Chanui case study



Team Size

<20 employees


New Zealand
United States

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Taking an Iconic Kiwi Tea Maker Global

When Doug Hastie moved back home in 2002, after a stint in New York, he noticed a lack of quality New Zealand tea. So he decided to make his own.

Chanui has been filling the mugs of Kiwi tea lovers for two decades now, becoming a supermarket staple. The company offers a complete range of teas, including black, grey, green, fruit, loose leaf and bagged, along with home-style versions of that most important tea companion, the biscuit.

But while Chanui’s product range has constantly adapted to align with the evolving tastes of New Zealand tea drinkers, the brand’s online presence hasn’t quite followed the same trajectory.

A Shopify website to match their ambition

The team at Chanui weren’t particularly happy with their website. Because the company primarily sold its products wholesale, the site wasn’t perhaps the digital storefront it should have been. But when the company began to look across the Tasman and beyond, they realised that developing a solid online presence would play a key part in their international expansion efforts.

The aim was to create a website capable of launching the brand in new markets, eventually allowing Chanui to enter wholesale channels. But the company didn’t have much of a platform to build from – something that Doug Hastie, CEO at Chanui summarised honestly and succinctly.

“The website we had was sh*t. We realised it wasn’t consumer-centric. I was kind of embarrassed about it.”

Doug had previous experience with website builds, but none that were as technical, specialised or conversion optimisation-focused as he felt this one needed to be. He knew that Chanui would need to find the right website partner if the company was to achieve the results it was after.

After consulting with a friend at a local venture capital company, Doug was referred to Traction.

A tech-savvy, sales based approach

After making contact with Traction, Chanui knew that they’d found the help that they needed. Traction’s approach was simple yet entirely refreshing, says Doug.

It focused on what would generate results. Every website decision that was made came back to the idea of making sales. Traction knew what would convert – their advice was invaluable. They brought a sales-first mindset that really helped.

According to Doug, “Traction also took a far more technical approach than what Chanui had seen on previous website builds. By leaning on new technologies and tools, much of the busywork of running a website was taken care of, leaving the Chanui team free to focus on developing their brand and making sales in new and exciting markets.”

Automation, larger carts, double the conversions

By the time it was launched in February 2022, Chanui were no longer embarrassed by their website. In fact, the opposite was true.

“We finally have a website that we are proud of,” says Doug. “Shopify makes it so much easier to manage logistics – the entire process is taken care of, with automated track and trace. The payment portal is well worth it – the fee of 2.4% is very similar to what banks were charging while making the customer experience seamless.”

The results of the website rebuild speak for themselves.

“Our conversion rate has doubled since we launched and cart size has increased by 15%. We are now looking forward to launching a variety of advertising channels with messaging that aligns to the new website.”

“The difference between an average and excellent website is the attention to detail. We’re more than happy with our website build experience, and we’d recommend Traction to other businesses.”

For Chanui, the fourth time was a charm. Now armed with a website befitting a multinational brand, it’s full steam ahead for their expansion into Australia and beyond… though while they work hard, the team always has time for a quick cuppa.

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