Key facts (60 days post-launch)

39.24% +
Website users
50% +
Organic Traffic
50% +
In Revenue
  • CMS: Storyblok

  • Framework: Next.JS

  • Deployment: Vercel

  • eCommerce: Shopify

About Wüsthof

Wüsthof is a knife-maker based in Solingen, Germany, that has been family-owned for seven generations. The company sells mid to high-end kitchen knives for both domestic and professional use, making them one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chef’s knives sold in over 80 countries, with North America being considered Wüsthof’s largest market.

About Vividfront

Vividfront is a strategic digital marketing, web design & web development agency based in Cleveland, Ohio. Specialized in both B2B and B2C, they offer a holistic approach to strategies and development, delivering results and revenue to their clients.

The Project: Scaling for a global digital experience

Wüsthof was at a point of transition in recently bringing direct consumers online and taking ownership of their brand. Historically, Wüsthof is a tools manufacturer with over 200 years of experience but with little overall experience in direct-to-consumer and digital marketing. When Jamaliya Cobine (Executive Vice President of Direct Consumer & Digital Marketing at Wüsthof Global) and Nicolas Coia (Global Director of User Experience Design) came on board in 2021, their initial goals were to reevaluate and ultimately relaunch the website that would best fit the ecosystem they wanted to be in that was digital, and aligned with the level of premium products that they offered. This meant finally taking back ownership of their brand ethos and market space and elevating their brand experience on a global and digital scale.

They wanted to work with agility and streamline processes internally. Wüsthof's line of work is reactionary where they are driven to launch new campaigns and products over the year with a rich roadmap. At the same time, the company is also working on transitioning old approaches to new processes and onboarding a small set of their team to agile working methods into 2022.

Vividfront’s task was to modernize and innovate Wüsthof’s range of touchpoints, from their landing site, applications, campaigns, and more. Over the last two years, one of their goals was to modernize their development while searching for a content management system that could fit their needs and demands while removing barriers to entry and allowing the team at Wüsthof to be flexible in its innovation and implementation.

Vividfront has been with Wüsthof for 6 years, understanding the transition they are going through. In specializing in B2C, they were Wüsthof’s operational momentum into their new rebranding and connection in their go-to-market strategy. At the same time, they are also approaching the future and adopting and modernizing their development strategy to adopt headless CMSs for flexibility.

Storyblok editing capabilities

Joseph Testa, Managing Director of Development, joined in 2015 with Vividfront while Wüsthof was already a client at the time, taking them from a proprietary Javascript-based platform while trying to bring them to the US market. They moved Wüsthof’s then Javascript-based site to a Magento 1 format hoping that Wüsthof would start a D2C approach there. Albeit it not happening on Magento 1, not being an active selling site but rather a complete catalog of Wüsthof’s offerings, it was only in 2020, in reaction to the pandemic, that Vividfront helped bring to life Wüsthof’s desire to jump into the direct-to-consumer market space.

Hand-in-hand, Vividfront proposed a Shopify set up to bring them up to speed in a quick manner that propelled their shopfront from just a proposal to a live online site in just five weeks. While the Shopify setup site was successful, they quickly realized it was not the “end-all-be-all” experience they wanted to build out with. Consequently, they started to look for scalability with the help of a headless CMS to gain access to global consumer markets quickly. It was here that Storyblok came into view, as Wüsthof and Vividfront’s CMS of choice into 2021.

Quote from Nicolas Coia, Global Director of User Experience Design

  • Because Storyblok is very nimble we are able to react to marketing demands with immediacy. We have a strong bank of components that allow us to design and publish new customer experiences with ease and speed.

    Picture of Nicolas Coia
    Nicolas Coia
    Global Director of User Experience Design

Other CMSs that offered eCommerce options were thought to be still a bit restrictive, preventing the brand from growing and scaling quickly at the rate they wanted. However, with Storyblok, this was the complete opposite, combining Shopify and Storyblok, allowing Wüsthof’s team to act reactively to real-time customer input to create, adapt and edit new experiences and campaigns easily.

Storyblok editing capabilities

Diagram of Wüsthof's tech-stack

The need to lead a global business with a best-of-breed approach

When leading a global business, scalability and the ability to have a best-of-breed approach are leading drivers for business success. Historically, while Wüsthof was new to the direct-to-consumer space, and sat on completely different tech stacks based on different regions, leading to those components at times, not growing simultaneously in a streamlined way. This was the case for Wüsthof in 2020, where quickly they pushed for a unified and global infrastructure that could be managed efficiently, choosing exactly what they needed, and have full confidence in its capabilities such as Shopify’s uptime and checkout and Storyblok’s range that gives them the creative capabilities into their campaigns of connecting with their customers on an emotional and lifestyle level.

Quote from Joseph Testa, Managing Director of Development at Vividfront

  • The beauty of working with a setup that combines Storyblok and Shopify means we get to exactly keep the things that we like. For us, this lets us focus on each step of the customer journey, such as the checkout process with Shopify is safe and secure, and with Storyblok, that serves as our content management system designed for flexibility and scalability on a global scale and have complete control over the frontend that is our content and our customer’s experience.

