Vin65 Blog

DTC wine thoughts served up by Vin65

Andrew Kamphuis
October 26, 2010 | Ecommerce, Marketing | Andrew Kamphuis

Why I won't buy wine from your website this Christmas

As a consumer, I buy a lot online. I buy a lot of wine and I buy a lot of other goods. I enjoy going through websites not on the Vin65 platform and testing out their shopping experience. Even when the site has a terrible experience, I'll often wade through the hassle (and some sites make purchasing a huge hassle).

In the last couple of weeks, I've stopped just short of making a few purchases. The marketing email I received was enticing, but after clicking through to the website, the site failed to deliver.

This holiday season, if I come to your site, and I fail to purchase - here are a few reasons you may have lost me as a customer:

1. I won't buy because your site is non-functional or broken.
Make sure the links in the email work. Make sure the 'add to cart' works. If there is an error, show me a friendly error screen, don't show me a server error.

As an aside, this past week I was on a couple of websites with raw server errors - those are a major security risk. Ask your vendor to fix them or get a new vendor.

2) I won't buy because your site is painfully slow.
Speed sells. I don't want to wait and wait and wait for content to load. On one winery's site I had to wait 5-8 seconds for a page to load. It was a big turn off and was the reason I left the site. I intended to come back later to see if speed improved, but I didn't. Your customers will probably act the same way. Most vendors know that holiday traffic is heavier than regular traffic. People have less patience during the holidays - make your site faster.

3) I won't buy because your site looks ugly.
Maybe I'm shallow. Websites where everything is misaligned, ugly, from the stone age or has major browser compatibility issues typically indicate that the order, if placed, isn’t going to go well. People make snap judgments about who you are (often unconsciously) based on how your site looks.  Make sure your website looks great.


I realize there are a lot of factors that stop customers from making a purchase (just peruse through our blog for more examples). I purposely called out these three issues because I experienced them all this week and they drove me away from purchasing wine.

During the holiday season, we often recommend that customers don't make large changes to their site. It's a busy time and you don't want to confuse customers. However, if your site has one or more of the problems above, I'd consider fixing it - especially if you want your customers to complete their purchase this holiday season.


Susan Hanshaw's Gravatar
Susan Hanshaw
@ Oct 26, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Another great post. How well you guys at Vin 65 understand DTC marketing shows through here in your blog and your platform.

You've inspired me to share one of the biggest reasons I won't buy from a particular website. I will nearly always abandon a shopping cart if I am asked to cough up too much contact information before I get to see how much the shipping and tax is going to add to my purchases. I know you want to capture my email address, but you'll have a greater chance to capture my sale if you let me shop first.


The Grumpy Winemaker's Gravatar
The Grumpy Winemaker
@ Oct 26, 2010 at 7:11 PM
You probably won't buy because I refuse to pay the ridiculous licensing feels and monthly tax reporting for you communist state. Therefore, my site blocks you.

And besides, you haven't even heard of us.

Andrew Kamphuis's Gravatar
Andrew Kamphuis
@ Oct 26, 2010 at 10:09 PM
@Susan - thank you for your comments. I agree that knowing shipping and taxes upfront is important.

@Grumpy - I have an address in Sumas, WA I think you can ship to :)

Thomas Hansen's Gravatar
Thomas Hansen
@ Oct 29, 2010 at 9:40 AM
Awesome blog Andrew, as always :)

I'd add up one more point though;

4. I won't buy wine from your website, because it's not intuitive ...

We all know how having an intuitive UX is crucial to all aspects in life, but especially for a merchant, there need to be ZERO obstacles in the way for his customers to actually make a purchase and get to the wine.

This is a place where way too many people 'cheat' and have bad solutions. I think the way to solve this is by having neutral 'virgins' look at your site, and see how they behave, and how difficult it is for them to 'get to the wine' ...

And if a guy who have never seen you website before, struggles finding out how to buy from it, you're pretty much screwed, and need to 'start over again' ...

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