Trent Joaquin; Source: Patron
Headshot of Ann-Marie Alcántara

For anyone looking to have a Thirsty Thursday—or any other day of the week—Patrón has become the first liquor brand you can order via Instagram.

The 30-year-old brand is working with MikMak, a social video commerce agency, to let Instagram users simply swipe up on an Instagram Stories ad to order Patrón for delivery in 48 states. Patron and MikMak are working with three third-party partners—Drizly, Instacart and ReserveBar—to fulfill these purchases. At checkout, customers will be asked for their age, and when it’s delivered, workers have to scan the purchaser’s ID before handing off the alcohol.

This capability shows how Instagram is continuing down the road to becoming a shopping platform, and how liquor (and beer) brands are ramping up ecommerce efforts and figuring out strategies to reach consumers on digital platforms.

“For us, it’s really about using modern tech to tell a handcrafted story,” said Adrian Parker, global vp of marketing at Patrón. “We’re a tequila company and not a technology company. This is just the beginning, one little step into the future [of] how you’ll engage with spirit brands.”

As Parker puts it, Patrón used to limit any innovation to its bottle, packaging and tequila. But the brand has set new ambitions, hoping to make 20% of its business ecommerce by 2030. To get there, Parker said, making alcohol shoppable via Instagram Stories is just the first move—Patrón is also looking to use technology like augmented reality, artificial intelligence and virtual reality to connect with consumers.

The ad units for this experience will include different versions of its creative, with one focusing on education about the product, while another centers on the “experience” of how people actually drink Patrón.

“Tequila is one of the highest growing in the space, and one of the least understood,” he said. “Knowing how to taste it, mix it in any classic cocktail and elevate the drinking experience—it’s not only commerce, but the entire experience.”

Patrón plans to measure the usual KPIs such as clicks, purchase intent and conversion rate. Parker also sees it as a relationship builder with the consumer. MikMak provides additional data, such as add to cart and average order value, as well as audience insights into who’s swiping up on the ad to offer customer segmentation. However, Patrón does not receive any credit card information, since Drizly, ReserveBar and Instacart receive and fulfill the orders. With MikMak, Patrón will also never sell an item out of stock.

MikMak founder and CEO Rachel Tipograph views the alcohol industry’s foray into ecommerce on a similar trajectory to that of beauty. According to Tipograh, this is a chance to figure out some of the pain points alcohol companies face in building up their ecommerce business, such as what type of content works to capture a consumer’s attention and selling an item that’s actually in stock.

“You want to constantly own your digital shelf, you want to optimize creative,” Tipograph said. “Instagram is now becoming the new digital shelf. It’s where product discovery is happening, and not just around fashion and beauty.”

@itstheannmarie Ann-Marie Alcántara is a tech reporter for Adweek, focusing on direct-to-consumer brands and ecommerce.