How Absolut Created an eCommerce Masterpiece with Magento

The renowned vodka brand wanted to uplift the underground art community.

When most people think of Absolut, they think of premium vodka. But the iconic bottle design of the leading spirits distiller from Sweden has inspired over 600 artist collaborations over the past 30 years – from Warhol to Basquiat to Bowie. After years of working with great modern artists around the world, in 2015 the brand saw an opportunity to make contemporary art accessible to all, and launched an online art retailer, Absolut Art. Their mission was to create a digital platform for curators, artists, and collectors, and to offer expertly curated prints at accessible price points ranging from $250 to $6,000. The Absolut team began to contact expert local curators in specific cities and hand-picked artists they wanted to exhibit. Absolut had big ambitions to make a global impact and needed a digital platform that matched their unique vision.

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High-quality visuals were important to Absolut Art, as was the ability to make transactions easy. Competing online art sellers offered sterile shopping environments, so Absolut Art wanted to go against the grain and make a lasting impression from first glance. They needed a website that was a digital art form in itself. Their diverse inventory required dynamic product images, and the brand decided they needed to communicate with their customers in a playful way, with fun, interactive tools. To achieve this level of functionality, they needed a versatile solution. They chose Magento.

We were looking for a platform that could provide us [with] a fast eCommerce site and help us realize our global ambition within different markets and with diverse currencies.

Nahema Mehta

CEO of Absolut Art

A work of art, with global engagement.

Just like their hand-picked art, Absolut chose their platform with care. With the help of Magento Solution Partner Vaimo, they selected Magento Commerce (formerly Magento Enterprise Edition). Together, they got to work on building a global multisite that runs on PHP 7, with a focus on Europe and the United States. Absolut Art knew that many of their customers would be shopping on the go, so they created a site that was not just responsive, but able to trigger extra features on mobile devices. They implemented a dating-like mobile tool called “It’s a Match”, allowing users to swipe through art on the go, just like users of Tinder.

On the tech side, the site required intricate connections between products and static blocks. The team needed to weave together artwork products, artwork bundles, and information about the artists and curators. The solution was to create three parts: Collectors, Artists, and Artworks. Content was a key consideration, and artist’s stories were brought to life through advanced auto-playing embedded videos. To provide scale, artwork was presented by an individual holding the piece, usually in their city of origin. An interactive Drag & Drop Room Decorator lets shoppers preview their chosen art in real life rooms. Finally, campaigns were curated through product bundles with artwork and framing, unique tracking of the painting utilizing serial numbers, and inspiration pages.

With Magento out-of-box functionality, Absolut Art required minimal integrations and extensions. They did use the payment solution platforms Ayden and Klarna to streamline global checkout, and Unifaun for their shipping needs. They also added a Multi-Option Filter extension from Vaimo for intricate filtering requirements. 

Absolut Art doubled mobile traffic.

The Absolut Art site launched in April 2015, with a six-month development period. The site was exactly as Absolut Art envisioned it, featuring rich content, extensive story-telling, videos, and unique imagery. Magento gave Absolut Art the ability to create and manage an international platform seamlessly, with insightful sales tracking and the required copyright safety requirements. Since its launch, Absolut Art has seen 77 percent more sessions, a 105 percent increase in mobile traffic, and an impressive 275 percent increase in organic search.

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