Vin65 Blog

DTC wine thoughts served up by Vin65

Brent Johnson
March 15, 2011 | Ecommerce | Brent Johnson

Video proven to increase e-commerce sales.

In your tasting room consumers can stroll up to the tasting bar, speak to enthusiastic staff and then sniff, swirl and sip your wine. It’s not that easy to excite consumers on your wine e-commerce website. You need to find ways to engage and convert consumers with content, images, tasting notes, consumer and professional reviews.

It’s been proven that videos can help e-commerce. Over the past few years, has said their videos have impacted sales on their products anywhere from 6 to 30 percent.

While is an e-commerce giant, Ceja Vineyards is a perfect example of a midsized winery producing well-executed product video at a minimal cost.

You may not need to make a video for the branded clothing you’re selling online, or the tickets to a concert but videos are a perfect medium for your tasting staff or wine maker to convey their passion for each wine that consumers are sampling in your tasting room.

“Video might be overkill for some pitches and products, and become more of a distraction than an incentive to convert,” said Stefan Tornquist, research director for MarketingSherpa. “For something complex, visceral, or new, video can be a great fit. Selling fly fishing in the Arctic? Video is going to do a better job of putting the prospect in a buying frame of mind than all the copy you can muster.”

Ceja Vineyards uses YouTube but there are many solutions for hosting your videos with different benefits, Facebook for example would be a great fit if you’re using Facebook fan pages and help cross promote by linking to your fan page and website. Vimeo provides a sleek interface and HTML5 embed code so they are viewable on iPads and iPhones.

Vimeo does not allow for commercial videos, instead you could use Viddler’s ‘b2b’ hosting.

If you’re looking for a more professional video solution that feautures product overlay, enabling the consumer to purchase right form the video, you could look at a company like Your winemaker could lead a tasting of your wine portfolio and consumers can purchase wines featured by clicking on a hotspot in the video, converting them while they're excited and ready to buy (See an Armani Exchange example).

Here’s another example from Inman Family Wine, as Kathleen explains her wine in a way words on a webpage simply can’t:

If you haven't tried videos, I recommend talking to a few wineries that have such as Ceja or Inman. Start small, a simple Flip camera is only around $150 then use YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo to place the video on your e-commerce site and measure your results.


Mike Duffy's Gravatar
Mike Duffy
@ Mar 15, 2011 at 2:33 PM
Vimeo "do[es] not allow you to upload videos that are commercial in nature or videos that you did not make yourself. " (from their Community Guidelines). So, it would seem that promoting your wines would be off-limits, no?

Brent Johnson's Gravatar
Brent Johnson
@ Mar 15, 2011 at 3:33 PM

You’re right, thanks for pointing that out and it’s a good thing to check before you choose a solution to host your videos. Vimeo states “You may not upload product promotions or sales videos, such as real estate walkthroughs.” If YouTube isn’t a good fit because of the adds/related videos, I would also recommend Facebook, especially if you have a Facebook fan page or Viddler Some solutions have a non-commercial account and a commercial account.

Mike Duffy's Gravatar
Mike Duffy
@ Mar 15, 2011 at 4:37 PM
A casual review seems to indicate that they don't enforce that restriction with an iron hand...

Pam Strayer's Gravatar
Pam Strayer
@ Mar 15, 2011 at 11:38 PM
I help companies make very inexpensive videos and I teach web video marketing at U.C. Berkeley. If you want a video made, get in touch! winecountrygeographic at

Dan Chapin's Gravatar
Dan Chapin
@ Mar 17, 2011 at 11:11 AM
Great post're speaking my language! We use the Ooyala Backlot solution for hosting the videos for Artisan Media clients. The quality is superior to You Tube or even Vimeo and the video analytics are unrivaled, providing video stats for any and all website locations where the video is played.Ooyala also simultaneously imports the video into your video channel or in our case, the Artisan Media You Tube channel -> Another good solution is BrightCove which is used by large media driven companies. Both options may be cost prohibitive for smaller wineries so working with a video production/hosting company is probably the most cost effective route other than hiring a college intern who is relatively technical and handy with a camera.

Mike Duffy's Gravatar
Mike Duffy
@ Mar 17, 2011 at 11:34 AM
Wistia ( is another hosted video solution with reasonable pricing.

B. Napa's Gravatar
B. Napa
@ Mar 17, 2011 at 1:44 PM
Word to the wise...while some make "videos", and these are certainly appropriate for some brands, others make "films" that are connecting on a deeper and more emotional level. If you want to connect on this level, your marketing person is not the answer.There is no story in having your winemaker do a tasting note in front of a flip camera.

Consider hiring a professional, and if you can't then sometimes you are better off not exposing yourself...after all you spend a lot of time and money growing grapes and designing labels and so on. You don't skimp on these things do you?

