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A Heritage Brand With Big Impact: How Wine Group Brown Brothers Grew Their Online Presence With WooCommerce

Written by Brendon Wright on April 4, 2019 Blog, Customer Stories.

Established in 1889, wine brand Brown Brothers have become renowned for not only their vintage wines, but their historic vineyard that hosts countless events for loyal customers. Naturally, the Brown family wanted their company’s online wine store to be just as striking. WooCommerce experts Emote Digital were happy to take on the task.

An Intuitive User Experience

Brown Brothers didn’t just want their new website to be functional, but a pleasure for users to navigate. The challenge: introducing and managing purchasing restrictions – Brown Brothers has both a six-bottle minimum purchase requirement and exceptions for specific products – without compromising the user experience.

To achieve this, Emote implemented intuitive and interactive sidecart purchasing rules. Customers browsing the stores can mix and match their favorite bottles, and check out becomes available when they reach the minimum six-bottle threshold.

GIF showing product page and add-to-cart features.

Customers can clearly see if they’ve reached the order minimum thanks to a countdown message and animations in the sidecart, which is always visible while they shop. There’s no need for customers to repeatedly visit their cart only to discover they still aren’t able to check out, which means less frustration and happier browsing.

Customers can also override these rules when purchasing specialty products, such as Magnums or mixed bottles. This allows the system to be effortlessly customizable for any future rules and exceptions.

Emote added other features to enhance the user experience as well, including the ability to create recurring orders (powered by WooCommerce Subscriptions) and options allowing customers to select their courier of choice.

After all, it’s the little details that encourage appreciative customers to return to an eCommerce website again and again.

Versatility Through Consistent Design

The Brown Family Wine Group are the proud owners of multiple wine brands and offer one of the largest selections of wine in Australia. This also means they have more than one website.

Each website needed to allow the individual brand’s personality to shine while still staying true to the Brown Family Wine Group character.

The Brown Brothers multi-site setup allows the individual brand's personality to shine through.
The individual brands’ personalities needed to shine through.

Emote Digital created a set of pre-designed modules that could be used across all four Brown Brothers websites. Each website is based on the same cohesive template but is fully customizable for the individual brand. This modular design guarantees the same user experience across every Brown Brothers website, no matter the brand.

Each website is based on the same cohesive template, but is still fully customizable for each individual brand.

Modules created by Emote Digital mean there is consistency across the wine group's sites.
Modules created by Emote Digital mean there is consistency across the wine group’s sites.

Many Brands, One Point of Management

To help Brown Brothers manage its collection of websites, Emote created a unified multisite that runs all four brand sites off the same core. This allows the different brands to be cross-sold across every Brown Brothers website, but also creates a unified shopping experience that maintains each brand’s unique character.

A suite of sites that work together as one simplifies management without compromising the individuality of each brand, benefiting both the brand and the customer.

Management is made simple without compromising the individuality of each brand.
Different brands can be cross-sold across the individual websites.

Seamless Stock Control

With design and management taken care of, there was one final component to deal with: stock control.

While each individual brand promotes their own products on their own website, customers do have the option of purchasing the entire Brown Brothers range across all websites. Offering the same products from more than one online location provided added value for the customer, but it was crucial for Brown Brothers to instantly sync stock levels across all their sites.

Emote created a centralized database – “stock master” – to monitor and control every bottle. All updates to products – like product descriptions or stock levels – are simultaneously synced to any or all the four sites through the one multisite.

Search filters allow the customer to easily browse the entire Brown Brothers range through any given site.

Added search filters allow the customer to easily browse the entire Brown Brothers range through any given site.


The WordPress plugins and WooCommerce extensions that customize and run the Brown Brothers store include:

If you’ve got a special eCommerce project coming up – in Australia or beyond – and are seeking a WooCommerce expert: the team at Emote Digital would love to hear from you.

Emote Digital are WooCommerce Experts.

One Response

    May 1, 2019 at 3:36 am #

    I saw things like this in the disappeared book store “Borders”, but as a point of sale, mixed with the online stores.

    When you used to go to their stores and asked for a specific book, they used to look in their terminals connected to the internet and accessing their inventory data that used to tell, how many were in existence and in which one of their stores.

    I guess it was a multi-site with a common database or some network concept like that. In this case, individuality was not a concern because it was in the same brand and all stores and websites were similar, but it could easily be otherwise without affecting the concept of the inventory synchronization across all points of sale and websites at all.