How should a world-renowned brand launch their first D2C experience in the U.S. with a new brand name?
Pernod Ricard is accustomed to their big name brands—you might have heard of some of them:
In 2018, the company’s goal was to launch their first direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand in the US—a big move considering this channel would be home to their iconic products, and a focus for a lot of future growth. The new D2C venture, Drinks & Co, went against the grain. This venture meant new platforms, new ways of thinking, new roles for team members—a whole lot of new to embrace at once.
We were in charge of creating their digital experience. How should we lead users through the site? What did we want people to feel as they engaged with the brand? How should we build it? To create a plan of action for a frictionless experience, we started with their audience.
“We learned about the average wine drinker and how the industry has changed with the millennial focus over the last five years. With that information, we constructed goal-focused user journeys with touchpoints for each persona that uses the site.”
With an optimal commerce + content experience as the goal, a Drupal + Shopify Plus integration was the answer.
The integration we created leverages Drupal to control all product data, like listing pages, sidebars of related products, products highlighted in content, personalization—you name it. We configured the import to happen hourly, so changes to existing/new products in Shopify flow into Drupal nearly instantly.
When you integrate Shopify into Drupal, you can allow Shopify data to be cached in Drupal. Despite data flowing between systems, the Drinks & Co site maintains excellent performance so that the user experience is still quick and seamless.
When someone has found the right wine for their occasion—a developer after launch day, maybe—they can click an add-to-cart button just as they would if they were on the Shopify platform.
Drupal and Shopify have a shared cart so that people can see their cart count even when they’re in Drupal.
With Drupal, the Explore section offers an engaging content experience that has multiple content types like recipes and articles.
A fun challenge for us to solve turns into an unprecedented integration for the leading wine shipping regulation tool
There's an app for that except for ShipCompliant which was an absolute requirement for the project. ShipCompliant takes the hassle out of wine shipping regulation but had never been integrated with Shopify Plus because it was going to be a huge investment.
Despite hassle, we went for it and built a custom middleware that turned out to be a good fit. There is the Drinks & Co site on Shopify, there is the middleware (our integration), and then ShipCompliant.
Without this integration, the Drupal + Shopify Plus setup would have likely had too many drawbacks to work. There’s no question that this integration was complicated—it’s the reason no one had done it before us. But despite the complexity, the solution doesn’t create a lapse in performance or loss in functionality for the Pernod team.
Passing bottles around the table for this one 🍾
Consumer purchasing habits are changing rapidly as Millennials and Gen Z buyers take over as the dominant consumer groups. By using Shopify Plus, the Pernod Ricard team has deftly taken a quantum leap forward and positioned their brands to be bought the way young consumers want.
A mash-up for the ages, the combo Drupal and Shopify Plus has big advantages for Pernod:
- Best of Both Worlds. By leveraging an integration approach, you get the best of both worlds—outstanding content experience layer and an outstanding ecommerce layer.
- App Ecosystem x2. Drupal has 10,000+ free modules and Shopify has a growing app ecosystem as well. This will result in better functionality that would be costly or lengthy for a team to build on its own.
- Save $$ for Other Projects. Finally, cost savings. In this case, Shopify is a service, so you don’t have to pay for the backend. Drupal is open source, so you are getting it without a licensing fee. Drupal may be free, but it can do what more expensive CMSes, such as Sitecore and AEM, can do.