Direct Wines Case Study
With multiple brands experiencing big growth in mobile customer usage, Direct Wines needed to increase conversions and build top-line revenue in a scalable way that worked across all its co-branded e-commerce wine shops.
It all began in 1969. Tony Laithwaite was a student from the U.K. spending his summer working in the Bourdeaux vineyards. After lugging wine home for friends and family he bought a Ford van.
In that van, Tony started the trip that would see him expand his customers from the original 150 in parallel with expanding his selection of wines for sale. He launched Bourdeaux Direct and built his business on top-quality wines, sourced directly from the wine producers.
40 years later, both Tony and the company he founded are still going strong.
Now called Direct Wines, they deliver wine to over 700,000 customers from transactions in retail stores, online and on mobile. And it’s the last of these business channels they found growing the fastest.
Direct Wines could see they had a growing share of their website visitors using mobile devices. They could also see that mobile visitors had dramatically lower conversion rates on their website.
The trend for their business – a growing group of customers with a lower conversion rate – needed to change for them to succeed.
Direct Wines knew they needed to serve their growing mobile customers with a better mobile experience so they could increase their mobile conversion rate.
In addition, their wholesale business of co-branded wine stores with leading brands like Laithwaites Wine, Virgin Wines, Zagat Wines, Wall Street Journal Wines and The Sunday Times Wines, faced the same problem – growing mobile customers but falling conversion rates.
Direct Wines wanted to be able to solve both their consumer and wholesale business problem with the same solution. And the solution had to be scalable and flexible because the wholesale business was adding new co-branded wine stores all the time.
They needed a platform they could build on with their in-house development team.
The platform needed to be capable of extending to their direct consumer business – Laithwaites Wine – as well as their wholesale business – Direct Wines’ numerous co-branded wine stores – achieving economies of scale in development and operation.
Lastly, Direct Wines needed a technology approach that integrated with their marketing and operations, with minimal technical requirements from their customers, easy access to the wine stores and integration of wine inventory, special offers and pricing with existing e-commerce systems.
Direct Wines chose the Mobify Platform because of 2 standout attributes — one an attribute of the technology, one an attribute of the implementation model.
First, the Mobify Platform used a One Web approach that ensured URL integrity and parity for all Direct Wines’ mobile websites.
A search for ‘merlot’ on their desktop website used the exact same URL as a search ‘merlot’ on their mobile website. Same for all their category pages, all their specific product pages and all pages.
A link for 1842 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 shared between friends on Facebook, emailed to a husband as a hint or crawled by a search engine like Google always produced the right page, presented properly for the visiting device, with no mobile dead ends.
Second, Mobify offered a flexible development model that let Direct Wines get to market very quickly while also supporting the scaling of their own development capabilities. Here’s how.
The first Direct Wines mobile website was developed by the Mobify team of experts in their Full Service Design & Development model. Components were built in an adaptable way that ensured simple and scalable reuse.
The second Direct Wines mobile website was a hybrid approach. The Mobify team worked closely with the Direct Wines development and design team, helping with guidance and knowledge transfer.
The third Direct Wines mobile website was build by the Direct Wines team in the Co-Development model.
The fourth, fifth, sixth (and now ongoing) Direct Wines mobile websites have been built by the Direct Wines development team in the Co-Development model, all on the Mobify Platform.
This hybrid development approach helped Direct Wines achieve their twin goals of getting to market very quickly while building their in-house development capabilities.
Direct Wines now enjoys excellent, long-term return on investment, flexible mobile deployment options and optimized total cost of ownership of their comprehensive mobile solution.
“ Developing on the Mobify Platform and working with the Mobify team have allowed us to quickly provide high-quality experiences to the growing number of customers who access our international websites through mobile devices.
The platform itself is great but it's really the combination of the technology and the proactive, solution-oriented, personal and professional approach by the Mobify team that have made our mobile projects a success."
– Stefan Ryme, Head of Online-Global IT, Direct Wines
The Direct Wines team are now fully enabled to build amazing mobile experiences.
The Mobify Platform has accelerated their development so that they now count their time to launch a new mobile website in days, not weeks or months.
Conversion rates across their sites are markedly improved and continue to increase.
The fastest growing segment of traffic to Direct Wines websites — mobile visitors — now no longer pull conversion rates down but instead boost them up.
Jake Rutter is the Interactive Director with Direct Wines. He's been a key collaborator leading the development of mobile commerce websites for great brands like Laithwaites Wine, Virgin Wines, Zagat Wines and he's the guy who wrote the book on jQuery – Smashing jQuery.
Jake set out to answer the question — What's it like to develop mobile websites on the Mobify Platform?
His blog post provides good insight from behind the scenes — Building Mobile Websites using the Mobify JS Platform .
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