Drinks.com Cuts Development Cycles, Upgrades its E-Commerce Experience and Delivers Highly Personalized Customer Journeys with Our Headless CMS

Prior to Contentstack, DRINKS did not use a CMS. Marketing relied heavily on developers to create and update DRINKS' digital properties. After implementing our headless CMS solution, the development team cut their workload by 80%, freed up valuable development time and resources, and gave content marketers more freedom and flexibility to manage content without dev's dependencies.

500X

Increased in
productivity

80%

Decreased in development workload

24/7 hrs

Access to
update content

About

DRINKS owns four major wine e-commerce platforms (Martha Stewart Wine, Wine Insiders, Heartwood & Oak, and Barclays Wine) and is a leader in high-quality and affordable premium wine delivery in the United States. 

Company Profile

Website: www.drinks.com

Industry: Retail, Ecommerce

Company size: 51 - 200 employees

THE CHALLENGE

DRINKS did not have a CMS solution for any of its web properties prior to partnering with Contentstack. Therefore, any new web builds or minor updates needed to be hand-crafted by its highly-skilled (and thinly stretched) development team. This resulted in any content updates being forced into a 2-week queue to align with the sprint cycles of the development team. Content could not be deployed until the end of one of these sprints.

DRINKS experienced this bottleneck across all four of its prestigious, online properties - Martha Stewart Wine, Wine Insiders, Heartwood & Oak, and Barclays Wine. While the marketing team was unhappy with the delays in getting time sensitive information published, the development team was becoming frustrated with the mundane task of making simple content changes.

Among DRINKS’ business objectives were to create and maintain fresh content on its platforms and have the capability to promote its products and promotions in a visual, personalized manner to increase engagement. This proved to be quite challenging without a CMS solution. Drinks needed a solution that could increase its bandwidth to create better content and could scale to handle all four of its online properties. After exploring traditional CMS, headless CMS, in-house and home-grown CMS solutions, DRINKS chose Contentstack as the best solution for its content management needs.

"What’s great for marketing is that the team has direct control over their own content. They can publish content almost instantly or schedule it for a future push without having to go through IT."

– McKenna Rowe, UX/Project Lead, Drinks.com

THE SOLUTION

DRINKS attests Contentstack proved to be the right product for its business needs for the following reasons:

  • Marketing autonomy: DRINKS’ marketing department is now empowered to build and manage their own website content, including home page messaging, promotions, articles/editorial, videos, and banner graphics. With Contentstack in place, the only time developers get involved is if marketing needs a new template layout.
  • Personalization: DRINKS’ development team used the time saved by Contentstack to build an in-house personalization engine that dynamically serves its customers' unique promotions based on their demographics and purchase history.
  • Product curation: By integrating Contentstack with an in-house personalization engine, DRINKS’ development team was able to empower marketing to match and serve specific products with thematic editorial content. For example, when putting together a Valentine’s Day gift store on Martha Stewart Wine, marketing was able to specifically curate the products they wanted to include without the help (or valuable time) of the development team.
  • Easy integration: Integration was so seamless that DRINKS was able to build a custom, in-house personalization engine that utilizes Contentstack as a content library.
  • Scalability: By using Contentstack, DRINKS can continue to scale quickly, leveraging their existing websites’ structure and content.
  • Staging: DRINKS primarily chose Contentstack as its CMS because Contentstack was the only solution that enabled DRINKS not only to schedule content but to have various stages of approvals and workflows prior to publishing. Once content editors make a change in Contentstack, they can push the changes to a preview portal to review and check their work prior to officially going live.
  • Modular publishing: Contentstack’s modular blocks allow DRINKS' marketing team to quickly create, modify, rearrange, or remove multiple content components, such as banners, quotes, and dynamic content, on a page without needing a developer's help. They are also able to group related content to support campaigns, product launches, and sales events without any coding.

"We write code once – and it works everywhere!"

– Kevin Kim, Lead Front-end Engineer, Drinks.com

THE RESULTS

After implementing Contentstack, DRINKS says that its development team’s workload was cut by 80%. This averages approximately 1,600+ hours of saved time per year, per person. Additionally, its marketing department now has 24/7 access to make immediate website changes and no longer has to depend on 2 weeks deployment sprints. Contentstack made it so easy for DRINKS to create and edit content, that its newfound business challenge is no longer technical. Instead, the current challenge is finding the resources to write continually fresh content and maintaining a robust editorial schedule.

With this newfound freedom, DRINKS leveraged the development team’s available bandwidth to create an in-house business logic and personalization tool called Q. In addition to using Contentstack to build and maintain its websites, by leveraging Contentstack as a content library that integrates with Q, the development team was able to integrate a homegrown personalization engine into email marketing efforts. The personalization is granular and highly-targeted, enabling the marketing team to curate promotional and editorial email/web content based on customer purchase behavior, such as average price point, time since last purchase, taste profiles, and more. For example, if there is a specific promotion or product that marketing wants to push, they can send out an embedded email with a clickable link. When a customer clicks on this link, it directs them to a personalized storefront with a custom URL where art for that specific promotion is served via Contentstack, along with shoppable and curated product links. In addition, this personalization logic enables customers to get suggested relevant products based on what content they have been reading on the site - creating a more sophisticated editorial customer experience. DRINKS has created its own dynamic creative solution through integrating an in-house personalization solution with Contentstack.

In summary, Contentstack helped DRINKS solve its biggest obstacle with content creation and management. By freeing up its development team to work on coding projects that have a direct impact on revenue growth and customer service - and by using Contentstack as a content library - DRINKS was able to build personalized customer journeys. This is the power of Contentstack.

"We decided to go with Contentstack because of its ability to publish to different staging environments and because of the advanced scheduling capabilities."

– Kevin Kim, Lead Front-end Engineer, DRINKS