At Eight, we’re Christmassy all year round in the sense that we’re big believers in the concept of goodwill to all men (and all everyone, in fact). What we’re also big believers in, is the importance of opening up and sharing a good quality bottle of wine every now and then! So, when we were approached by a grape-based venture going by the name of Goodwill, we were only too happy to help them out with an app for their Shopify store that would showcase their wines – and the immensity of their goodwill - to the world.
So, who’s the guy behind the goodwill and the grapes?
Founder of Goodwill Wine, David Laity, isn’t one to wax lyrical about fermented fruit or claim that a snazzy bouquet is the essence of life. David’s story is in all senses something that rose from the ashes that smouldered on a very dark day back in 2009.
You see, David was one of those people who your heart went out to when the phrase ‘Black Saturday’ entered our vocabulary all those years ago. Almost everything he had lived and loved was destroyed in the bushfires that ravaged the Australian state of Victoria in the early part of the year, and though David was eternally grateful for a grant donation of $15,000 from the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal to start rebuilding his life, he had no idea that he would turn this money into something that has since led to over $450,000 worth of aid, contribution, and impact in a range of charitable ventures across Australia – most of these for animal welfare, the environment, and humanitarian aid.
David had always been a lover of good wine, and in our experience with our merchants, this is always a pretty good reason for setting up an eCommerce business dealing in the deliciousness of your choice. David had more than just a passion, though. He knew some friends in the wine industry, and was privy to the knowledge that there were lots of great wines in quantities too small to be of interest to big online wine players, that were just crying out to be sold to good people. David knew that there were lots of these wines tucked away in wineries all over the country, and so he made a plan to deliver these hidden gems to really good people at really good prices, whilst passing on 50% of Goodwill’s profit to the charity of each customer’s choice. He saw this as a way of giving something back from the grant he’d been awarded by the Red Cross.
Donating to the charity of your customers’ choice. How’s that for personalised service?
It all sounded easy enough, but with 50% of businesses failing in their first five years, David knew that his goodwill mission would make his survival in eCommerce twice as hard. Although he literally lived his new venture (sleeping in his makeshift shed for several years alongside his tipple treasures), the good work he was doing wasn’t always enough to get David through the darkest days, and so he progressed his personalisation from hand-labelling the bottles he’d bought, to writing and adding in hand-written thank you notes to every single customer who purchased one from him.
From that point, the business started to do for David’s wellbeing what it had done all along for the wellbeing of others. Not only did the profits expand, but the support David got back in return showed that he was appreciated for more than just his good taste in good wine.
Personalisation, profit and purpose. We’ll happily bundle our weight behind any business with that kind of blend!
We were lucky enough to speak with David about how Bundle Builder has integrated into his store.
"When we migrated to Shopify last year it enabled us to implement some new features that weren’t so easy to have on our previous (custom-built) website due to the costs involved in implementation.
We knew our customers enjoyed our pre-made mixed cases but wanted to offer them a way to build their own custom mix and create a personalised selection of their favourite Goodwill Wines.
We searched far and wide and in the end we chose to go with the Bundle Builder because it was the most customisable option for our needs. We were also looking for an app that would allow us to separate the products in the bundle into smaller lists that were easier to read e.g. a page for red wines, a page for white wines, etc. With over 40 wines available in this bundle, we loved how Bundle Builder enabled us to break this down into categories and display the products in a way that both looked appealing and was easy to navigate from the user end.
We never set out with a revenue goal for the wine bundles but if we had, Bundle Builder would certainly have exceeded those expectations. Our bundles became a huge hit with our customers and far more popular than we ever expected.
In the first month after launching our two bundles, they were the top selling products across our entire store. With over 40 other long-established products to choose from, the fact that our bundles out-sold everything else showed that it was a huge success and something our customers definitely wanted.
In the analytics section in the app we also found it really interesting to drill down into the most popular products customers were putting into their bundles. There were a few surprises in there, especially as a couple of the top selling items don’t sell quite as well as stand-alone products. Which gave further transparency into our customer’s buying behaviour and showed that many of our customers want to sample a few bottles of different wines inside a bundle as opposed to committing to half or full cases of those varieties.
In all we’re really happy with how the app has performed and are so glad we gave it a try."
So, whilst our Bundle Builder app was primarily designed to help merchants such as Goodwill Wine to sell more of their produce via a means of offering discounts, deals and bundles to customers who wish to go above and beyond a singular purchase (everyone loves an upsell), we are thrilled that our app means that not only can David and Goodwill Wine drive more revenue and more profits for this wonderful business that was literally built upon burning ground, but that those maximised profits mean that even more money is ‘given back’ to the charitable ventures so close to his customers’ hearts.
Now this blog is here in a business sense to showcase to Shopify merchants the boost that Bundle Builder gives to online businesses – perhaps in the presentation of bulk buys and perfect presents, we urge you, if you can, to visit the Goodwill Wine website to read more about David’s story, and the good work that Goodwill is doing out in the world.