Full-service digital agency Smith Brothers Media will be rebuilding the online store with a new Shopify theme to deliver faster response times, improved conversions, greater performance and responsiveness, and increases visibility. The store will focus on the business of selling champagne while the new subscription-based Champagne Club will be separated from it and have its own domain. The agency will also develop customised flows developed in Kalviyo, which Emperor Champagne uses for its customer communications.
Emperor Champagne previously handled website development in-house, but moving forward "we want to simplify our processes and focus on frequency, copywriting, photography, video and accessibility,” said Emperor Champagne direct of operations Kyri Christodoulou.
“We feel that handing the development work over to a renowned digital agency like Smith Brothers Media will free up our time to focus on our strengths of selling, promoting and discovering new champagne,” he said.
Emperor Champagne, in a sadly all-too-familiar story, experienced negative impacts through the COVID-19 pandemic with lockdowns, border closures, and hospitality venues being shut. The business knew it had to pivot to focus on activities that could generate revenue under these conditions. One of Emperor Champagne’s most famous activities - its decadent Champagne Dame events, hosted by CEO Kyla Kirkpatrick - needed to become 100% virtual. Online sales had to increase, and new sales opportunities had to be identified.
The Champagne Dame events are designed to discover the fascinating world of champagne from the most prestigious French Champagne houses to emerging boutique winemakers. Guests would taste the items side-by-side. Through its strong relationships in France, Emperor Champagne secured the stock it needed and commenced virtual tastings in September 2021. The online events for members have proven to be highly successful since.
Emperor Champagne's online store saw sales increase by 70% over the last two years as Australians sat at home under the pandemic. The Champagne Club membership grew by 40%, and the business plans to double this in 2022.
Sadly, overseas Champagne Dame Insider's Tours to physically travel and visit the best Champagne houses in France had to be postponed, but the company has already resumed tours to Tasmania and expects to resume tours to Paris and Champagne - of course - in July this year. There are multiple events scheduled for this year and next, Kirkpatrick said.
Emperor Champagne effectively managed a campaign-driven approach, spotlighting a different house, champagne, or style of champagne each week.
”We have found that our audience interacts best with us through our social media platforms, this is how they get to know us and build a meaningful connection. We really want to be front-facing and still have some fun,” Kirkpatrick said.
Pictured: Kyra Kirkpatrick and Kyri Christodoulou
“We love to educate our audience and use a variety of means to do so, including our winning combination of EDMs and Instagram. Our campaign approach is multi-focused, including education-based, advertising special releases, limited time offers and gifting opportunities,” Christodoulou said.
As part of its work, Smith Brothers Media will also produce a video series with short educational clips featuring a variety of champagnes including boutique makers, famous champagne houses, and more, running across social media campaigns and Champagne Dame events.
“It's exciting to be working with Emperor Champagne, using smart marketing to connect the right audience to its exclusive Champagne Club. We’re also looking forward to helping bring back in-person champagne tours in 2022,” said Smith Brothers Media CEO James Smith.
Pictured: James Smith