Welcome to the Vin65 blog. We are using this space to try and convey our little piece of insight into winery websites and best practices to sell more wine online.
Your label is the one piece of your organization that most people see. This is especially true if you are distributed in stores and restaurants and in many different geographic regions.
Get a pull tab on your label, here are 5 reasons why:
This is a basic all around great way for wineries to get their customers to cross the line from retail to direct sales, and to also tell your story the way you want.
Thanks to thedieline.com blog
Do you know how many people are coming to your website? Do you know who they are? What would you change if you knew who they were?
How many people are coming is not nearly as valuable as knowing who these people are.
Analytics gives us a bit of insight into who is coming to our site. We know where they are coming from. We can see a whole bunch of technical information about them.
Analytics also allows us to see what pages they look at, what types of wines they are adding to their cart, and where they are spending the most time.
Having feedback forms, contact us type forms, etc also gives us a bit of insight, but the conversion rate on these forms isn't that great. How many people have filled out your feedback form?
Asking preference based questions on forms also is a great way to gather insight into who is coming to your site, but again these forms aren't filled out by the majority of visitors.
One advantage a tasting room has over a website is that you can put a face to the visitor and see exactly who it is.
I attended the fall Okanagan Fall Wine Festival Medal Winner Tastings in Penticton, BC held at the Penticton Trade & Convention Center.
The tasting was in a small meeting room with approximately 25 tasters who were either lovers or industry members. Wine glasses were waiting for us with corresponding numbers on a paper underneath the glasses to remember which wine was which (it came in handy after you've tasted all 10 wines).
One of the judges from the festival led the tasting and explained why wines received gold, silver and bronze and the differences between the different medal levels.
The event started 15 minutes late because the organizers left the white wine outside to keep it chilled but someone walked away with it, all of the white wine was stolen! The delay was to quickly replace the missing wine.
The first wine that we tasted was the silver medal winning Dirty Laundry Vineyard Unoaked Chardonnay 2007. This wine was very balanced, smooth from start to finish and a great toasting taste emerged on the finish, one of the best Chards I've had.
The second wine was the gold medal winning Lang Vineyards Riesling Farm Reserve 2007. This was by far my favourite wine of the tasting. Of the two typical Riesling types, this is more of the German style. It has a mineral and wet stone hints but is very fruit forward with a burst of sweetness that is perfected with a long finish that ends citrusy. The citrus finish creates the perfect balance that's not overly sweet because the acidity dries out the sweetness. This is a very versatile wine and can be paired with many dishes or enjoyed by itself. I went to the winery afterwards to buy several bottles but it wasn't released yet! I'm picking up a few of these the next time I'm in the area.
Next was a silver medal Cedar Creek Estate Winery Gewurztraminer 2007. This is where my pallet disagreed with the silver medal rankings. I say this because Gewurztraminer is typically my go-to wine and I wasn't overly impressed with Cedar Creeks offering. It did have a long finish that left you wanting anther sip, but I've had better.
We had a surprise gold medal entry (because of the stolen wines) of Road 13 Vineyard Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2007. There aren't too many wineries in the Okanagan experimenting with Chenin Blanc grapes because consumers haven't yet gravitated to this grape in the Okanagan, but Road 13 uses them admirably. This wine had a nice aroma and a consistent taste from start to finish and would be good for aging for 2 to 5 years.
The first red wine we tasted was the gold medal winning Church and State Estate Winery Merlot Coyote Bowl Vineyard 2006. Church and State is actually located on Vancouver Island, but they have vineyards in the Okanagan and right on their label they'll post where the wine came from (in this case it came from Coyote Bowl, located on Black Sage Bench, Oliver BC). The Merlot was the highest entered grape in the competition (and also received the fewest number of awards). This was a smooth Merlot with good tannins and I think it would age well for 4 to 5 years.
The second Red we tried was the gold medal Sandhill Wines Small Lots Syrah Phantom Creek Vineyard 2006. This Syrah was rated the best red wine from 6 out of the 8 judges. Hands down this was a suburb Syrah, good spice and smoky taste. If you like Syrah, definitely try this one. The bottle we tried in this tasting was corked but I tried another bottle afterwards was amazing.
We tried the Inniskillin Okanagan Malbec Discovery Series 2006. The Malbec is one of the 6 wines used in the making of the red Bordeaux wine blend. It had hints of coffee and chocolate as well as leather and mushroom. This wine is good for drinking right now with its clarity and consistency of fruit. The Malbec is another grape not typically used by itself in the Okanagan.
Gold medal winning Road 13 Vineyards 5th Element 2006 was the next wine we tired. 5 different grapes are used in this blend (hence the name 5th Element), 38% Merlot, 28% Cab Franc, 22% Cab Sauv, 6% Malbec and 6% Petit Verdot. I would describe this wine as raw and aggressive, well crafted with lots of pepper. I seemed to pick up a hint of something new each time it tried it that made me want more.
