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Wine eCommerce: WSJ.com on Buying Wine Online

Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher* have written a highly critical article in this Wall Street Journal article on wine websites.

In essence they say 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 completely agree with them but have some sympathy for the wine retailers with the inventory issue.

Live inventory requires what can be a very expensive integration with their POS or accounting system. Even uploading inventory every day can be tiresome – okay I guess that isn’t an excuse as its a 5-20 minute job.

The rest of these issues are simply exhausted retailers doing something that is outside their normal skill set. Are retailers really expected to do this as well as WSJ opines?

What are your thoughts, are they setting the standard too high or are they reasonable expectations?

*Dorothy and John write “Tastings,” the weekly wine column of The Wall Street Journal.

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