Fueling sustainable coffee culture, the Aussie way.
Urban Brew reimagines the coffee buying experience for consumers with Adobe Commerce.
of online orders from subscribers
Guide consumers step-by-step through the coffee buying process to eliminate confusion and complexity
Support a variety of order configuration, special offers and promotions
Increase customer lifetime value and retention through subscription offering
Increase operational efficiency and simplify backend administration and management
Scaled seamlessly to absorb spike in demand during pandemic that yielded over 110% overall gain in customers
Increased average order values by 30%
Generated 65% of online orders from subscribers
Accelerated deployment of new features, campaign landing pages and promotions
A country that takes its coffee seriously
Despite its roots as a tea-drinking outpost of the British Empire, Australia began to develop a taste for coffee after World War II, when Italian immigrants started bringing espresso machines into the country. For the war-weary, a demitasse of steaming espresso drawn from a gleaming, lever-operated machine represented a more vibrant, cosmopolitan future.
Today, Australia is renowned as a nation of coffee lovers, with many people having a pod-fed Nespresso, Caffitaly, K-fee, or similar machine in their kitchen. However, there’s a significant environmental cost to the country’s caffeine obsession: Approximately three million aluminum or plastic coffee pods are sent to the landfill every day.
Eliminating the confusion involved in buying coffee
As the first person in Australia to sell Nespresso-compatible coffee pods, Toby Strong – the founder of Adelaide-based coffee pod manufacturer Podpac – was disheartened by the waste he saw and decided to do something about it. The result was Urban Brew, a Podpac-owned, direct-to-consumer retailer of compostable coffee pods that manufactured better for the environment coffee pods. In contrast to competitive offerings, Urban Brew removes behind-the-scenes inefficiencies to deliver compostable pods at half the price of big-name brands.
The pods, which can only be purchased via Urban Brew’s website, were an instant hit. However, to better communicate the company’s value proposition around affordable sustainability and introduce a new, guided web shopping experience, the company decided to upgrade its Magento Open Source e-commerce infrastructure to a cloud deployment of Adobe Commerce, part of Adobe Experience Cloud. To perform the migration, Urban Brew engaged its longtime e-commerce consultant and Adobe Gold Partner, Aligent Consulting.
“By studying how people buy coffee machines in retail shops, we learned a lot that we wanted to incorporate into our e-commerce journey,” explains Greg Vowles, head of eCommerce for Podpac. “Many people don’t know where to start when searching for a coffee pods. We noticed people aren’t sure which coffee pods are compatible with their machines. We wanted to eliminate all that friction by guiding customers straight to the optimal machine and pod combination and making it easy for them to buy. Adobe Commerce was the best platform to do that.”
In addition to simplifying the customer journey, Vowles wanted customers to be able to order coffee pods any way they wanted. He explains: “One of Urban Brew’s differentiators is that, as a customer, you can buy anything, from a single, one-off pack to a monthly subscription comprised of multiple packs and flavors. The only difference is the more you order, the more you save. We needed the flexibility to support a variety of order configurations as well as special offers and promotions on the website.”
“Adobe Commerce impressed on multiple fronts. From the power of its e-commerce engine and the ability to perform smooth integrations to its customisation options and scalability and stability.”
Head of eCommerce, Podpac
Architecting a seamless site journey
As a first step in migrating from Magento open source to the cloud version of Adobe Commerce, the Aligent team refactored Urban Brew’s web code to keep the existing e-commerce capability up-and-running while they carried out the integration and development work.
During this phase, Aligent refactored Podpac’s subscription engine to work with Commerce to help Urban Brew better manage its strong subscriber base, along with shopping cart rules that presented offers based on what and how much a customer ordered, incentivising them to buy more. Other work included customising the user interface to create a seamless, personalised journey throughout the site; and using custom modules for features such as a useful FAQ for site visitors.
Once the team completed final testing, Vowles was struck by the all-around performance improvement compared to the earlier site. In addition to making it easier for customers to place, edit, and manage subscriptions and orders, the updated site enabled staff to accelerate site changes and add new features and applications. The team uses Page Builder to quickly generate landing pages showcasing the latest marketing campaigns and promotions. They can also perform routine maintenance efficiently and with ease.
“Adobe Commerce impressed on multiple fronts,” says Vowles. “From the power of its e-commerce engine and the ability to perform smooth integrations to its customisation options and scalability and stability.”
“Adobe Commerce delivers value in two critical areas. The guided shopping journey enables us to acquire customers more efficiently. And the flexibility of the backend, which enables personalised customer experiences, increases satisfaction and loyalty.”
Head of eCommerce, Podpac
Coping with unexpected challenges
Shortly after migrating to Commerce, the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, bringing with it the first stress test of the new platform. The e-commerce site scaled – virtually overnight – to meet the increase in demand from people working from home. There was zero impact on performance, functionality, or user experience. As a result, Urban Brew realised over 110% gain in customers.
“Adobe Commerce really proved its mettle during our pandemic lockdown periods,” recalls Vowles. “Our site handled any demands, even during the highest traffic peaks.”
Another benefit of Commerce is its integrated business intelligence and analytics tools. Urban Brew’s e-commerce team uses these tools to monitor site performance, including page load times; track orders, revenue, and customer acquisition; visualise peak traffic times; and identify site drops. With these insights, the team can make improvements to the site; scale up capacity for promotions, holidays, or seasonal peaks; and alert leadership to issues or emerging trends.
Delivering caffeinated returns
Since its deployment, Commerce has helped Urban Brew drive an approximate 30% increase in average order values by presenting optimal coffee machine and pod combinations to customers, along with add-ons and upsells during the checkout process.
“Adobe Commerce delivers value in two critical areas,” says Vowles. “The guided shopping journey enables us to acquire customers more efficiently. And the flexibility of the backend, which enables personalised customer experiences, increases satisfaction and loyalty.”
“The Aligent team’s familiarity with Adobe Commerce, technical expertise, proactive mindset, and responsiveness have all helped contribute to the successful replatforming of the site and our overall growth and success.”
Head of eCommerce, Podpac
Instilling the confidence to think big
Vowles credits Aligent with much of the project’s success to date. “The Aligent team’s familiarity with Adobe Commerce, technical expertise, proactive mindset, and responsiveness have all helped contribute to the site’s successful replatforming and our overall growth.”
Looking ahead, he plans to adapt Urban Brew’s site to accommodate a potentially game-changing new offering: a home-compostable coffee pod that users can dispose of in their garden, further minimising waste and environmental impact.
Reflecting on the implementation, Vowles says, “Adopting Adobe Commerce has given us the confidence to stay true to our roots and think big about what we can achieve as a business, while providing Australians with delicious, sustainable coffee to savor anytime of the day.”
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