Milk Bottle Labs success stories: Meagher’s Pharmacy Reading A Milk Bottle Labs and Golden Discs success story 1 minute

A Milk Bottle Labs and Golden Discs success story

We invited DP, Head of Online at Golden Discs to speak about his Shopify/ecommerce journey and his experience with working with the Shopify specialist agency Milk Bottle Labs. Here, we discuss, where the business started, and some major challenges that were encountered and overcome. Finally, we cover how Shopify expert Milk Bottle Labs helped facilitate the success of their client.

A Milk Bottle Labs and Golden Discs success story

The Golden days of Golden Discs

The record, CD and DVD retailer, Golden Discs, has seen business soar, with over 30 stores across Ireland in the 80s. Golden Discs was established in 1962.

We spoke to DP, the head of Online, who describes the effect of the digital music industry on its analogue counterparts as "an unstoppable force meets an immovable object; it decimated the entire retail music industry." Unfortunately, there is nothing that any Shopify agency can do to "affect the macro scenario of customers"; However, it takes "clever marketing" and creative, new ideas to redefine physical music retail. 

In 2017, Stephen and DP Fitzgerald set out to move online due to significant competition from digital music platforms and streaming sites. The brothers knew that ecommerce had to be the next step. They decided on the Shopify platform for ecommerce and quickly realised they should seek more experience from a Shopify expert. 

"Shopify will have you believe that you don't need any experience or any capital…but the truth is you do" - DP, Golden Discs, Head of Online

DP Fitzgerald, Head of Online

"When it comes to ecommerce, the results speak for themselves: ecommerce awards, increased revenue and impressive KPIs. If you're just a one-man or a two-man operation, you'll be ten years getting to the point that we got to in three years, with the assistance of someone like Milk Bottle."


The journey to redefine their business as an online physical music retailer was not a steady one. With no possibility of competing with Spotify or Apple Music, Golden Discs had to go their own way, with an ecommerce solution. In fact, Golden Discs has now come to "embrace Spotify" and are looking at putting Spotify samples on album pages to enhance customer experience on the site. 

As DP, the Head of Online, puts it, the site was "very basic, pre-Shopify, you couldn't buy anything, it did very little really". Even beginning ecommerce, DP describes the first attempt at a Shopify store as "primitive compared to our current offering". They invested in support from Shopify agency Milk Bottle Labs, for the "experience and expertise they bring to the table". It was perfect timing for onboarding a Shopify expert. As the online store went live, Shopify blew up into this comprehensive ecommerce platform that did everything. 

"They know their onions; they knew exactly what they were talking about" - DP, Golden Discs, Head of Online

Overcoming challenges in ecommerce and Shopify

Shopify store setup

Initially, there was a long way to go with the Golden Discs ecommerce website –Shopify store setup was only the first hurdle. The team have both physical and online stores to manage; with "25,000 products on the site…management of the site alone is difficult enough". With the assistance of Shopify expert Milk Bottle Labs, "we're now on our 5th version, and our current site is very comprehensive", comments DP.

"The beast that is Google"

We spoke to DP about his most significant ecommerce challenges. His response was this - "Understanding the beast that is Google…satisfying its everlasting hunger for data, SEO, everything... is probably one of our toughest challenges". Despite the enormity of the Google challenge, it "is the one thing outside of [Milk Bottle Labs'] remit". Outside of the remit of any ecommerce agency, for that matter. 

Golden Discs – Greatest ecommerce hits 

Milk Bottle Labs has been working with Golden Discs since recently after they launched their first Shopify site. In fact, after only their second version of the Shopify online store, they were shortlisted for the new website of the year Retail Excellence award by AIMBS – the biggest ecommerce awarding body in Ireland. 

Four years later, in 2022, the fifth and most recent site version is up for another award – the best large retail website in Ireland. Golden Discs owes a lot of its web design success to Shopify partner, Milk Bottle Labs. DP expresses how "the site that you are looking at… was a creative vision that [the developer] turned into a technical reality… [Milk Bottle's] Shopify development skills are second-to-none…."

"…They will bring improvements that we didn't even know were possible" - DP, Golden Discs, Head of Online

Golden Discs has seen impressive conversion rates during the lockdown ecommerce boom. Their conversion rate now sits at a strong in the face of increased industry competition. Moreover, returning customer rate now stands at a whopping 50%, thanks to Shopify integration with Klaviyo, expert web design and outstanding user experience.

Regarding success stories, it is impossible to skip over Golden Discs' biggest achievement since working with Milk Bottle – sales. The Shopify website now makes up a significant proportion of total company revenue.

"I would absolutely say without hesitation that some of that is down to Milk Bottle Labs… If we had never met Milk Bottle, I'm sure that we would not be as successful as we are today" – DP, Golden Discs, Head of Online.

Working with a Shopify agency - Milk Bottle Labs

Over the five years that Golden Discs have been working with Shopify specialist, Milk Bottle, there has never been "a problem that isn't fixable or a dream that isn't makeable… there's nothing technical within Shopify that we've ever had an unresolvable issue with". DP describes the team as "a pleasure to work with” and “more experienced in Shopify and Klaviyo than the customer support person on the phone”.

Seeking specialist Shopify agency support may also prove beneficial for your online business too. Shopify has "got to luring new customers by making you think it's a two-click 'oh you're online', it's not that simple. There are so many facets to an online store". When it comes to ecommerce, the results speak for themselves: ecommerce awards, increased revenue and impressive KPIs. "If you're just a one-man or a two-man operation, you'll be ten years getting to the point that we got to in three years, with the assistance of someone like Milk Bottle…."

If you are a Shopify online business, running without Shopify Plus agency support, you would be a "madman" for not picking up the phone and contacting Milk Bottle. Enquire now and take advantage of a "broad church of experience and knowledge" described as one of our "greatest assets".