A wine club is where the consumer gives you their credit details and agrees to receive wine periodically. The wine club is made up of packages that are built around product, shipment frequency, bottle #, prices, commitment period and discounts. A wine club is central to your DTC marketing strategy. Instead of single bottles sales you get case loads of sales over an extended period of time. You grow wine clubs by selling clubs in preference to bottles especially at the cellar door.
I'm often asked, "What is the best wine website and eCommerce solution?". To which I reply, it depends. It depends on your requirements, skills and budget.
There are some basic small business eCommerce systems that work just fine, for example Yahoo and WordPress with WP-eCommerce or WooCommerce plugins. There are some more sophisiticated eCommerce systems like shopify, Magento Go. More expensively, and more for medium to large businesses, there is IBM’s WebSphere or Magento Enterprise. There are a number of specialist (or specialist version) wine eCommerce development systems. These include Vin 65, eWinerySolutions, Nexternal, Beverage Media Group, Bottlenose, WineZap, WineWeb, Fort Systems, Easy Wine Shopper, and Vineyard2Door.
Last but not least you need to look at each system with an eye on how it will help your wine marketing.
I look at two more types of wine retailers’ eCommerce requirements: small-medium, and medium-large. I then showed how the two different size wine retailers have a different, though similar, set of requirements based off different objectives.
I’ve talked about whether you should have a custom built wine eCommerce website or one “Off-the-Shelf”. In short I said pretty much everyone actually uses off-the-shelf software and the question really is what are your requirements before deciding which software or service provider to go with. In this post I set out what those requirements are in an “eCommerce Requirements Document”.
Will an “off-the-shelf” eCommerce website be right for me? Or should I get a custom built eCommerce website? Here’s what you consider.
Fairfield undertook some conversion analysis of the shopping cart page (not the following checkout process). This indicated a number of obstacles to checkout: * Confusing, hidden business rules, * Long form, with most content below the fold, * Unnecessary information requested, * Absence of persuasion motivators * Low apparent trust value
But here’s the problem, many websites look fantastic and fail to make a return on investment. The frustrated wine retailer then writes off the internet as useless. And yet research shows that 4-6% of a retailer’s business is now over the internet. So let’s do the financial numbers to assess ROI
I’ll admit it, I love Apple products. I was forced for so long to use Microsoft products and “wintel” laptops that when I went out on my own account the first thing I purchased was an Apple MacBook Pro. Apple products are edited products that cut through complexity, by consciously leaving things out. So I show how wine eCommerce and marketing simplicity, not “featuritis”,
I’ve always found shopping cart abandonment dispiriting! But don’t worry it’s not just you, it’s every other merchant as well. Charles Nicholls of SeeWhy says (in 2009/10), the shopping cart abandonment rate averaged 73 percent in the first two weeks of January, some 12 percent higher than the low of 61 percent recorded on December 16…
It’s going to take a while for me to get to my point in this post, but I promise I will get there. Anyhow – it’s great story!
In fact it’s such a great story it’s been turned into a book. The point I’ll make is about what matters the most for a wine retailer selling wine online.
My learning from this experience was that you focus on the 20% of things that your customers really demonstrably value. That might be technology or it might not. The technology is very sexy, it can automate the most simple of things extremely well. But if the customer doesn’t want it, or it’s too expensive then don’t use it.
I try to help out on various networks I’m involved with for free. Not all to do with wine retail, marketing and the internet – here’s my response to do with retail ecommerce. Jonathan Poston a member of the LinkedIn group Shop.org asked the following question, “What’s the best e-commerce store? I’m betting on Yahoo, as our FastPivot.com developers say it’s the most affordable and in general easiest to work with…agree or disagree? Why or why not?” Here’s my response: “I looked at this for myself last year…
I like wine, I really do but when I get a rush of new releases from wineries I get real bored of writing the last few descriptions. Now I’m trying to find a way around this, here’s my progress to date.
I’ve avoided mentioning how to handle vintage in my posts. Its quite a difficult issue which I will cover here (hopefully with your input as I’m not convinced I have the best resolution to this issue). Unlike most products, wine stock keeping units (SKUs) are not often identified by vintage (or year). Yet wine drinkers and Google want to know this.
In essense the WSJ says that wine drinkers have awful website experiences especially with Phantom inventory, Slow delivery, Cluttered sites, Tedious “drill-down” menus, Web sites from another century, Too many emails. I agree with them but have some sympathy for the wine retailers.
Here’s my analysis, I’ve done it by finding a representative sample of eCommerce and internet marketing solutions, rating them based on a criteria outlined in a previous post, and weighting and ranking them to come up with some suggested rankings.
In this post I’m going to nominate a weighting to put to the criteria. The idea is you can make up your own mind what the eCommerce options are, what the weight of each criterion should be and then score each option so you can compare different internet wine marketing and ecommerce solutions. I’ll have a bash at this myself, but first this post on weighting.
I’ve shown that most attention is given to only one part – the design – yet there are many other parts that need to be done well to make a profitable online wine business. So when I talk about the cost I’ll look at the cost of the whole process not just the website.