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Hawaii Volcanic was searching for a twofold ecommerce solution powered by a subscription, recurring revenue model while staying true to their roots of sustainability with geolocation-based fulfillment. The solution also had to include a store locator option for their omnichannel expansion and a fully shoppable homepage. As a part of their commitment to brand equity, their About Us page required a fully immersive and informative user experience.
Founded in 2014, Hawaii Volcanic is a purpose-driven premium alkaline water and active lifestyle brand based in Hawaii. Not just a beverage company, they promote “Pono” (i.e. Doing what’s right) by sponsoring, organizing and promoting hundreds of charitable programs throughout the state and beyond. Sustainably sourced and lava filtered, the artesian water is bottled in reusable crystal glass and upcycled plastic bottles (rPET) that are 100% recyclable. All of their environmentally friendly packaging is designed to respect Hawaiian culture and traditions.
Although Hawaii Volcanic’s online SKU count is low (4 different kinds of water bottles are sold online), under the hood there is a complex infrastructure to support their business. For that reason, Shopify Plus was the logical choice for an ecommerce platform: its simple user interface camouflages the complex infrastructure. The platform was selected for its quick time to market coupled with the ease of management post-launch. By using an ecommerce platform like Shopify Plus, Hawaii Volcanic can focus on artisan water distribution and social responsibility projects without worrying about the technical details. As a SaaS platform, Shopify Plus removes the burden of hosting, security updates and managing downtime.
Hawaii Volcanic selected Shopify Plus for its low total cost of ownership (TCO) and for the ease of ongoing website management without the need for significant developer involvement. The platform has given Hawaii Volcanic the flexibility to easily manage the Homepage and About Us page, theme settings and styling as the company scales and adds additional content and products. Shopify Plus has enabled the business to operate smoothly despite complex shipping logic and subscription automation rules.
Hawaii Volcanic runs two different 3PL systems for fulfillment: one is for orders delivered to Hawaii and the other one is for mainland USA. Guidance had to ensure the system is set up in such a way that only the relevant orders are pulled into the 3PL solutions for fulfillment. Inventory added another layer of complexity to the puzzle: all products had to be managed not only per warehouse but also had to accurately fulfill outstanding/active subscriptions and pre-paid subscriptions. By using OrderGroove as the subscription management solution, the two unique 3PL services could fulfill subscription orders that flowed into their centers as OrderGroove creates new orders as each renewal becomes ready.
Shipping bottles of water may seem straightforward but existing shipping restrictions and regulations on mainland USA and Hawaii adds to the complexity. Guidance helped Hawaii Volcanic solve those complexities with Shipwire’s managed fulfillment centers in continental USA and Hawaii. It has given them the flexibility to connect to warehouse locations and store inventory strategically to improve shipping costs that trickle down to the end customer. Orders sent to the warehouse before the standard cutoff time are shipped the same day and that guarantee is important for their subscription orders where customers expect timely delivery of their water orders.
As Hawaii Volcanic expands their B2B wholesale business to grocery stores like Whole Foods and others, automated retail replenishment services and drop ship orders for retail partners is crucial to their business. Shipwire has given Hawaii Volcanic the flexibility to operate with near automated procedures to schedule freight shipments, ship on third party accounts and confidently drop ship on behalf of their retail partners. The Shipwire fulfillment solution has given Hawaii Volcanic an enhanced position in their competitive industry.
“Not all development partners are the same. Without the Guidance team our website would've just been a standard ecommerce site. Guidance's technical expertise enabled us to challenge the norm and build the brand experience we want for our fans.”
Part of Hawaii Volcanic’s commitment to sustainability means fulfilling bottle sizing requirements in Hawaii and mainland USA. In order to recognize which state a customer is in when they place their order, GeoIP is used to suggest a shipping state. Usually this is a straightforward process but occasionally a customer shops in one state and ships to another state. To solve for this complexity, Guidance implemented logic to detect conflicting shipping location during checkout and perform identical product substitution in cart (each product has an equivalent Hawaiian/mainland USA version) as required by different shipment zip codes. While varying functionality within different regions or countries is not atypical, having to support different products by zip code required complex workarounds.
The requirement for zip code-based products met with unique solutions for location detection, shipping zones and furthermore complicated testing as most VPNs do not allow IP selection from within a certain state in a country. Ultimately, the ability to present different catalogs based on GeoIP state and their associated products by state from within the global catalog was a unique requirement met by the Guidance team with enthusiasm for a clever solution.
