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Karin Ballestrazze
April 16, 2014 | Karin Ballestrazze

Focus on customer loyalty to increase online wine sales

Customer loyalty is essential for maintaining high levels of online wine sales, but it's harder to keep clients happy in the digital era. According to a recent study from BIA/Kelsey and Manta, many small and midsize businesses have recognized loyal clients as a continuous source of revenue growth and invest in building the relationship. Multiple reports have demonstrated that customer acquisition is more costly than retention efforts, and the gains from new clients aren't as significant as loyal customers. In addition, satisfied shoppers are a great source of referrals. This can help you get new business without raising acquisition costs.

Loyalty is more important as retail increasingly moves online. The continued success of your online wine store depends on forming lasting relationships with clients and getting repeat business. However, some businesses try to encourage repeat purchases by implementing generic loyalty programs, Fast Company reported. For example, customers make nine purchases and the tenth is free. These reward systems use free or discounted items as an incentive to shop instead of emphasizing a high-quality experience. Customer service is the best way to create true, lasting loyalty, and you need to offer consistent experience through every channel.

Importance of having the right loyalty program
While businesses understand how lucrative their relationships with existing customers can be, many don't know how to market to this segment, the BIA/Kelsey suggested. In fact, two-thirds of the companies surveyed didn't have a loyalty program. Of the 34 percent of companies that did, more than half were using outmoded channels, such as paper or word-of-mouth programs. This type of loyalty builder doesn't have a measurable return on investment. 

For wineries looking to increase their direct-to-consumer sales or moving into selling wine online for the first time, existing customers will most likely make up the majority of revenue. Because these clients already trust and have a familiarity with your brand, they will be more receptive to upsells and cross-sells. The Internet has amplified word-of-mouth advertising with social media and online reviews, making loyal shoppers a great source of cost-effective referrals. However, your loyalty program needs to be tailored to customers' needs and preferences.

Tips for fostering loyalty
Even if your winery utilizes a primarily digital loyalty program, you still need to make personal connections with customers. Wine marketing needs to account for emotions to have a real impact of consumers. Although a great deal of client communications now take place online - especially for ecommerce businesses - customers want to feel like they are speaking to an actual person, according to iMedia Connection. The article suggests that emotions, particularly when it comes to warmth and perception, drive the majority of consumer behavior. Emotions mostly have not changed, despite the evolution of ecommerce. 

Instead of just having a loyalty program, excellent customer service can act as a competitive differentiator, Fast Company said. Even if clients have trouble ordering wine from the website or receive an inaccurate order, the opportunity for loyalty isn't automatically lost. Providing a solid resolution to customer issues can increase satisfaction and lead to lasting loyalty. 

Additionally, the BIA/Kelsey report suggested asking customers to opt in to loyalty programs. Retailers shouldn't assume that all shoppers will want to take part. Engaging the clients who do subscribe regularly through email can increase the effectiveness of the program. Email is a highly effective channel for boosting loyalty because it reminds customers of your brand. Depending on your winery, the right mix of strategies may be most relevant for your loyalty program. 

Karin Ballestrazze
April 15, 2014 | Karin Ballestrazze

Don't forget customer service when people buy wine online

Retail is increasingly moving online, but does your winery have the customer service practices in place to manage this changing landscape? While it may seem easier to offer assistance through the Internet, some companies overlook this channel. Providing top-of-the-line customer service - no matter how customers choose to buy - can increase online wine sales

The way winery websites are set up can play a significant role in whether shoppers have a good or bad experience, according to Business 2 Community. Ecommerce pages should always be set up to ensure transactions are as convenient as possible. This may mean streamlining the checkout process or offering resources on product pages to help consumers make decisions. 

What makes a good ecommerce customer experience?
Although the Internet can make you feel far removed from your customers, they still want a human interaction when they reach out to you. Offering personal communications when you resolve problems can improve your business' reputation and lead to an increase in sales. The most successful ecommerce retailers offer more than one channel for customers to reach out when they have issues. Everyone is different - some shoppers will want to call when they have a problem and others prefer to email. This option can be especially beneficial when individuals run into issues outside of regular business hours. However, if you offer email service, the messages should be directed to a real person. 

Some consumers are even expressing a preference for contacting customer service reps through social media, Biz Report stated. Retailers that take this approach should create a specific handle or account dedicated to customer service to keep this experience separate from promotional materials or any other marketing communications. 

Ease of use plays a major role in how shoppers view the overall experience. While most ecommerce platforms allow customers to pay multiple ways, some people want to use more than one payment method per transaction, which can complicate things, Business 2 Community said. For example, if a customer received a gift certificate and spends more than the total amount, it should be easy to finish paying with a credit or debit card. 

Another common use of ecommerce websites is to send gifts. Many consumers select products for friends and family members and send them directly to the recipient. This process should be as easy as possible for shoppers. If you don't offer this option, customers may not stick around since their needs aren't being met.

