Apr 07 2016
Blue Acorn’s Alison Dupra and Rob Senn

Brewing For Success with Northern Brewer

To create a great beer, you need a balance of water, barley, hops, and yeast. Such a short list implies an easy life for brewers, but nothing could be further from the truth. To be a great brewer, you must labor intensively to create repeatable, consistent products. Your signature brew may be dark and thick while another’s may be golden with notes of citrus, but if you want loyal patrons, you must deliver a consistent experience.

Two of the most challenging aspects of achieving consistency for a brewer come from yeast and water. This has led breweries to create internal labs dedicated to ensuring that their water quality doesn’t change and their yeast strains remain the same. For Northern Brewer, this consistency rings especially true, from the specific beer-brewing supplies they sell to the consistent branding on their desktop and mobile sites.

When we first started talking with Northern Brewer, its ecommerce recipe fell two ingredients short of a high-quality brew. First, we had to make sure all the equipment was functioning, so we tackled the backlog of bugs to resolve those issues. Our developers also went to work separating two of the company’s databases, making them more secure, because there is nothing worse then a skunked beer because something bad gets into the fermenter.

With everything smoothed over and added to the primary fermenter, it’s time to add in something extra before changing it over to the secondary fermenter. For starters, our team added in Yotpo, a review system that allows Northern Brewer’s customers to give direct feedback on each of the company’s products and Northern Brewer overall. Not only do review systems like Yotpo increase customer confidence, but they also appear in search results when paired with paid ads.

Next, because Northern Brewer creates great marketing campaigns, they also wanted to include a way for their customers to add promotional codes during checkout. Natively, this is only an option for a Magento shopping cart, which would lead customers to backtrack before completing their order. The ingredients are now set, and it’s time to decide the best way to distribute the final product.

Between kegs and bottles, a desktop site is similar to a keg and bottles are more like a smartphone browser. A standard half barrel keg weighs 160.5 pounds when full, which makes it a challenge to move around, whereas bottles can practically go anywhere. Plus, it’s hard to drag a keg around to holiday parties. Our team was able to create a mobile site for Northern Brewer under budget and ahead of schedule, which resulted in across-the-board increases for mobile conversions, revenue per mobile user, and revenue overall.

In an effort to fully understand the benefits offered by Northern Brewer and the importance of choosing the right ingredients, we put some of our top homebrewers on a very special research case. Northern Brewer sent us some of their high quality brewing ingredients, and team members Ben Huntington, Thomas Slade, Dan Nemergut, and Brice Burgess, some of the more advanced home brew guys in the company, crafted an exquisite Irish Red Ale.

To experience the new mobile ecommerce site visit www.northernbrewer.com from your smartphone.

Recipe for NB Mobile Success.

Elliot Volkman

Digital Marketing Manager

Elliot is Blue Acorn's Digital Marketing Manager. He hold a master's degree in communication from Gonzaga, and has several awards for journalism and digital marketing. In his spare time he is a long-distance runner and triathlete.

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