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Manitoba Harvest grows its hemp-based CBD business with a migration from WooCommerce to Shopify Plus.

Having dominated the hemp foods category for over 20 years, Manitoba Harvest expanded into the CBD space this year with a direct to consumer sub-brand. As no strangers to regulated spaces, the new brand was a natural transition. Leveraging our e-commerce expertise, experience within health and wellness, and our long-standing relationship with the brand, we partnered with Manitoba Harvest to help shape and build their new online store.

Project

Marketing & E-commerce

Categories

Platform Migration, Strategy, IA, UX, Design, Development

Year

2019

Platform

Shopify Plus

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Customer first experience

The CBD product line came with a new set of brand guidelines, which was a distinct offshoot from the core Manitoba Harvest brand. Leveraging the bright and playful branding, we developed a unique digital style guide which enabled us to showcase the personality of the brand, educate the target audience and drive online sales.

Ensuring a seamless shopping experience from landing page to checkout, we optimized each touchpoint for the customer. We created informative category pages that highlight the key benefits of each product format. We also optimized product cards with a direct Add to Cart button, so that no matter where they were in the shopping experience, a customer could easily check out.

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Migrating from WooCommerce to Shopify Plus

Due to regulatory restrictions, the site was originally built on WordPress and WooCommerce. However, in September 2019, Shopify announced a change to their model, opening up merchants in the US to sell hemp-derived CBD products on the platform. As the Manitoba Harvest CBD product line grew quickly, so did the need for a platform that could grow with them. Manitoba Harvest were eager to migrate from WooCommerce to Shopify Plus to provide more functionality and flexibility to their customers and grow with the ever evolving CBD landscape.

Working within the limitations of a regulated industry

With laws surrounding hemp and CBD evolving quickly, being agile and staying on top of ever-changing regulations was key to our role to support the Manitoba Harvest team. From payment gateway to email service providers, it was imperative to review and vet all potential technical partners to ensure they could deliver on the specific needs of the brand within the regulated CBD market.

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Regulated restrictions included ensuring all legal requirements were met with complex shipping and billing restrictions. We leveraged Shopify Plus features (Shopify Flow, Scripts and Shipping Profiles) to both safeguard and automate these processes. In addition, we were required to allow access to Certificates of Analysis (COAs) enabling customers to see what’s in their CBD product batch.

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Collaborating with Plus partners

We worked with the Manitoba Harvest team to uncover the user needs and related business goals for the site. We fleshed out the requirements for their marketing needs, rewards program and ERP integrations and worked alongside our selected Shopify Plus Certified App partners; Klaviyo, Smile and eBridge to deliver best-in-class solutions.