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.
Is your wine ecommerce site ready to go at it again this holiday season?
Aside from prepping for the ugly Christmas sweater parties you’ll attend this season, it’s also time to prep your website for another big online shopping season.
Here are 5 tips to help you spruce up your wine ecommerce site for the holidays.
47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less (according to kissmetrics.com). The biggest turn off for visitors is slow load times, people are impatient and this is especially so during the holiday season. Optimize images in the right file format, and talk to your designers/programmers about further ways to decrease your load time.
Put yourself in the shoes of your visitors, and the process it takes them to find your wine list page. If locating where to buy your wine is like playing a game of "Where’s Waldo?", chances are you're losing a large amount of holiday shoppers. Ensure it’s clearly labeled and easily found on your homepage navigation, like Tinhorn Creek's site below.
Fact: Over 15% of people visiting your website are on a mobile device and this number continues to climb. It’s time to get busy updating your mobile site (or get one if you haven’t already) since more customers this year will use their mobile devices to look up and purchase your wine.
What happens if your site doesn't offer gift cards, and visitors are not sure what kind of wine their Auntie Bonnie prefers? They'll leave. Gift cards provide indecisive customers with an easy option and make for great last minute gifts. Plus, as an added bonus, you'll bring in some new customers.
Clearly show your promotions on the homepage and throughout the site. It is also the time to test and ensure your holiday promos are running smoothly on your ecommerce site. Run a few orders through your system. Are your promos working properly? Are they giving you the correct sales price?
Side tip: all of our internal testing show that shipping promotions outperform discounted products.
Another side tip: show personality and get in the season with some holiday graphics for your site. As you can see below, Bath & Body Works' site is already looking festive.
Were there any ideas I missed that can help maximize sales during the holiday buying season? Feel free to post your ideas below.
It’s nice to get a little public shout out for all the hard work that you put into making your wine. While media reviews and PR articles are awesome at getting some attention, you want the very people trying and buying your wine to be talking publicly about it. And for good reason, according to iPerceptions, 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has product reviews.
There are many great reasons why you should include reviews on your site, but how can you get customers to actually physically click like buttons and type a wine review on your site?
Here are a few ideas.
Action email (trigger based email) is a great, automatic method to follow-up after purchase. In the email, politely ask customers to write a review and include the link to where they can review the wine, like this Old Navy example below.
In the follow up email, offer some sort of incentive if they write a review. You don’t want to come across that you’re bribing your customers for their endorsement, so instead of offering a discount on related products, consider an entry to win a prize, gift card or event tickets.
Monkey see monkey do - everyone is a follower and nobody likes to be the first to review something. If you include social networking widgets such as the Facebook like count on your list page, customers can easily see the popularity of your wine and be more inclined to write a review as seen here on winesthatrock.com.
Personally ask customers for reviews, be honest and tell them you’d love it they shared their experience with others, in order to help others make better decisions about purchasing your wine. Happy customers are almost always willing to oblige.
Tell your customers to review your wine. Capture their attention on your site by making use of call-outs and badges that say “Review this Wine” or “Tell us what you think.” Here's a creative call-out example from an Australian online store, Big Brown Box.
Give them a reason to review your wine, with interesting unique selling propositions, new wine releases, or something that could spark discussion/debate.
Ensure customers can easily see where to rate and review your products and ensure that it can be done within a few clicks.
While you may have included reviews and social media widgets on your site, is it really driving interaction? Consider some of these ideas to bump up conversion and allow your customers to interact with your products.
Were there any ideas that I missed? What review-gathering method(s) have worked best for you so far? Don’t be shy, leave your comments below.
Previous posts on customer reviews:
Action emails – they’re the bigger, more independent brother to regular mass emails. With an open rate that is more than double regular mass email, this is an awesome email marketing tool that will help you maintain relationships and connect with new customers. Plus, you’ll likely see some positive conversion rates.
Also known as trigger emails, action emails are a pre-written set of messages that are sent based on an event or triggered action your customer takes, (orders for the first time, repeat purchase, abandons a shopping cart, credit card expiring, etc).
Here’s how it generally works:
Let’s say, for example, you’d like to send out a thank you message to first-time purchasers and ask them what they thought of the wine.
Now that you’re in the loop, below are some best practices to consider before you create an action email campaign.
Think through what you would like to achieve with each action email campaign. Most systems have preset triggers like type of order placed, credit card expiry, anniversary dates, etc.
If your brand was a person, what would they sound/act like? It’s unlikely that people will read an email if it sounds like it came from a robot and/or a professor of quantum physics.
Focus on interesting content that’s relevant to individual groups. For example, first-time purchasers should be enticed to place their second order, whereas club members may be interested in club discounts and wine reviews. You want to engage readers without them feeling like that they’re being pressured to purchase anything.
Think about your layout and design. If it looks like one of those “Win a FREE Trip to Mexico” emails, it’s time to reevaluate your look.
The first thing that your readers will see is the subject line. If it’s confusing or irrelevant, the more likely it’ll be ignored.
Remember, it's a trigger not a steady stream. Space out your action emails. Although they are automatic, ensure you check-in regularly and make sure you are not over-sending.
Questions or comments? Don’t be shy; feel free to leave them below.
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