Strategy, Engineering, Drupal, Shopify, UX, UI

Pernod Ricard

Hands pouring wine with blurry woman in background.

Passing bottles around the table for this one.

How should a world-renowned brand launch a D2C experience with a new brand name?

In 2018, the company’s goal was to launch their first direct-to-consumer (D2C) wine and champagne brand  in the US—a big move considering this channel would be home to their iconic wine 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.

Pouring whisky into glass on ice.
Our challenge, an unprecedented wine shipping tool integration.

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.

Real-time testing leads to precise UX changes.

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.

Drinks & Co site shown on an iPhone.

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