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What wine eCommerce site is right for a medium size retailer?

In a previous post Wine eCommerce website: Custom Built or Off-the-Shelf? I said the question is really, “what are your requirements?” Then based off the most important requirements (“Must Haves”) you can choose what eCommerce package is best for you.

In my last post Two Very Different Wine Retailer eCommerce Websites I listed those requirements. I then showed how two different size wine retailers, very small and very large, will have a different set of requirements based off different objectives. The very small company is an owner operated local wine retailer, the very large company is a corporate with a dedicated team of internet marketing experts.

In this post I look at two more types: small-medium, and medium-large wine retailers.

The small-medium wine retailer

Is owned by a number of people only one of whom actually works in the retail store full time. This person, the GM, works hard, perhaps 50 hour s per week, much of that time in his office as he has retail assistants to man the store and even a storeman to manage stock and delivery.

He has a significant promotional budget that is mainly spent in newspapers. He has a website and is very aware of the importance of the internet but has yet to get his head around what he should be doing (his website developer seems to speak a different language). He also runs public tastings when he can and sends out a newsletter email to a list of customers. His ideal advertising results in measurable sales, however he reluctantly accepts the famous saying, “I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted … I just don’t know which half” (John Wanamaker).

Most of his customers are local and repeat. He has a significant trade and corporate clientele. His best customers are wealthy doctors or lawyers who like to try high margin wines and/or have a favorite they always buy.

He is happy with using the internet but it is not his expertise. His expertise is wine and retailing.

The medium-large wine retailer company

Is a multi-store company. It may be a state chain store or perhaps it just has a few stores spread strategically over the county. Let’s say the company is 100 staff large with a dedicated marketing team led by a hardened marketing pro (and mother of two – which has refined her management style more than anything else!).

The marketing team of three has a large promotional budget much of which is spent on price promotions. Before the noughties recession this was mainly newspapers with a little local TV. Now it is rapidly becoming internet focused and the team is now almost completely focused on professional internet marketing (SEO, PPC, email marketing, social media). Everything is measured – each advertising campaign has to show better results than other campaigns or it’s dropped. This team is driven by sales results, specifically if $1 is spend on ads then at least $1.01 is made in profit. She despises as old school the saying, “I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted … I just don’t know which half”.

The customers are state wide, the shipping is by Fedex from large retail stores, and a number of payment systems can be used from PayPal to authorize.net.

The wine eCommerce requirements

The eCommerce requirements document below has Must Have, Should Have, Nice to Have columns. The ones on the left are for a small-medium wine retailer. The columns on the right are for a medium-large wine retailer.

The difference

Unlike my last post, the retailers’ requirements are similar.

The difference is in live integration, custom coding, price, and options for shipping and payment. As well as the promotional tools of social media, email marketing, and testing.

This reflects the bigger budget as well as the desire for more marketing tools.

There is of course many different combinations for each individual retailer but these requirements are a good indication dependent on store size.

What do you think? Please comment below.


Download the 3 page pdf here: Wine Ecommerce Requirements – Medium Sized Companies.

PDF screenshots:



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  2. […] that each type of retailer would want in an eCommerce system. You can see them here and here.Applied to FacebookFacebook Stores are not quite there, yet.My original intention was to use these […]

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