By James Atkinson
Liquor retailers were this week shown evidence that drinkers are increasingly taking to the web to voice their experiences with products and service.
At the ALSA conference, Nielsen executive director Michael Walton showed delegates a recent online discussion initiated by a consumer about his experience at a liquor store in Western Australia.
In a post on a fishing website, the drinker vents about the price of beer, kicking off four days of debate about the bottleshop and the beer brand concerned.
Walton said such incidents are happening "all the time", demonstrating that suppliers and retailers must play in the online space.
"If you're not there, it's already happening and it's moved past you," he said.
But rather than being a threat, Walton said social media and online marketing is a great opportunity because it is cost effective and "a great leveller".