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Andrew Kamphuis
October 5, 2010 | Ecommerce | Andrew Kamphuis

Top 10 Winery Website Must-Haves

One of the first steps in building a website is looking at the functional requirements. Not all of these features are required for every winery, but here is my quick top 10 list of features a general winery website needs to make it successful.

10. Mobile Version

5% of today's traffic is mobile. This is growing more and more. We are starting to have great web experiences on mobile smart phones (including the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry Torch, and now the WP7 phones). Example: Cuvaison (click link from an iPhone or Android device).

9. Store Locator

Not everyone wants to pay the high shipping costs and wait for your wine. Let your customers find which local retailers stock your product. (I know the data can be hard to come by, but others are doing it). Example: Wines That Rock - check out the google maps.

8. Calendar/List of Events

Visitors love seeing what is happening at your winery. Add a calendar or a list of upcoming events. Make sure the calendar is up to date - or better yet, work with a website system that provides a true calendar that won't show stale information. Example: Pithy Wine.

7. Social Media

Social media is no longer a fad. 500 million users on FaceBook makes it main stream. Include social media links on all of your products (At a minimum FaceBook and Twitter). Allow customers to share via email as well. Example Ceja Vineyards.

6. Newsletter Signup

Allow visitors to be informed. Make it easy to sign up for your newsletter. Also make it easy to unsubscribe. Example: Long Meadow Ranch.

5. Product Detail Pages

People buy what they know. Allow customers to explore your product. Show detailed tasting notes, product awards, magazine reviews, large images, video and other media. Example: Inman Family Wine.

4. Product Reviews

Product reviews increase sales by establishing credibility. Allow customers to freely write what they think about your wine. Keep your site authentic and allow negative comments. Encourage users to write reviews (it's a lot easier for people to write the second or third review on a product rather than being the first). Example: Twisted Oak.

3. Smooth Checkout Process

If I was standing in line at your tasting room register, then walked away because I had a bad experience, I'm pretty sure you would want to correct that experience both for your customer and for your bottom line. Make the online checkout process smooth: don't force a person to register to checkout, provide security assurances, accurate shipping prices and easy to use forms.

2. Address & Contact Details

Yes, I saw a winery website this week with no contact information on it. If you wonder why people aren't contacting you from your website... ensure you have contact information. In fact, learn from professional marketers like Wine Tasting and put your phone number in the header of your website so people see it on every page.  Example: Wine Tasting Network.

1. Google Analytics- with Ecommerce and Goals setup.

It's pretty simple - you can't make good decisions without having good monitoring tools in place. Know how many people are coming to your site? where they are coming from? what they are doing when they get there? Google analytics is free, it's easy to setup, and it's easy to use. This tool will expose your site’s strengths and weaknesses; use it to help guide your design to drive people to the pages you want. 


Mike Duffy's Gravatar
Mike Duffy
@ Oct 5, 2010 at 10:56 AM
A good list that is hard to argue with. Glad to see you guys continuing to inform people.

Diane Thompson's Gravatar
Diane Thompson
@ Oct 6, 2010 at 10:39 AM
I agree with your list - good recommendations. I would add a couple of points. First, regarding contact information: If a winery offers an email address or a form to submit, they should actually reply to those inquiries!! I can not tell you how many times I have sent a message or filled out a form asking a question and have not received a thing back from the winery. After no response from one, who shall remain nameless, I called them to get the info I was looking for and mentioned that I had submitted their contact form with no reply. They actually told me "oh, yeah, I don't think that works anymore." Wow! My second suggestion is to reinforce the idea of current content. Certainly the events section should be current, but this is a discipline that is required throughout the website. Many look at creating a website as a project, that once complete, is "done". It is actually a process for which the creation of the site is merely the beginning.

Andrew Kamphuis's Gravatar
Andrew Kamphuis
@ Oct 6, 2010 at 10:58 AM
Diane - I completely agree. Unresponsive website inquiries and stale content suck.

Sean's Gravatar
@ Oct 8, 2010 at 3:28 AM
+ A catchy website Name!

Mike Duffy's Gravatar
Mike Duffy
@ Oct 8, 2010 at 7:28 AM
@Sean - that someone can spell. :-)

Sean's Gravatar
@ Oct 11, 2010 at 3:46 AM
yo Mike check this out!

Google returns for 'vintage wine' = About 21,700,000 results (0.13 seconds) 'vntg wine'= About 35,000,000 results (0.32 seconds) 'vintage wines'= About 320,000 results (0.10 seconds) 'vntg wines'= About 481,000,000 results (0.17 seconds)


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