    Picture of Joseph Testa
    Joseph Testa
    Managing Director of Development at Vividfront

While this would be easier said than done to integrate such a setup across various locations properly, languages, and different product catalogs, the perfect marriage between a Shopify and Storyblok setup allowed Wüsthof to manage and oversee multiple global products catalogs while being highly localized.

Storyblok editing capabilities

Why Storyblok: Why did Vividfront choose Storyblok for Wüsthof?

When Vividfront started their search for a CMS for Wüsthof’s needs and projections of scaling, the agency had two main criteria:

  1. They wanted to provide Wüsthof with a content management experience that could scale and work globally across various regions and languages

  2. Find a suitable CMS for Wüsthof that was explicitly not a typical headless system that was set up on fields because it is hard for a content manager to experience and visualize the simple things like content for campaigns.

For Wüsthof’s main requirements, they specifically focused on finding a content management system that was user-friendly and easy to learn for all kinds of users, teams, and any level of the organization

This led Vividfront down towards Storyblok that could provide the needed documentation and features for global scalability and localization in a headless CMS while consequently having the real-time content experience with the visual editor. For Wüsthof, Storyblok matched their team from different abilities and backgrounds that could quickly and easily learn and use Storyblok’s interface and visual editor. This helped users visualize the content experience they were trying to build. They also looked ahead and ideated what potential campaigns could be built out of the features provided.

Quote from Jamaliya Cobine, Executive Vice President Direct to Consumer & Digital Marketing at Wüsthof Global

  • Storyblok’s visual editor is a fit for a big consumer products brand, like Wüsthof. When you are trying to sell something on a global scale, having something as simple as the visual editor allows you to see the big picture, visualize what’s to come ahead, and connect our team with our customers a little closer.

    Picture of Jamaliya Cobine
    Jamaliya Cobine
    Executive Vice President Direct to Consumer & Digital Marketing at Wüsthof Global

In terms of Storyblok’s workflows, Wüsthof was able to also use, alongside Vividfront, cross-collaborative user roles that would designate each user’s access to a specific project or space within Wüsthof’s site setup. That granularity level makes sure teams are where they need to be while working on exactly in a very organized manner, making it almost impossible to break something accidentally.

Quote from Nicolas Coia, Global Director of User Experience Design

  • We’ve never had this much control over the products and campaigns we are designing and publishing. The ability to view, change and control based on workflows is also impressive, allowing us to streamline processes across teams and certain users

    Picture of Nicolas Coia
    Nicolas Coia
    Global Director of User Experience Design

Onboarding with Storyblok

Wüsthof’s journey kicked off in August 2021 while laying the groundwork conceptually behind the scenes alongside the setup of their Shopify storefront before integrating with Storyblok in September 2021. The direct-to-consumer Storyblok-based site ultimately launched at the end of October 2021 before Black Friday and the holiday season, making it a tight timeline Storyblok-side in the development and design of the site prior to launch.

Throughout Wüsthof’s onboarding process with Vividfront, Joseph from the agency went through a collective real-time process of how Storyblok worked where Wüsthof’s team were onboarded in just one week while simultaneously doing the QA with finalizations in development and design. This proved a testament not only to Vividfront’s transfer of knowledge in explaining the setup, features, site architecture, and breakpoints, but the simple learning process users would have using a system such as Storyblok, and the rapid onboarding process that took place for a global site of such a scale.

Setting up their site for success

Such simple learning processes and a rapid onboarding process ultimately set Wüsthof’s site up for success. For example, the recurring feedback that Nicolas relays to Wüsthof’s Germany-based team on their ongoing setup with Storyblok clears any doubts of the system bugging up or being too technical to manage. At present, Wüsthof is currently working on bringing together two different product site catalogs that exist on two different navigation systems between the North American and EMEA systems.

Overall, approximately 6 users currently use Storyblok across Wüsthof’s set up in various locations worldwide as they roll out to new regions within the next six months. At present, with Wüsthof’s US site, 2 to 3 people go into Storyblok daily from teams such as user experience, eCommerce leadership, marketing, and design. The ability to have teams from all non-technical levels and expertise using Storyblok shows its unique feature where non-developer users can easily manage content and campaigns inside Storyblok without any technical experience.

Wüsthof’s overall site performance 60-days post-launch saw an improved user experience that led to an increase of 39.24% in website users, a 50% increase in organic website traffic, and seamless online shopping experience that lent to a 50% jump in revenue. On top of that, their Google Lighthouse scores soared into the 90s, on par with exactly as they needed for a fast-performing site made for customer experiences. Fundamentally, however, the most significant change came in the overall usability and user experience of the website of a customer’s journey with a duo Shopify-Storyblok setup. Based on Jaimailya’s previous experience in large eCommerce FMCG and retail firms, conversion rates usually take a step back over the end of October. In contrast, Wüsthof’s metrics rose above expectations and had a degree up in conversions.

Key Takeaways

At Storyblok, we have always strived to create the best headless experience possible, made for both developers and marketers alike. For Wüsthof, having a perfect sync between an eCommerce integration such as Shopify with Storyblok’s user-friendly setup allowed the brand to grow continuously and launch a brand new eCommerce direct-to-consumer site that was scalable and performed beyond expectations in just 3 months. This created a perfect opportunity for Wüsthof to take advantage of such a direct-to-consumer approach while staying true to their roots and streamlining their cross-team collaboration internally.