Hawaii Volcanic’s 4 different water bottles are sold in cases of 24 bottles as a one time purchase or as a subscription, either prepaid in full or with ongoing billing cycles. Guidance helped Hawaii Volcanic achieve subscription automation through OrderGroove. The solution has built a profitable recurring revenue source for Hawaii Volcanic as a substantial number of their customers prefer to set and forget their water bottle deliveries. Depending on the shipment frequency, OrderGroove creates a new shipment notification when water bottles are expected to be delivered to the customer. OrderGroove powers the seamless customer experience Hawaii Volcanic was looking for including subscription automation, reordering, memberships renewals and more. The combination of OrderGroove with the 3PL solutions has given Hawaii Volcanic the flexibility to allow subscription orders to flow easily into fulfillment centers in both principal locations.
One of the best ways for Hawaii Volcanic to evangelize their product is through customer ratings and written reviews. Guidance helped Hawaii Volcanic integrate Shopify Plus’ Product Reviews feature to allow customers to leave honest reviews of their experience with the water. It has given shoppers the opportunity to engage with the community of fellow customers looking not just for excellent tasting water but also to be part of a broader lifestyle.
Shopify’s Product Reviews is a theme-friendly design that seamlessly incorporates into the existing website design giving the user an experience that fits with the existing website’s feel. Hawaii Volcanic can easily customize the layout options, text and colors as their brand image evolves and changes without needing additional coding. It’s given the company’s website the ability to engage with customers in new and important ways to create an ongoing conversation both pre- and post- conversion.
The Product Review app has important behind the scenes functionality like bulk actions that allow Hawaii Volcanic to publish, hide, filter and manage reviews quickly and easily. CSV import and export tools empowers the team with the ability to manage all reviews in a spreadsheet--an invaluable function as reviews reach the hundreds and thousands. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, all ratings and reviews are published to Google for SEO-friendly results as shoppers search for water products through Google’s search engine.
Given the beauty of Hawaii’s natural resources, it makes sense that Hawaii Volcanic’s Instagram feed is equally stunning. With Instafeed, the company can now display custom shoppable Instagram images live from the feed on their webstore. Guidance helped Hawaii Volcanic implement this certified app that supports both image and video posts in a fully responsive widget. The minimal and elegant design is similar to the Instagram theme and the customer immediately identifies the images as a collection of shoppable Instagram images.
The solution allows Hawaii Volcanic to keep their content fresh as the app continually uses Instagram images to automatically drive new content to their website. This has given the company greater social proof for both their products and their charitable contributions to Hawaii culture. As such, Hawaii Volcanic has been able to extend their reach faster and farther in less time and they’ve gained new followers and likes in the process. Their marketing department can easily customize the feed and link posts directly to Instagram. Moreover, one of the greatest benefits is the ability to tag their products in lifestyle photos that create shoppable Instagram feeds quickly and easily.
The “About Us” page showcases the company’s devotion to bottling a pristine natural resource while also giving back to the Earth in a Pono (Doing What’s Right) manner. So much more than a typical About Us page, this homage to Hawaii’s land and people is filled with stunning imagery, movement and balance. As the user scrolls through the page, images glide in and beautiful parallax design keeps the eye focused on the importance of their mission. Behind the scenes, Shopify Plus allows the company to quickly add content and rotate images as they participate in and create new sustainability projects. The centrality of their devotion to sustaining Hawaii’s natural resources is molded on each bottle of water captured in visually stunning imagery. The About Us page leaves the customer with no doubt that the company’s commitment to using recycled and upcycled materials is forefront in their mission to preserve the bounty of Hawaii.
Guidance helped Hawaii Volcanic create an ecommerce solution powered by a subscription-based revenue model that leverages geolocation for sustainable fulfillment of water bottle orders.
The new ecommerce website now includes a store locator tool for their omnichannel expansion into retail stores. As an homage to their ongoing brand awareness, the new About Us page presents an enhanced and educational user experience.
Hawaii Volcanic was searching for an ecommerce solution that would be a reflection of their brand voice and their cultural commitment to spreading “Pono” (i.e. Doing what’s right). Guidance helped Hawaii Volcanic achieve this goal by creating an immersive website experience powered by a subscription, recurring revenue model and geolocation-based fulfilment logic. The website now has ratings UGC review as well as Instagram-enabled shoppable feeds.
The new store locator tool helps customers find their artisan water in retail stores and has led to greater omnichannel expansion for their wholesale distribution network. The fully shoppable Product Landing Page and immersive About Us page are seamlessly interwoven within the website and belie the underlying sophistication of this ecommerce solution.
Silver Winner - General - Food & Beverage