Kabrita realizes international growth with Shopify Plus

Quite possibly Code’s most international client, Kabrita knows a thing or two about how to run a successful global website and online store. The fast growing FMCG brand sells its main product, infant formula based on Dutch goat’s milk, in 30+ countries on 6 continents, wholesale, D2C, offline and online - with a little help from Code.







Shopify plus webshops


Webshop migration
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Services we provided


Store building

UX/UI Design


How to set up international content management

Kabrita has been a client of ours since Carolien Rijkse-Kamerling, currently the Global Head of Digital Marketing at Kabrita’s parent company Ausnutria, asked us to migrate the European Kabrita website to Shopify Plus in 2020. At that time, the site ran on WordPress/WooCommerce - and there was hardly any coordination between regional sales & marketing teams. Carolien recounts: “Best practices weren’t shared, local teams did what they thought best, there was little collaboration.” 

That all changed when Kabrita decided to move all countries to Shopify, which was already used by the US team. Together with Code, Carolien first developed a theme for the EU site and then gradually moved all local teams to working with the central Shopify store. Carolien: “We wanted a template for dummies, something we could explain to a new marketeer in a single afternoon. I was very sure I wanted SaaS, too, because e-commerce sites are complex and I didn’t want to run updates anymore. Ease of use, quality and cost were important factors in choosing Shopify Plus.” Currently, Kabrita uses a single theme to determine the design and UX for their 11 online stores - one of which is in Arabic.

Carolien Rijkse (Kabrita)
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Kabrita 2

Keeping it flexible for local teams

One of the biggest challenges with such an international set-up is to make sure local teams have enough freedom. Carolien: “Shopify is ideal for this. Within the central theme, individual teams have room to install their own apps and manage their own content without needing my permission. When they would like to see some new functionality in the central theme, they can reach out and we incorporate it in a way that makes it accessible to all teams.The theme also offers functionality that local teams can switch on or off, depending on their needs. In some countries we don’t sell online yet, for instance: those teams can simply untick the checkbox for “checkout/login” and have a regular site without a store. The same goes for reviews: in some countries we’re not allowed to show them, so we uncheck that box.” 

An advantage of Kabrita’s set-up is that they can test an app or new feature in a single country first, and then share the best practices with other countries when they roll it out further. Carolien: ”Showing reviews of baby formula comes with some legal restrictions, for instance, because in many countries you’re not allowed to target children younger than 6 months in your advertising. The European team already has a lot of experience with this, so they can share their strategy with other regions. That way teams don’t waste time reinventing the wheel every time, as they did before we used Shopify.” 


Optimizing for international growth

Since Kabrita switched to Shopify in 2020, their store’s performance has improved considerably. Code implemented a range of optimizations that led to an impressive 23,4% increase in conversion, while the store’s AOV shot up with 200% - the combined effect of a much better site, offering subscriptions, a US competitor being forced to recall their product, and COVID. In 2022 the site received some further optimizations when Kabrita embraced Shopify 2.0, such as increased flexibility with the ‘Sections everywhere’ feature and improved product descriptions and images.

Code also introduced Kabrita to some of our preferred apps and partners, such as Recharge, JudgeMe and of course Klaviyo. Carolien: “Klaviyo in particular we use a lot. Practically all our data goes through it now, because it yields such interesting data in return. Very affordable too, for what you get: you can target specific segments from your database via Facebook and Google, it integrates with many sales channels and it excels at personalization. We recently ran a successful Facebook Lead Ad campaign for which we did the follow-up in Klaviyo. In the US and Mexico we use Klaviyo together with Recharge to enable product subscriptions, a feature we recently also rolled out in the Netherlands. Recharge was set up in a matter of minutes, it’s practically plug & play. And as for JudgeMe: this is an amazing reviews app with lots of possibilities, for a pittance. Recommended.”


Best practice: Work with experts!

Asked what she would advise other e-commerce brands in a similar situation, Carolien reflects: “I would say: don’t waste your energy trying to build something that’s already out there. Find your challenge in the things you are good at, and leave the website building to the experts. Get yourself a ready-made, easily scalable solution like Shopify.”

In terms of content management, she also learned a valuable lesson: “Once we made the mistake to think our German was good enough to do the content for our German website ourselves. Not true! Addressing your audience in the local language and customs is extremely important, and if you use translation apps you will never get it right. This goes for SEO too. Your content will feel ‘translated’, which doesn’t inspire trust. So don’t try to cut costs on this!”  

Are you thinking about building your online store on Shopify Plus? Code was the first official Shopify Plus partner in Central Europe and has six years of extensive experience in building and scaling stores on Shopify. Fill out our contact form here.

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