Oh the terror . . . the terror of so many poorly designed product pages! It could be so much better for the user and the winery’s marketing needs!
We have so many great minds in the wine marketing industry, why oh why are so many pages poorly designed? It doesn’t have to be that way, I promise. Thank you Vin65 and Nexternal for standardizing so many of the features I have outlined below. And thank you to our wonderful peers in our industry who also have designed websites that meet these standards. Love you guys. But there is still so much work to do!
Winery owners and wine marketing managers, make sure that your future winery website redesign includes these features on your product pages.
Social Shares on Wine E-commerce
Social media is all about shared content. David Carr, the New York Times media analyst, said once that Twitter is the new RSS feed. More accurately, all social media are RSS feeds. RSS feeds use to be how you would subscribe to a blog or a news website. Now, instead of computers, people recommend links to view and social media tools are the content aggregators. But you need to make it easy to share. If you don’t have a Tweet, Facebook Like, Pin (Pinterest) on your product pages, people will be much less likely to share the link on social media. A simple icon can really provide big dividends in the right hands.
Reviews on Wine E-commerce
No longer do wine consumers rely solely on Wine Spectator’s point system. We rely on an aggregation of reviews. Yelp is an aggregator, Google Local, Cellar Tracker and even your own website is a review aggregator. For consumers today, it is an average of consumer rankings that hold value in our buying decision process. Most review software allows for this technology – Vin65, WordPress via WooCommerce, Shopify and VineSpring. We especially like the Shopify versions since the user doesn’t even have to create an account to write a review, if they are logged into Facebook via their browser, they can write the review using their Facebook profile.
Promotional Shipping Offers
Make sure your website designers include a place for promotional text on the product and product list pages. Most often, wineries offer shipping incentives – “Buy 4 Bottles and Get $5 Shipping.” Since shipping heavy wines is expensive, it will help to move online products . . . and they will buy more wine!
There are all different types of wine buyers – some are like my Dad and just want something to show off to their friends because the wine has a crazy name or wine label. And others, especially online buyers, are what I call “Wine Geeks.” We want to know every detail – the acidity, ph, history of crop, winemaker technique, etc. However, a pet peeve of mine is to see a page on a website with the infinite scroll, it just goes on and on forever. Instead, break up the information in tabs, the user doesn’t have to click to a new url, only the information they are looking for appears “above the fold” in the tabbed section. If they want to learn more, they simply click on a different tab.
Whether you’re providing trade materials, tasting notes or viticultural notes, I suggest putting everything from tech sheets to winemaker videos in this section. Speaking of wine videos . . .
Why isn’t every winery and distributor posting simple winemaker tasting notes on their product page? It doesn’t have to be high tech, simple point and shoot with an iPhone or Android and upload the video to Youtube. Then simply use the embed code that Youtube provides and upload your video onto your website using your content management system (WordPress, Vin65, eWinery Solutions, Vinespring, Shopify, etc). The video can be repurposed in the emails you send to your wine club members and on your social media channels like Twitter and Facebook.
Don’t forget, your winemakers are your rockstars and your customers love listening to and learning from them.
Have you ever noticed how, when you are on Amazon.com, the interface is always recommending other products you would like because of something you have just viewed? This should definitely be a feature for your online wine store.
Wine Industry specific ecommerce platforms don’t all include this feature. But our two favorite non-wine specific ecommerce softwares do for just $79/year (WooCommerce) - $24/month (Shopify).
I would really love to see an easy upgrade to the wine club on the product page enabled in the software solutions. Its just like how Amazon now lets you “Subscribe & Save” when you buy certain products. In Amazon, the buyer has essentially two options: buy the product at regular price or opt in to “subscribe and save” in that same window to receive a membership discount. I would, for the sake of the wine industry, love to see a similar feature on wine product pages. The user would see, displayed to the right or left of the product, the option to save if they upgrade to the wine club. I know that wine club benefits can be complex and could distract the buyer, but if the web user clicks on text that says “Wine Club Benefits” they could see a nice pop up message that displays the benefits very simply. With good design, I know the decision making process could be simplified. See this article to see what I mean about simple wine club benefits.
If this could be achieved, I think the objective to sell more wine online could really be attained. Wine Clubs are the winemakers’ golden ticket for revenue growth. We must do all we can do to help them increase wine club membership.