Why Death Wish Coffee integrated its ERP system with Shopify Plus to scale for the Super Bowl

Established in 2010, Death Wish Coffee sells what it calls the strongest coffee in the world and recently integrated its ERP system with Shopify Plus to scale faster and, capitalize on the company’s Super Bowl 50 commercial, and achieve the following results:

  • A quarter million dollars in sales — $2,083 a minute — in the two hours after the Super Bowl
  • 200% year over year top line growth
  • Subscription offering that generates recurring revenue
  • Wholesale business that sells to major grocers

“We don’t want the Super Bowl to define us. The Super Bowl commercial was a great spotlight but we were doubling sales every year prior to it.”

Kane GroganCustomer Service Manager, Death Wish Coffee

The Challenge

The near death experience Mike Brown, Death Wish Coffee’s founder, encountered three years after launching nearly sank the company just as it was starting to grow. Death Wish coffee had earned a high profile feature on ABC’s Good Morning America but the company’s original patchwork website couldn’t handle the spike in traffic.

Before it crashed, Death Wish received ten-thousand new orders but had no way to fulfill them on time. Customers complained loudly online and some even thought Death Wish was a scam. The company was kicked off major online selling platforms and it took the Death Wish Coffee team thirty days to manually fill some of the orders.

“There’s part of me that was glad it happened,” Grogan says. “It taught us we had to be prepared for big events like the Super Bowl.”

Death Wish Coffee sells the world’s strongest coffee on Shopify Plus

The Solution

Death Wish ultimately recovered from the meltdown, in part, by replatforming with Shopify Plus where its business has become increasingly complex selling through multiple channels and with inventory scattered across its own warehouse, third party warehouses, and a distribution center. Recently, the company was gearing up for another massive spike in traffic as it had won a contest offering a free commercial in the Super Bowl.

Death Wish Coffee’s responsive online store on Shopify Plus

With Plus’ ability to scale on demand, Death Wish Coffee easily handled the more than 150,000 Super Bowl viewers flooding the company’s site all at once to place orders. Importantly, Brown and his team had also recently integrated their ERP system with Plus to track inventory across multiple locations and channels and provide a single automated report Brown can use to determine how his business is performing in real time.

“The data we have is scattered in twenty different places but with the integration all of the data is automatically consolidated and right there at my fingertips,” Brown says.

The Results

Integrating Plus with Death Wish Coffee’s ERP system has positioned Brown to make higher quality business decisions much faster than before. Additionally, Death Wish Coffee also credits Plus with easily scaling to handle the Super Bowl sized traffic that resulted in the most lucrative two hour period in the company’s history.

All told, Death Wish Coffee is experiencing 200% year over year top line growth as well as successfully launching a subscription service and a wholesale business that sells to major grocers.

Death Wish Coffee’s success after the Super Bowl was just the start

The ability to more rapidly make better business decisions combined with a commerce platform that can reliably scale when it counts has positioned the Death Wish Coffee team to double down on what it does best: customer service.

“We’re evolving into more of a lifestyle brand and want to be over the top with our customer service because the customer calls the shots today and they’re the reason we’re here,” Grogan says. “We really want to offer customers a meaningful one-on-one interaction with Death Wish Coffee.”

Industry
Food and beverage
Use Case
ERP integration, Scalability, Reliability
Previous Platform
Custom platform

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