Making magic online with Koko Black
Inside Koko Black’s growth recipe for online success
Australians have a knack for making delicious things even better, making the best of the world’s food traditions their own.
In the early noughties, Koko Black’s founders realised the Australian culinary landscape still lacked one important thing: premium, world-class, distinctively Australian chocolate.
They set out to make the best chocolate anywhere, available to Australians everywhere. Chocolate that isn’t just a hit of cocoa, but a little dose of magic. Chocolate that tastes like an experience and feels like an art form. This was where the Koko Black dream began. A mix of curiosity, conviction and couverture.
A look back with Koko Black
Now approaching the brand’s 20th year, Koko Black is an omnichannel business that boasts 19 bricks and mortar storefronts across Australia, with stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
They started working with leading web design and development agency, Convert Digital, in 2018, migrating from a brand-only Squarespace presence to their very first ecommerce site on Shopify. This first came about as an experiment; testing the waters to see Australia’s appetite for buying chocolate online.
The experiment was a success: over the next five years the brand has seen significant growth online, becoming a well-loved gifting destination for all seasons and reasons.
Seasonal gifting is at the heart of Koko Black’s offering – from Easter to Christmas, birthdays to anniversaries and more.
Across the years, the team have worked alongside Convert Digital on unique campaigns that surprise and delight their customers. This includes the animated ‘Easter Wonder Down Under’ campaign; a one-of-a-kind Easter egg hunt campaign with daily giveaways, email capture and an interactive front-end experience that pushed the creative boundaries of Shopify.
Over the years Convert Digital has almost become an extension of Koko Black’s typically lean ecommerce and digital marketing team, particularly when scaling from simple seasonal and ad hoc projects to the intensive day-to-day management required in 2023.
The partnership has helped Koko Black work smarter, while leveraging the best tech to manage the everyday running of their D2C site without significant overheads incurred by larger businesses with in-house development teams.
“Working with Koko Black has been an incredible journey for Convert Digital. As their long-term agency partner, from the early days we have had the privilege of witnessing their growth and evolution, while supporting them to navigate the challenges and opportunities that come with running an omnichannel business. I’m excited to see what we do together next!”
Andrew Waite (Founder & Managing Director, Convert Digital)
Making magic (not just chocolate)
By mid-2022, it was clear Koko Black's four-year-old site no longer had the functionality and content flexibility needed to tell brand stories while also delivering an optimal experience for both site users and the Koko Black team.
With customisation on customisation, the site was running into technical debt while struggling to keep up with user demands. The Koko Black team worked with Convert Digital to identify the need for a redesign and upgrade project on Shopify Plus, harnessing Shopify 2.0 and a best-of-breed tech stack to realign Koko Black’s rich brand experience with their online presence.
“We wanted technology to sit at the same creative innovation table as our culinary chocolatiers, production, warehouse, marketing and operations colleagues. However, the existing site was becoming outdated and unruly to manage with customisation and workarounds for some of the more complex functionality. Not a great use of our time and resources, nor our partners. It was time for an update.”
Dan Gregson (Digital Product Manager, Koko Black)
Launching just in time for Easter
The new website project was made all the more challenging given the seasonality of the Koko Black business and the need for a code freeze over a peak festive season. Convert Digital committed to launch in the third week of February 2023 – post Valentine’s Day – to alleviate potential site instability and ensure an optimal user experience for the second busiest period of the year: Easter.
The sparkling new, streamlined Shopify 2.0 website launched right on schedule. A perfect showcase of their iconic chocolate range, the site is also powered by Yotpo (reviews and visual user generated content), Searchspring (search and merchandising), Klaviyo (unified customer platform), SpiffCommerce (product customisation), Ricoh Australia (printing), Givex (POS), Gorgias (customer service) and Swym (wishlist).
Download our deep-dive case study to find out more about Koko Black's successful ecommerce journey.
“As a partner and extension of our business for the last five years Convert had a solid understanding of our pain points and provided opportunities and solutions to simplify our tech stack, to improve efficiencies and our overall digital customer experience. Convert Digital rose to the occasion to deliver on an ambitious but necessarily tight deadline as we approached peak season to ensure we could maximise and enable growth for the business. It’s a pleasure working with the team at Convert and I look forward to continuing to shape the Koko Black online experience together.”
Alicia Bruccoleri (Head of Ecommerce & Digital Marketing, Koko Black)