When we work with new clients, we begin every project with a needs assessment and then discuss the aesthetic direction of the company design. After having an awesome chat with this client, it was discovered that their winery was in need of an e-commerce website. According to the 2012 State New Economy Index, online sales have increased by 5% each quarter, since 1999. The wine was branded deliciously, it tasted even better, the owner was motivated, but what was missing was the distribution. By setting up this winery with an ecommerce website, sales could be made if the website fostered trust and was easily navigable. The site would need to be able to change quickly to stay current so a content management system was decided on.
Make the Sale
The whole point of a winery e-commerce website is the wine. Like decadent, shiny soldiers, the wines stand in row, awaiting inspection. The wine is the product and its highly visible. Tasting notes make the pitch as they pop up to the right of each bottle, cycling through at the visitor's control. At the end of the tasting notes, above the fold, is a convenient "buy now" button. The call to action follows and its all above the fold. The point of the arrangement is to make it as easy as possible for the shopper to get to the pont of purchase. Without having to scroll down or go to another page, the website user can see the product, learn about it and buy it.
In a digital age of information where identity theft lurks around every corner like the enemy in a propaganda poster, the product isn't the only sale to be made. The viewer must be sold on the integrity of the website. As such, policy information (the warranty, shipping, payment, etc.) must be easily accessible. So security information is right there, in the footer, on every page, where you know you can find it. Sharing space in the footer is the trustware icon. Letting the customer know that their money is as safe with us as it is in Fort Knox, so it's ok to give it to us and get wine in return. It's a sweet trade. People are more apt to trust what they understand. So we decided to educate them with a separate page all about learning wine making.
People also understand simplicity. A simple user interface allows the winery website visitor to find their way easily. All the flash and pizzaz in the world is useless if they can't figure out how to buy or get where they want to go. Don't be Ikea. The shopping cart, login and search are all in the header, upper left, where you'd expect to find them. The "buy" button isn't next to anything else. It's on the page, above the fold, in the open. Simple and straightforward makes for an easy experience and the last thing we want to do is make it difficult for customers to spend their money buying wine.
The wordpess content management system makes it easy for the client, without any coding knowledge, to change content as needed. We were able to do this without sacrificing any design elements.