Vin65 Blog

DTC wine thoughts served up by Vin65

Andrew Kamphuis
February 10, 2010 | Ecommerce | Andrew Kamphuis

The Anatomy of a Great Wine Page

Great web pages don't just happen, they require a lot of thought and planning.  What makes the page below great are five specific things.

1) Great Photography

I won't debate bottle vs label images, but every great wine page needs great photography.

People make assumptions about your wine based on how it looks. It doesn't take a professional photographer to notice a picture looks cheap, home made, and poorly done.

High resolution, high quality images will increase your perceived brand value, and high quality photos will increase sales conversion.

PS. I feel bottle shots are better than label shots.

2) Consumer Ratings and Reviews

Consumer ratings and reviews are universally acknowledged as having a significant impact on e-commerce. Study after study has linked consumer review to increased sales.

Your customers want to not only know what professionals think of your wine, they want to know what average people think of your wine.

3) Product Detail (Lots of It)

You may not be methodical (and I prefer to skim rather than read) but a large part of the population is methodical. They prefer to read in detail about your wine, how it was made, all of the content, etc. They make informed decisions and favor a logical approach in data presentation.

Also your search engine marketing team will appreciate extra detail.

4) Social Media Widgets

The return on investment is still out on adding social media widgets (such as tweet this, share this, and other social media widgets) to your page, but we believe that social media does have a positive return.

While there are an overwhelming amount of social widgets we feel that you should at least have facebook and twitter on each product page (If you're one of our clients, ask us about our new social media bar which includes these widgets for every wine page).

5) Ecommerce

Last but not least is the entire ecommerce piece on your wine page that plays an important part. Pricing and incentives should be clear. The 'add to cart' button should have high contrast. If you have a 'quantity' field it should be pre-populated.

We prefer to put the 'Add to Cart' button near the top of the page. This is to accommodate both people who prefer to make faster decisions, and people who are more methodical.


What do you feel belongs on your wine pages? 


Larry Chandler's Gravatar
Larry Chandler
@ Feb 10, 2010 at 9:02 AM
All excellent points Andrew. The layout is clear, the information is there but not "required reading" and the "buy" button makes it easy to purchase. Wineries do need to realize that the effort involved in doing it right can pay off big time at the cash register.

But it is difficult to get all the elements in place on a limited budget of time and money. Case in point: Your example. It is only a representative wine page. But still....the wine says "chardonnay", the description says "shiraz" and the varietal says "sauvignon blanc." None of this is at odds with what you say should be done. You are totally right. But getting everything right is not easy and mistakes frequently creep in.

You're forgiven.


Andrew Kamphuis's Gravatar
Andrew Kamphuis
@ Feb 10, 2010 at 9:06 AM
@Larry - Thx for the feedback - your right the image is 'hacked together' from a few sites that I feel were very close but not quite there. It's just a sample and not an actual page.

Larry Chandler's Gravatar
Larry Chandler
@ Feb 10, 2010 at 10:20 AM
Andrew, it's clear it was hacked together. My point wasn't that it was an actual page, but that a lot of work goes into making something right. Even as an example this looks sloppy (at least to those of us who are anal-retentive) and is symptomatic of how difficult it is to get everything right. It isn't that important really. Your points are what makes this piece important. But it would have been better to get it completely right. Unfortunately there are only 48 hours in a day.

Peter's Gravatar
@ Feb 10, 2010 at 11:28 AM
Larry, Your right, some of the details are rough. It would be great to show all the details bang on, but we don't really want to give away all our work behind the scenes until we actually move our latest platform enhancements out to our clients.

Heather's Gravatar
@ Feb 10, 2010 at 7:02 PM
We're just starting to redesign our web site and we spent the afternoon looking at winery web sites. The elements you're mentioning are all important, but the photography? We are all over that one and completely agree with you there.

Andrew Kamphuis's Gravatar
Andrew Kamphuis
@ Feb 10, 2010 at 7:24 PM
Heather, I agree - and photography was my #1 point above.

Dr. Horowitz's Gravatar
Dr. Horowitz
@ Feb 11, 2010 at 7:55 AM
Nice post! Thanks for sharing. I'd try to add a recent tweet or blog post to the page.

Frank Gutierrez's Gravatar
Frank Gutierrez
@ Feb 11, 2010 at 8:54 AM
Great Post. I like to make photography one of the strongest elemnts in my blog as well. A great chef once told me "People eat (consume) with their eyes first." : )

davidn's Gravatar
@ Feb 11, 2010 at 10:32 AM
Give the guy a break. He shows us what he thinks are the key parts of a good web page. It has nothing to do with the copy. He could have put his "Lorem ipsum..." copy everywhere, or even a string of "xxxxxxx...". Would you "complain" then? It is meant to be generic and not specific!

My question looking is who wrote the tasting note. That's one of the most important things I look for. Is it the winemaker who would love anything he made or is it a known critic? I want to know so I know how much credence to lend to the note.

Also it is not clear to me if I am able to post a review. Can I add my thoughts as Brent J (sic) has left his? BTW I'm not sure that I would want to let just anyone comment. One is trying to sell the wine and the last thing you need (and you know it will happen) is someone to post a negative review.

Larry Chandler's Gravatar
Larry Chandler
@ Feb 11, 2010 at 10:59 AM
You're right David. I was being snarky (not intentionally). But what I was reacting to was that creating a website involves lots of detail, and creating a great website is extremely difficult. Errors in judgment, copy, design are all too frequent. It's hard to do it all right. But even examples should be done with care; typos, bad pictures, misstatements can be jarring or distracting.

Yes, this sample was just to illustrate important points, and I probably should have paused a bit first. Things that seem funny at first don't always sustain.


Peter's Gravatar
@ Feb 11, 2010 at 5:49 PM
Hey davidn, Negative reviews are always a concern, and one of the biggest objections we have from wineries. The best way to handle a negative review is to respond publicly and let people see you care and that the right people are being touched by customer feedback. The other thing is that some reviews that could be perceived as negative sometimes aren't they just show a preference. Like someone might say "this wine is heavy on oak" which fans of this particular winery may really like. Also most people rate highly - check out this post about rating on youtube:

Sunny's Gravatar
@ Feb 13, 2010 at 10:13 AM
Websites are difficult, time consuming and are poor sources of revenue- at least at the beginning. It is kind of the old chicken and the egg thing: Everyone wants to have a beautiful website that gets lots of traffic and brings in lots of dough, but very few people have the cash/ time/ expertise to get that beautiful site up and running BEFORE it is bringing in lots of cash. So that begs the question: Do you go in head first to a market that is already flooded with websites, blogs and online retail outlets and hope the upfront costs/ time of creating a 1st rate site will be rewarded with a profitable business, or do you stick your toe in with a 1/2 way site that is ever changing and evolving and getting better but is certainly not complete but is less of a risk financially/ emotionally/ and in time?

When someone figures it out let me know!

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