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Vin65 Blog

Welcome to the Vin65 blog.  We are using this space to try and convey our little piece of insight into winery websites, POS systems, and best practices to sell more wine.

Andrew Kamphuis
December 21, 2008 | Andrew Kamphuis

How's your site search working?

How's your site search working? Are customers frustrated by the results? Do you even track the searches people make and the number of results you return.

This hilarious little video showed up on Future Now's blog last week and explains the problem with most website searches.

Time Posted: Dec 21, 2008 at 10:00 PM
Brent Johnson
August 27, 2008 | Brent Johnson

New Website Launch: Burgundy & Beyond

We've just launched a new winery website, Burgundy & Beyond powered on Vin | 65’s platform. We’ve worked hard on this site and are excited for it to finally be live. Check out the site and send us feedback on the design, navigation, functionality, and e-commerce experience.



Burgundy and Beyond is a wine boutique specialized in domain-direct French wines from Burgundy, Champagne, Bordeaux, the Loire and the Rhône. They offer an extensive selection from the Louis Latour portfoilio, including the wines of Maison Louis Latour, Simonnet Febvre and Henry Fessy, as well as a handful of other rare jewels that complement our Burgundy-rich palette.

Below is a screenshot of the old version of Burgundy & Beyond.


Time Posted: Aug 27, 2008 at 5:30 PM
Peter Andres
July 4, 2008 | Peter Andres

Are you breaking up with your website?

Have you lost the passion? Do you feel like you have lost touch with your website, and somehow it just isn’t living up to its potential. Could it be selling more wine, signing up more wine club members? Are you disappointed that things just haven’t worked out the way you thought they would. Everyone said your website would be a huge contributor, but what happened?

Typically the web sites we work on have a pretty familiar live cycle, and it goes something like this:

  1. Winery builds momentum to launch site or redesign current site.
  2. New site launches with contemporary design and fan fare.
  3. For a while the site is seen as an “integrated team player”, some wine club members sign up and some bottles are sold
  4. Over time as staff move on and key personnel switch positions the web site gets taken for granted and is seen as a liability to the winery.
  5. Winery recognizes that something is wrong and starts to plan and build momentum to launch a new site or redesign current site.

I think there are alot things that happen to cause a winery to lose touch with their website, and granted sometimes a site does need a visual refresh. If you have a web site only to find that it isn’t all it is cracked up to are some tips to making the relationship last for the long term.

  1. Clearly define what measurable tasks your web site is going to do like sell wine or sign up members
  2. Understand how much those completed tasks are worth to your winery. Does the web site save your staff time and money, is there real money being made on your site. Give the web site credit where it is due and include that in the reporting.
  3. Calculate your return on investment. If you spent $5000 on your web site you should be able to measure how much your web site has returned on that investment based on the measurable tasks. If your web site only makes $100 a month then how much should you spend? If it makes $50,000 then how much should you spend?
  4. Measure and tweak - the part hardly anyone does. If your web site is making a monetary contribution to the bottom line of your winery you will want to increase that over time. You want your potential customers to be successful when they come to your site to buy wine or sign up to the wine club. The only way you are going to get more successful at converting your website visitors is to continually refine your site. Understanding how visitors navigate your site and where they leave and why they do what they do isn’t magic, it is just hard work and continuously measuring. Equipped with that knowledge your website will make your winery more money.

Like all successful relationships, the one with your web site will only be realized if you put in the work and make it a priority. A web site is different from a brochure or mailer in that it is a dynamic media piece that can be changed and refined continually to do its job better.

Time Posted: Jul 4, 2008 at 3:40 PM
Andrew Kamphuis
June 3, 2008 | Andrew Kamphuis

Is the Fade-In/Fade-Out Flash Image Converting Sales?

Are the cycling images and messages on your homepage a killer app? or killing your sales?

In this mornings 'Web Marketing Today', there is an interesting piece titled 'Are Distracting Cycling Images and Messages Hurting Profits?'  Although there is no hard facts listed in the article, they did list some negative from their useability study:

1) Distraction: A large percentage of the people they tested found cycling images incredibly distracting.

2) Disappearing Message: Some sites cycle images a few times and then stop, and it's impossible for the visitor to go back to a previous image.

3) Ineffectiveness: Flash doesn't seem to increase the effectiveness of messaging, however these displays take upwards of 30% of the homepage real estate.

4) Transitoriness: In their tests, when images remained for 8-10 seconds before a transition, users rarely remembered the content from the previous image.

5) Trained Avoidance: In their testing, they found that flash is becoming like banner ads and people have trained themselves to ignore them.

Cycling images on the homepage are quite common on wine websites, and we have definately built our fair share of them.  (We even have a component that makes it easy for people to change out photos, etc). In my opinion the right cycling image definitely increase the overall aesthetics of the site and homepage.

We look at messages like this one on this none wine website at Currency Marketing homepage for example and I find it very effective. (We programmed this site, but the design and content was done by Currency Marketing)

So maybe it's not a hard written rule, but definately something you should think about.  Are the cycling images adding to your overall message?  Are they conveying your message at all?  Or are you using valuable space and it's just distracting visitors?

Time Posted: Jun 3, 2008 at 7:51 AM
Andrew Kamphuis
May 14, 2008 | Andrew Kamphuis

Keys to Success #1: Intuitive & Attractive Design

People make first impressions in about 6 to 8 seconds. When a customer visits your website, what is their first impression? What do they immediately assume about the quality of your company?

A lot of pretty designed sites are still dysfunctional. Design goes beyond just the look… design encompasses both the overall image and the way that the look and feel guides users through your site. The design needs to engage your users and guide them through the different purposes of your site.

Whether it`s ordering a product, modifying your account, or subscribing to a mailing list, the design should enable your users to easily accomplish these tasks.

A website with an intuitive and attractive design will have simple and obvious steps for beginners without making intermediate or advanced users feeling to basic.

Your website design will make a difference in the success of your website. Users will either be turned on and engaged or they will be turned off and shop elsewhere.

Time Posted: May 14, 2008 at 9:01 PM

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