The Clydeside Distillery


The Client

The Clydeside Distillery is a Single Malt Scotch Whisky distillery, visitor experience, café, specialist whisky shop and exclusive use events venue on the banks of the River Clyde. The jewel in the crown is the dedicated Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery, located in the Pumphouse building which once oversaw river traffic for the famous Queen’s Dock, including vessels transporting whisky to every corner of the globe.

Today the Pumphouse has been transformed through a complete renovation, including the addition of a distinct copper still housed in a glass structure which is responsible for producing a Single Malt in the time-honoured and hand-crafted tradition.

This family run Distillery has a long association with whisky distillation which contributes to a rich and fascinating story to support the promotion of Glasgow’s first dedicated Single Malt Whisky distillery in more than 100 years.

The Brief

We were brought on board to work closely with our client to create an enhanced ecommerce user experience that effectively communicates the Distillery’s rich brand story built on care and provenance; encouraging engagement & interaction. The identified need was clear: a customer focussed, mobile friendly user experience leading to increased customer acquisition & retention – whilst reflecting exceptional customer experience acknowledged through a 5-star VisitScotland award in April 2019.

Delivery: Brand Discovery

The Clydeside Distillery, with unrivalled pedigree in the drinks space know what their brand stands for. Working closely with the Distillery’s San Francisco-based Brand agency, Manual, it was essential for our Team to grasp the brand’s distinctive value proposition & persuasiveness; leveraging the brand qualities to maximise our client’s online reach, engagement and ability to convert more visitors in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

Our Brand Discovery also embraces quantifiable user journeys and in the Clydeside Distillery’s case these are forked to simultaneously appeal to visitors seeking to:

  • Purchase whisky and merchandise
  • Buy vouchers for themselves / as a gift
  • Book from a range of tours: The Clydeside / Chocolate & Whisky / Distillery Manager / Private
  • Make an events-related enquiry

A Multi-faceted User Experience

This multi-faceted UX must therefore allow users to explore the brand story, diving deeper into themes of provenance, heritage, values - whilst allowing repeat visitors who know they want to quickly browse and checkout.

Clear and visual banners with calls to action promoting the Distilleries Tours as well as their Whisky process and products can be activated throughout the site as required, building the overall brand experience.

Given this is a relatively new brand with aspirations for a global audience, this new site must clearly support the Clydeside Distillery’s story: who they are and what they represent.

Simple yet Powerful CMS to Drive the Brand UX & Sales

A great CMS is not just a secure portal for editing content, but a flexible platform that allows our clients’ websites to innovate and adapt to their ongoing and expanding needs. At Radiator we offer a range of CMS platforms to best suit our clients’ needs with open-source, expandability and easy of use always key considerations.

For the Distillery, the chosen CMS needed to simultaneously support an immersive user experience and an intuitive, speedy shopping experience: for users, at work, home or on the move.

A hybrid solution, combining leading platforms Umbraco and Shopify strikes this perfect balance of best-in-class ecommerce functionality, with the unrestricted, creative freedom of Umbraco’s content management system -

  • Umbraco’s robust open-source content management platform allows us to take a content-first, user experience led approach to build a bespoke website specifically optimised for the Distillery’s needs
  • With unique, made-to-measure product pages to best showcase the clients’ offering - allowing for the inclusion of additional and rich product info, images, video, process etc. with the ‘Add to basket’ always clear and prominent
  • This solution provides the freedom to better integrate buying opportunities with non eCommerce pages – meaning visitors to the ‘Plan your visit’ page can be persuaded to make an online product purchase there an then
  • Shopify makes the product management easy -SKUs, weights, quantities, discount codes, shipping rules etc. - can all be monitored and controlled through Shopify’s slick, easy-to-use dashboard
    • We then integrate these with Umbraco, using Shopify’s robust Storefront API
    • On checkout, the user is funnelled through Shopify’s familiar, slick, mobile-optimised checkout process
  • Umbraco also allows for complex 3rd-party integrations that might otherwise be tricky to integrate with Shopify directly
  • In the Distillery’s case, integration with CRM & Ticketing platform Access Gamma was required to deliver a seamless ecommerce journey across products, merchandise, tickets & vouchers – both during and after the sale
Diagram showing how RADIATOR leverage multiple 3rd-party platforms to achieve a robust, seamless voucher purchase

Natural Search Exposure

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is central to the Distillery’s Digital Marketing Strategy, driving online authority, awareness and traffic, whilst enabling our client to evolve and adapt to relevant online trends.

In built SEO Best Practice

As a fully integrated digital agency, our Digital Marketing experts work closely with our Development Team to ensure that all Umbraco rollouts are as SEO friendly as possible - removing all barriers to our clients’ pages and content ranking for targeted searches. Creating content takes time and our in-built SEO module ensures these assets are working as hard as possible across all our clients.

Preserving SEO value built to date

Maintaining the natural search value built to date & through the eyes of Google was an essential part of planning to ensure our client was not starting from scratch from a natural ranking perspective with the launch of the site. Our ‘Search Profile Preservation’ service, encompassing domain redirects and content migration ensures all value is passed over to the Distillery’s new site.

Fully Managed & Strategic SEO

We are running ongoing Strategic SEO for the Distillery to grow its natural search profile and targeted reach in an online space with no shortage of demand and competition. This service includes performance monitoring and ongoing analysis and recommendations, using a range of tracking platforms from Google.

This invaluable service ensures our respective Teams remain in close contact beyond launch – adding month on month value to this revised digital presence.

Our customers are discerning and notice the detail and care that goes into our products. For us, it is very important that this approach continues through our online presence - an increasingly important route to market for us.

Radiator’s handling of our Team was reassuring and positive throughout – as have the results.

Andrew Morrison, MD, The Clydeside Distillery, Oct 2022