The gold medal winning Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Gabriel Blanc de Blanc NV (no vintage means different years were used in this wine) was the only sparkling wine that we tried. This wine was dry and a great quote was "this wine has a suck the air out of you sort of dryness". It had a good length, very consistent, small bubbles (generally for bubbles, the smaller the better). Blanc de Blanc means that only Chardonnay was used in this sparkling wine. Summerhill sets the benchmark for sparkling wines from the Okanagan.
Jackson-Triggs Winery Proprietors' Grand Reserve Riesling Icewine 2007 won a gold medal. This wine had a great honey taste with just the right sweetness that wasn't overpowering. It has a silky finish with aromas of fresh fruit; I noticed apple and some tropical fruits.
A visitor comes to your website and places an order. Today's tools are smart enough to generate an automated order confirmation, send the order to the fulfillment house, and then send a second email to the customer when the order has shipped. Everything is completely automated with no human intervention.
This is the way things should run. Today we try to save money and operate efficiently. But are we losing the personal touch and depersonalizing the entire experience? How can you make the ordering experience from the web more personal?
I don't really have the answers, but here are two quick thoughts.
If you have a limited number of orders it's fairly easy to follow up the order with a personal email or to inject a personal hand written 'thank you' note into each box.
In a club situation, Mission Hill's wine club sent a vine branch with all of their club shipments in an effort to help you connect a little more with the winery.
It's Canadian Thanksgiving today, and while I'm watching this turkey cook, I'm trying to figure out better ways to personalize this depersonalized experience. Any ideas?
You can profile your customers in a couple of ways. For this post I am going to talk about how customers make buying decisions based on their emotional profile. There are 4 basic types of customers out there: competitive, spontaneous, methodical, and humanistic. There is lots of good info out there on these types of customers, but here are the highlights.
1. Competitive Types
These guys love to be first. They respond really well when you highlight new wine releases or best sellers. They will probably be wine club members and if they are big fans of your winery or store will subscribe to your newsletter so they can be “first-in-the-know”.
Competitive customers are skimmers. They want to see some wine specs and a brief description without drilling down. Details aren’t as important as being the first.
For the competitive customers you want to make sure your site has featured wines and good summary information. You may also want to have some exclusive offers in your wine club to give this type of customer the edge they look for in the products they buy.
2. Spontaneous Types
Spontaneous customers are more interested in sales and coupons. They will respond to emotional hooks like limited stock, time sensitive offers, and overnight shipping.
These customers also respond well to customer reviews and ratings. Show how many reviews there are and how each wine or gift ranks. This will help to build trust in your wine.
3. Methodical Types
Just like you would imagine the methodical shopper will do as much research as possible before taking the plunge. They will read everything on a product and want more. In depth wine descriptions, tasting notes, and technical details are going to be very important.
Ratings by trusted sources and even video are going to score big points.
On the flip side impulse tactics like limited time offers can back fire for this customer. The could become sceptical and want to see the fine print.
4. Humanistic Types
This type of customer is swayed by peer opinion. What other say will weigh heavily on their decision to buy or not. They will like to dwell on the purchase and make sure they are making the right choices. These are the kinds of customers that will want to call in and talk to someone at the winery or use live chat support.
Humanistic types also are influenced by customer reviews and ratings and will really appreciate a link to call for advice or for buying options which could be accompanied by a welcoming photo.
Future Now's Always be Testing Webinar
We all understand that they are different kinds of people. Some people are on the edge and want the latest product, some people want the tried and true, and other people are crowd followers and want what everyone else has.
Seth Godin writes in his post today: "Some people want to do things because they are interesting. Some people want to do things because they work. Some people want to do things because everyone else is doing them."
Now take Seth's quote and change it to wine sales. Some people buy wines because they are unique or they want to try something new. Some people buy wines that they have previously tasted and they know are good. Some people buy wines because everyone else is buying them.
Too often a web page is designed for a single type of person. Typically the website designer or website owner fits into a specific type of person and they design the web page for how they would buy wine.
So how do you setup your page to market to these different kinds of people
For the people who want to buy your unique or new wines, you can have a pod showing your latest or featured wine. For people who want their tried and true product, make it easy for them to find their product (via search, or via an easy to understand navigation). For the people who want to buy wines because everyone else is buying them, you can show them the most popular wines, or highest rated wines. Amazon and other ecommerce stores often have a "people who purchased this product also bought this product".
Remember not everyone shops the same way.
Albeit his speech might be a bit all over the place in terms of topic but one thing stands out loud and clear, Gary Vaynerchuk is passionate about what he does.
In this 15 minute video, Gary gives his keynote speech at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York. He talks about building a personal brand through social media, a topic that he has a LOT of experience with and has used himself. If you can handle some foul language this video is definately worth watching.
Gary became famous from being the host of Wine Library TV (WLTV), a free daily video blog where he gives wine advice in an abrasively honest sort of way to his cult-like fan base. In a self quote Gary describes himself as having a “unique identity as both a wine expert and a "real person" that has reinvented the concept of wine tasting for a new generation.”
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