Just like in wine there is a top shelf and a bottom shelf for "video" producers...when hiring professionals be sure to have a good look at their reel, get to know your options.

Dan Chapin's Gravatar
Dan Chapin
@ Mar 17, 2011 at 2:03 PM
B. Napa...I fully agree. Wineries should focus on wine production and sales and leverage professionals for digital marketing. By the way, your videos are some of the best I have seen in the wine industry, especially for your winery clients who have been willing to invest more heavily in video content development.

Matt's Gravatar
@ Mar 17, 2011 at 3:16 PM
To build on B. Napa's comments, I've worked in the television production industry for fifteen years and also produce videos for select wineries as a side project. A "home video" with a flip camera that produces shaky video and bad audio is not going to sell a luxury product like wine. I would even argue that a poorly produced video detracts from a brand's value. Would a company distribute a marketing brochure full of misspelled words and blurry photographs?

Video is not a strategy for every brand, but those that adopt it should fully embrace it or else it is not going to work. It's not a one-size-fits-all solution, and just like winemaking, it's a good idea to talk with someone who knows what they are doing beforehand. In the end you want your audience laughing with you, not at you.

Mike Duffy's Gravatar
Mike Duffy
@ Mar 17, 2011 at 5:28 PM
Brent - how was the Inman video produced?

Brent Johnson's Gravatar
Brent Johnson
@ Mar 18, 2011 at 8:07 AM
Mike - The Inman Family video was produced by Dan from Artisan Media Services

Dan Chapin's Gravatar
Dan Chapin
@ Mar 18, 2011 at 2:03 PM
Correction...Inman Family produced the video internally and Artisan Media provides the hosting services for their videos and other digital assets which we stream on various websites. Thanks for

Mike Duffy's Gravatar
Mike Duffy
@ Mar 21, 2011 at 11:15 AM
Related story:

Brent Johnson's Gravatar
Brent Johnson
@ Mar 22, 2011 at 5:14 PM
Dan - Thanks for the correct :)

Mike - Thanks for posting the blog link.

I agree with most of the comments about how the video production can have a negative (or positive) effect on a winery’s brand and effect the perception of the wine. I think that your videos should be tailored to your market but I want to encourage wineries with little to no budgets, that they can create and post videos quickly to increase their DTC sales.

I think that V. Sattui (a monster in DTC sales) is doing a great job with relatively ‘low tech’ product videos, see their Madeira product page here: It’s not a sales video but an educational video that will lower the resistance to purchase online.

Mike Duffy's Gravatar
Mike Duffy
@ Mar 22, 2011 at 5:25 PM
I think that the three important things are: - crisp, clear video (HD) with enough (balanced) light. - crisp, clear audio that doesn't sound like you're in a barrel or an electrical closet (hum) - most important, something worth saying that doesn't sound scripted I think that can be accomplished by non-professionals, because you see some of it on the Web already. Clearly, a professional can bring it to another level when you're ready for that.

Jay 's Gravatar
@ Mar 30, 2011 at 11:49 AM
Hey Brent and all, Interesting comments and conversation on use of video in the wine industry. i agree that investing in high quality production content is the way to go. Check out a video piece that we have on our site detailing the production process of BM sparkling wine:

Keith Miller's Gravatar
Keith Miller
@ May 12, 2011 at 11:21 AM
Inman Family Wine, Kathleen does not mention price within video above which in our minds is a big mistake (not huge to many).. Sure the video mat be on the winery website but once one posts a video on the internet ... it can be seen from anywhere... In this case on

But we also say it's better to do it than not...

Rich Reader's Gravatar
Rich Reader
@ Jun 7, 2011 at 10:18 AM
The Inman Pinot Gris video is quite good, though you may find better results by having a fan, an advocate, enthusiast, sommelier, and/or blogger interacting around a table, as well as attracting their friends and associates to view their testimonial of your wine. As Hardy Wallace from the Natural Process Alliance says that we should do more to encourage other people to talk about what we do, while placing less emphasis on being the ones doing the talking, because this will do more for our sales, reputations, and the esteem in which we are held. Of course, this may be more of a grail than a tangible opportunity right away.

As a vlogger, I like to include video in interviews with winemakers, ambassadors, and educators, as I did here for Global Chardonnay Day at The Hess Collection:

The Hess Collection's Botrytis Affected Carneros Reserve 2006 Shines through Global #Chardonnay Day

just sayin'

Vincent's Gravatar
@ Jul 7, 2011 at 2:35 AM
A good video is a actually a great promo tool if it delivers helpful and intetresting infomation and does not appera to be a sheer ad. I always thought vidieos were best to promote various sorts of devices. However, I see this also works great with wine.

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