To boost its brand equity and gain new customers in China, Pernod Ricard created its Drinks&Co. community. However, the company had to overcome several challenges when introducing Drinks&Co.'s e-commerce platform to China.
The first important issue was compatibility problems of their global architecture (ERP, CRM, logistics systems, etc.) and its implementation in China due to the great firewall. As such, some orders were missing or doubled and Pernod Ricard was suffering from data losses.
The second obstacle was that the user experience and interface had to be adapted to Chinese customers' online expectations in terms of functionality and design. Hence, the website needed a revamp in terms of UX/UI and the e-commerce experience had to be connected with WeChat Mini-Program and the Tencent ecosystem in general.
Finally, the Chinese platform had to align with Pernod Ricard's global IT policy while respecting the local Chinese regulations.
Alongside Pernod Ricard's team of experts, ITC helped to design a comprehensive action plan to kickstart the brand's growth and success in China. The ultimate objective of this collaboration was to create a seamless user experience, a fast and efficient platform and provide an optimal purchase process to Drinks&Co.'s customers.
Pernod Ricard collaborated with ITC to identify bottlenecks in existing source code and architecture. Once blockers had been identified, thoughtful recommendations were provided to achieve the greatest outcome.
Costumer Data Strategy
IT Consultis recommended the use of a headless architecture for an omnichannel approach. Having one back-end connected through several separate front-ends enables Drinks&Co to build a consistent experience for its users through multiple touch points. Hence, the e-commerce platform was highly scalable and could be duplicated through a WeChat Mini-Program, an app, social campaigns, etc. Meanwhile, we made sure that customer data was collected in a single place, creating a single 360 degree customer view. The ecosystem has largely been improved for the brand to be fully able to rely on its data reports again.
Full Revamp UX/UI Design
ITC performed a design and a front-end revamp of Drinks&Co.'s platform in China. As previously stated, the main goal was to have a tailored UX/UI that completely fits Chinese customers' habits and expectations. The design had to be visually appealing and the platform needed to offer a convenient and smooth navigation.
With those objectives in mind, Pernod Ricard and ITC designed and implemented a whole user journey process together: from the registration to the check-out page, going through product browsing, management of the shopping cart, payment options (Alipay, WeChat Pay, etc.), invoice/fapiao requests, order trackings, and ratings. In addition to the implementation of those features, our collaboration even went beyond expectations by offering a fully customized experience that suits perfectly the Chinese market. For example, users can easily log in with their WeChat account or phone number and the experience was personalized according to the various categories of users (displaying different prices, quota, MOQ, etc.). ITC also managed to facilitate user experience by making the check-out process way more convenient and user-friendly. For instance, customers were able to easily review selected products with an order summary and payment/shipping options displayed on the side.
Besides the necessary localizations in terms of e-commerce, Drinks&Co. offers community-oriented services such as an incredible library of cocktail recipes with interactive tutorials and, of course, relevant Pernod Ricard products recommendations. The solution offers a referral program, promotions, coupons, limited editions and is designed from Day 1 to fit Social Commerce’s best practices. ITC also helped to implement other improvements such as gift card display, chatbot support, refunds and many other functionalities.
ITC designed a homepage reflecting on the company's dynamic and vibrant spirit. To increase engagement, high-end designs with colorful pictures were created to make each single product stand out, cocktail recipes and promotional content are also displayed to increase the conversion rate alongside inspiring articles promoting the company's values that are regularly posted.
Development Process and Advances Improvements
The development of Pernod Ricard's e-commerce platform in China went through several key stages, enabling the global architecture to be tested all along.
Phase 1: Internal Sales: During this stage, only Pernod Ricard’s employees could place orders.
Phase 2: Family & Friends: At this phase, employees’ family and friends were also welcomed and could benefit from special discounts.
Phase 3: External Sales: With all the insights collected from the previous stages, Pernod Ricard and ITC optimized the e-commerce website by testing its performance during peak periods to prevent potential complications. Drinks&Co. was released to the general public at the end of this phase.
Phase 4: WeChat Mini-Program: The headless architecture developed by ITC was then used to create a WeChat Mini-Program. ITC delivered a new touchpoint at minimum cost and effort.
Phase 5: Pop-uo Store & 020 Strategy: During 6 months, a pop-up store with its own WeChat Mini-Program was available for customers to purchase online and pick the products directly from the store. The project was created by using the same Magento back-office applied to a specific front-end. Thanks to this strategy, we were able to harmonize the online and offline experience and provide the customer with the best experience possible.