Emperor Champagne, the online destination for champagne lovers in Australia, has engaged Australian full-service digital agency Smith Brothers Media to reimagine its online store and to develop a new subscription-based Champagne Club for lovers of bubbles launched in March.
What will SBM do for Emperor Champagne?
SBM will be rebuilding the online store with a new Shopify theme, which will enable a quicker response time, improved conversion, performance and responsiveness and driving visibility.
The aim is for the store to be fully focused on the business of selling champagne and for the Club to be separated from it with a unique domain. SBM will also be developing customised flows that are coded in Klaviyo, which Emperor uses for its customer communications.
“We’ve always handled our website development in-house, but moving forward, we want to simplify our processes and focus on frequency, copywriting, photography, video and accessibility,” said Kyri Christodoulou, Director of Operations at Emperor Champagne.
“We feel that handing the development work over to a top digital agency like SBM will free up our time to focus on our strengths of selling, promoting and discovering new champagne.”
How did the pandemic impact Emperor Champagne?
Like many companies, the pandemic negatively impacted the wholesale and events side of its business due to the lockdowns, border closures and hospitality venues being shut. Emperor had to quickly pivot and focus on the areas of the business with real revenue potential.
Emperor’s decadent Champagne Dame events, hosted by its Chief Executive Officer Kyla Kirkpatrick, designed to discover the fascinating world of champagne from the most prestigious French Champagne houses to the new boutique winemakers, where guests taste a series of beautiful champagnes side by side, had to become 100 per cent virtual.
Emperor Champagne was fortunate enough to have established relationships in France needed to secure the stock for its virtual tastings that commenced in September 2021.
“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 James Smith, CEO, Smith Brothers Media.
What is the market strategy for Emperor Champagne?
These online events for members featuring renowned winemaker friends from the French champagne houses including Pol Roger and Louis Roederer doing virtual tastings will continue due to their undeniable success. Emperor’s online store saw a sales increase of 70 per cent in the past two years as Australians bought lots of Champagne to consume at home.
The demand for larger formats and back-vintage champagne was also strong and the number of corporate sales almost doubled from the previous year. Meanwhile, its Champagne Club membership grew by 40 per cent and the goal is to double that this year.
Its infamous overseas Champagne Dame Insider’s Tours to visit the best Champagne houses in France and get behind their closed doors were unfortunately postponed.
“Our decadent tours have now been reinstated starting with a tour last year to Tasmania to visit the island’s most picturesque cellar doors, distilleries and cideries with more planned. The immensely popular tours to Paris and Champagne will recommence in July with multiple events scheduled for 2022 and 2023,” said Kyla Kirkpatrick, CEO at Emperor Champagne.
Emperor has a campaign-led approach, with a relatively high level of activity to drive sales. “Each week we place a spotlight on a different House, champagne or style of champagne. 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,” said Kyla Kirkpatrick.
“We really want to be front-facing and still have some fun.”
“We love to educate our audience, 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,” Kyri Christodoulou said.
SBM will also produce a video series looking at short educational clips, featuring a variety of champagnes including the boutique makers, as well as the famous champagne houses, driving it with campaigns including Instagram, Facebook and also Champagne Dame events.