Shock Top and the User Experience

The summer between my junior and senior years of high school, I did a study abroad in Freiburg, Germany. I lived with a host family, attended language courses and learned all about the German culture. I particularly enjoyed the family dinners with my host parents and fellow housemates. In Germany, it is legal to drink beer and wine at age 16. So, many of our dinners included beer (we were in Germany after all!) and my host father taught us all about beer and the beer-making process.

And thus, my love for beer was born.

One brewery I came across about a year ago is Shock Top. I tried their Belgian White at a bar when I was out with some friends and really enjoyed the taste of it. And then a few months ago, I had some friends over and one of them brought over a Shock Top 12-pck with three of their beer flavors. So when we were assigned to research beers for my Digital Marketing class, I naturally zeroed in on Shock Top.

As with all beer and wine/liquor websites, the Shock Top website prompts you to verify that you are over 21. Once that is completed, you are taken to a very easy-to-navigate website. I am a very visual person and this website does a great job of using minimal words and lots of pictures to get their point across. As soon as I saw the website, I wanted to keep browsing through it. The sites provides information about all the Shock Top beer flavors, upcoming events, and locations where you can purchase/drink the beer. It also provides information about food pairings and recipes and does a good job of advertising the company’s Facebook page, their blog and newsletter, and the fact that they have a mobile app.

photo credit: Shock Top mobile app screenshot

photo credit: Shock Top mobile app screenshot

Of course I had to try the mobile app. The app was very user friendly and provided all the same information as the website. I also checked out the actual website on my phone. When I typed in the hyperlink, I was directed to a mobile phone landing page which offered the option of downloading the mobile app or going directly to the website.  Since I already have the app, I launched the full website and found that it was very responsive on my phone. I was able to navigate through it very easily and didn’t find myself scrolling through the site at all.

I have found that some websites haven’t caught on to the fact that many people rely heavily on their phone for information. And not providing a mobile app, or at least a responsive design to their website, may lead to more customer churn than they realize.

I think Shock Top has done a great job at integrating all its systems to provide a seamless user experience for its followers. They clearly get it.

So for all you beer companies out there (and any company for that matter), I suggest you follow Shock Top’s lead and get yourself into the 21st century if you haven’t yet done so.