Winery E-commerce: Online Store Design to Sell More Wine
By Courtney Holmes
I had a lot of fun looking around at all the winery website designs for one of our last blog posts - 5 Best Winery Websites Designs. The designs were beautiful and the website design firms really showed an understanding of the industry. But I felt like the online wine store pages really fell short for designing for the user experience.
I won't name names, but most winery online stores do not make it easy for the user to browse the store. We love Le Crema Winery's website, it is the only one that we have seen that never requires the users to click the back button in order to look at other wines. See how they have the scrolling images of different wines on the top? Also,notice the left had vertical navigation? These two elements make it much easier for the user to browse. The tabs "description" "food pairing" and "winemaker notes" also allow for the user to get more information on the wine without having to click to a new screen.
If it is hard to imagine why we think the "back button flaw" is poor design, so imagine it this way. Imagine that you have walked into a wine retail boutique and each room has one bottle of wine and you cannot pick up the bottle to compare it to other wines in different rooms. So you have to go in and out and in and out of multiple rooms. It would get easy to get impatient, right? That is what is it like for almost every online shopper searching a winery's online store.
Wine Ecommerce Content
The more content the better. We love how Duckhorn Vineyards has started to include winemaker note videos on their product pages. It is a very clever and simple way to sell more wine online. Video is a great way to take that intimate tasting room experience and extend it to the web. This way your wine fans can get first hand tasting notes, food pairing recommendations and wine making techniques straight from the winemaker's mouth.
You can also repurpose the videos in emails that you send to your email subscribers and wine club members.
Include a section on your wine e-commerce page about what pairs with the wine. It doesn't have to be a recipe that you created in-house, it could easily be a recipe you found online (just give proper credit), from a cookbook or even a local restaurant's dish (one that serves your wine).
I saw a recent blog post from a wine connoisseur, 2013 Assessment of Long Island Winery Websites, and he definitely is very particular about having all the details available to him so that he can properly research the vintage. Make sure you include detailed information if you want to attract the true wine connoisseurs.
Appellation, vineyard designation, composition, clonal selection, type of oak, time in barrel, alcohol, acidity, fermentation length, disgorgement date, residual sugar and cases produced should all be included on your product page - if your wine is meant to attract that audience.
We recommend that the winery explain the wine making process and flavor profile in this section. Just like in the tasting room setting, the consumer usaully wants to know what flavors they are tasting so that they can better train their palette. Learning about what barrells were used or if cement tanks played a part in the flavor profile is also very valuable to the wine consumer.
The viticultural process is not to be overlooked as well. If you purchase your wines from a reputable grower, share that name within the description. Some growers have really branded their name so their name adds value to your wine. So be sure to be transparent about your growers if they are branded and reputable.
Facebook Shares, Twitter Tweets and Pinterest Pins have their pros and cons. The downside is that some wineries feel that the icons take away from the clean aesthic look of their wine website design. Not many people share, tweet or pin on product pages. But if one person does, it it free advertising for the winery. But, yes there is second con - Facebook's filter is so strong nowadays. So even if they have 500 fans, only about about 75 people (on average) will see that message. Same with Twitter, there are so much clutter on Twitter, that the chance of someone seeing a shared tweet can be very small. However - shares, tweets and pins do add to your search engine clout, and can help your website on those terms. Each social share is a validation to Google and Bing that your website is relevant and helpful to the user.