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Leveraging Storyblok & Shopify Plus to Launch into New Markets

  • Headquarters: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Technology Stack: Next.js, Vercel, and Shopify

When the pandemic hit, Bols quickly innovated and shifted to a consumer-based approach. They expanded into the US market with an eCommerce platform and a new ready-to-drink cocktail proposition. With Storyblok and Shopify Plus, Bols saw good organic traffic and high SEO rankings, with at least 200k to 300k monthly users. The implementation took 2-months with the Dutch agency Story of AMS.

2 months
300k+ New Users
At Launch
  • Quote from Joris van der Spek, Global eCommerce & CRM Manager at Bols

    Storyblok enables us to focus on the products and display the experience with your products. With the way content is managed in Storyblok, we can bring that magic to our consumers with an intuitive and easy-to-manage platform.

    Joris van der Spek
    Joris van der Spek
    Global eCommerce & CRM Manager at Bols

Section titled Challenges amid COVID-19 That Restricted Growth

Bols' previous customized CMS setup and webshop lacked the tools for an autonomous workflow for their marketing team. This hindered their ability to drive the project expansion for the US market. Story of AMS advised Bols to rethink their tech stack and migrate to Storyblok. This would allow the brand to control content and handle its go-to-market strategy.

The recommendation was to adopt a robust eCommerce platform. The goal was for it to facilitate the brand's move to a direct-to-consumer approach.

Section titled How Storyblok Facilitates Bols’ US eCommerce Expansion

Storyblok helped solve Bols' eCommerce expansion through content-driven commerce with these specific features:

  • Dynamic page-building to allow A/B testing to evaluate and improve the customer purchasing experience
  • Independence for marketers to manage their content and create campaigns with the help of reusable blocks
  • The overall developer experience for the agency to quickly hand over projects to Bols' marketers and handle content as they go
  • The Visual Editor—with just a bit of guidance, marketers can quickly build streamlined content and campaigns in real time

Section titled Why Did Story of AMS Choose Storyblok for Bols?

Bols distributes to more than 110 countries worldwide as a global brand, focusing on D2C distribution. They moved to Storyblok with the intention of relaunching their eCommerce website. The company previously used Story of AMS' custom-built solution operating on a basic static level for their website. To make the experience more user-friendly, the brand and agency decided to take on Storyblok as their headless CMS of choice.

A screenshot of Bols Cocktail Moments

A screenshot of Bols Cocktail Moments

  • Quote from Doeke Leeuwis, Founder & Technical Director at Story of AMS

    We want to give our customers the best flexibility and setup. That's why Storyblok is perfect for brands looking to manage their marketing activities and campaigns.

    Doeke Leeuwis
    Doeke Leeuwis
    Founder & Technical Director at Story of AMS

Bols aimed to reinvent and sell its products through a direct-to-consumer (D2C) approach. The brand wanted to be ready if anything like the pandemic were ever to happen again. Story of AMS consulted the brand to switch to Shopify Plus. The plugin (Shopify Plus Bulk Invite) could pull data from Shopify to Storyblok for their Dutch and US eCommerce shops.

Using the Shopify Plus Bulk Inviter, Bols migrated all their customer data and invited them to activate their accounts in the new store. Storyblok allowed teams to quickly create and manage content for different campaigns and product lines.

From there, Story of AMS also created a form builder within Storyblok for Bols' Bartending Academy. It is connected to Storyblok and sends data to the appropriate locations on the website.

By bringing on Shopify Plus, Bols could also explore new payment streams. It meant localizing their Dutch site (in Dutch and English) and expanding to the US with localization for the American English audience.

A screenshot of Bols’ website from August 2021

A screenshot of Bols’ website from August 2021

With dynamic page-building, Bols conducted A/B testing to enhance their customer buying experience. This helps measure KPIs such as click-through and conversion rates, leading to increased revenue, greater loyalty, and an improved consumer experience.

  • Quote from Doeke Leeuwis, Founder & Technical Director at Story of AMS

    I liked how we sold Storyblok's flexibility for eCommerce shops. You can see it with teams creating content-rich pages, in selling not just a product, but the moment you will have with that product.

    Doeke Leeuwis
    Doeke Leeuwis
    Founder & Technical Director at Story of AMS

In just 2 months, Bols launched into a new market to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis. They transitioned from a B2B business to a B2C and D2C setup, attracting 300k+ new users upon launch.

Section titled Telling Great Stories with Content-Driven Commerce

Bols can tell content-rich storytelling experiences of their products. Storyblok has enabled them to sell the products and the experiences and moments that come with them. With a Storyblok and Shopify Plus combination, Bols powered their expansion in the US with the proper localization tools. Today, Bols has complete control over their content, enabling them to narrate their story as they desire.

A screenshot of Bols' Cocktail Moments

A screenshot of Bols' Cocktail Moments

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