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Craft Central

The Brief

Craft Central is one of Ireland’s top independent craft beer specialists, with an in-store selection of over 600 beers, constantly rotated. They specialise in limited edition beers from Ireland and overseas — through their Dublin store packed floor to ceiling with unique brews, and their well-stocked website.

Their old site was starting to feel like a flat, weak lager, so they drafted Matrix in to develop a new platform that goes down easy for beer connoisseurs and newbies alike. 

Craft Central was launched as a beer section in a newsagent in 2016, and they’ve built a reputation as experts in their field. Through an extensive discovery phase, we collaborated with Craft Central on branding and user experience workshops. Their goal was to complement their in-store selection, customer service and expertise with a new online platform and become the biggest brand in the industry, in Ireland and internationally.

The new site balances sleek and seamless UX and UI design with powerful eCommerce functionality. We built the site on the Shopify content management system, with integrated third-party plugins for a stable and simple eCommerce experience, and an efficient sales process.

An enhanced user experience was a crucial factor in the new build, and the site caters for two distinct customer types we identified during the UX discovery workshop — hardcore beer fans who know exactly what they want, and casual, curious shoppers searching for gifts and recommendations.

The menu feels like a virtual guide from a master brewer — customers can search for beers by country, brewery, style, price and ABV, and a new ‘Wheeler Dealer’ section for emerging trends and offers. The hundreds of cans and bottles are presented in a colourful gallery with expert guides and visually appealing product carousels, quirky quotes and subtle animations. And for the special beer nerd in your life, you can buy and use gift cards if the huge selection feels overwhelming.

Website

Key features

  • 01
    New integrated eCommerce functionalities to enhance the customer experience and sales journey;
  • 02
    New Shopify CMS, with an intuitive backend and powerful plugins;
  • 03
    Intuitive and educational search and categorisations, with highly specific filters;
  • 04
    Bright, bold new branding and images of individual beers and their physical store, for a more engaging blended experience;
  • 05
    Inclusive messaging to appeal to a wide range of customers.
Goals

Goals

To position Craft Central as Ireland’s leading craft beer specialists with a new site that showcases their expertise and their incredible selection.

  • Boost online sales and visitors to the store with an inviting interface and seamless browsing and shopping experience;
  • Become a constantly updated learning hub for beer enthusiasts;
  • Increase international sales by showcasing exclusive Irish beers.
Process

Process

Collaboration is key, from branding to developing a winning UX and eCommerce model.

  • Branding and UX discovery workshops to define distinct beer customer types, simplified user journeys and eCommerce functionality;
  • Custom graphic design phase, from wireframes based on the sitemap, to final templates, signed off by the client;
  • Development phase with ongoing feedback on test site;
  • Staff training for future edits and updates on site, before extensive QA phase and live launch.
Results

Results

Craft Central can crack open a cold one to toast a site that sets them up as industry leaders.

  • A new site that finally catches up with Craft Central’s reputation as Ireland’s leading beer experts;
  • Increased conversions and sales through improved messaging, offer highlights and seamless UX;
  • Future-proofed website that staff can update easily, in line with their quickly rotating collection.