Customer service pitfalls to avoid
Some online retailers are still struggling to handle customer service issues in the age of the Internet. Outsourcing client experience can complicate matters because there is often some disconnect between the retailer and its customers. Having direct contact with a winery representative helps to build the relationship, Business 2 Community suggested. Another bad strategy for managing customer service is having long wait times on the phone. Customers may have limited time or be anxious about purchases, and long wait times can cause the frustration to mount. If clients email about issues, it may be beneficial to have an automatic message to give them an idea of when they will receive a response.

One major detractor from customer experience is poor wine shipping options strategies. If you only offer one pricey shipping option, customers may avoid purchasing. Clients may be picky about the carrier or need their package within a certain time frame. If your options don't meet these requirements, shoppers will go somewhere else. 

If you suspect there are issues with your customer service practices, surveys can provide an indication of performance, Biz Report said. However, it's best to keep these short to avoid testing the patience of shoppers. 

Karin Ballestrazze
April 14, 2014 | Karin Ballestrazze

How to reduce shopping cart abandonment

If you think your online wine sales are adequate, you could still be missing a huge source of revenue. According to data from SalesCycle, online retailers may lose out on $3 trillion this year from shopping cart abandonment. However, consumers are predicted to spend $1.4 trillion on Internet shopping in 2014, which means retailers could miss out on potential profits. However, there are a number of strategies that wineries can employ to reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase online revenue.

Reasons for cart abandonment
Customericare reported that there are three main reasons why consumers ditch purchases before completion: financial concerns, not ready to purchase and too many steps during checkout. In terms of financial qualms, higher-than-expected shipping causes were a major deterrent to purchasing. Some shoppers felt as though the costs were displayed too late in the process.

Consumers interact with ecommerce websites in different ways; people will place items in shopping carts to buy later or as they compare prices on other websites. However, complication during checkout is something retailers can usually adjust to improve user experience. Consumers can be turned off when registration is required to proceed with checkout. In addition, some individuals felt websites asked for too much information, and this raised concerns about security. If there are too many steps during checkout, customers are likely to get frustrated and drop the purchase.

Ways to curb shopping cart abandonment
Because a great deal of potential revenue is at stake, wineries need to take steps to reduce shopping cart abandonment. When clients order wine online, you can utilize some of the following tips to ensure purchases are completed:

  • Send triggered email reminders: Although abandonment can be an indication that winery websites have performance issues, this isn't always the case. In some cases, customers may be in the middle of something else or they lost an Internet connection, Customericare suggested. Especially if you offer a wide range of products on your website, saving all shopping carts can improve customer experience. Sending a personal email can remind shoppers about their baskets and boost conversion rates.
  • Make checkout simpler: Customers should only be required to input the information deemed necessary to process the transaction, according to Social Annex. Being forced to enter too many fields can significantly slow down the process, annoy shoppers and ultimately cause them to leave your website. Some retailers get around this predicament by offering an option to register through a social media profile. This way new customers don't need to take the time to register for an account. In addition, you can display the steps from the beginning so consumers have a better idea of how long the process will take.
  • Use a second call to action: Because some consumers use shopping carts as a reminder for items they intend to buy at a later time, retailers can give them the option to create a wishlist rather than leave a shopping cart waiting on the site. 
  • Show product availability: Another big cause of shopping cart abandonment is a lack of information about which products are in stock, Customericare said. You don't need to give exact figures, but it's important to show when something is out of stock rather than making customers wait to get checkout before discovering this information. Some businesses like Zappos give customers the option to be notified by email when a product comes back into stock. When supplies are low, retailers can create a sense of urgency, similar to Amazon's approach.
  • Offer customer service support during checkout: This is an easy way to boost the experience for shoppers. If clients run into issues with their credit cards or don't understand wine shipping options, having a phone number to call or online support can decrease the chances that they will drop a purchase.
Jim Agger
April 10, 2014 | Jim Agger

Offer Affordable Wine Shipping Options or Perish

Just a few short years ago, free shipping was an added bonus for buying products online. Now consumers have come to expect this whenever they engage in online shopping, which puts a great deal of pressure on wineries. Some Internet vendors are trying to cut through the expanse of options online with the lowest prices, but this isn't the only factor in purchasing decisions. Retailers need to make it worthwhile for customers to purchase on the Web rather than in a store - and this means it comes down to offering competitive ecommerce fulfillment.

When people shop online, they want to be able to find what they're looking for as quickly as possible. Once they make the purchase, they want convenient, affordable shipping options, according to The Street. If these expectations aren't met, consumers can easily find another online retailer with similar product offerings. Free or discounted shipping is a major competitive differentiator in ecommerce. 

Consumers want to feel like they are getting a deal, and they don't want to spend more than they have to for products. Shipping discounts can make shoppers feel as though they are getting added value in their purchases. Although wine shipping can't be done for free, discounts can help prevent fulfillment fees from becoming prohibitive. Here are some tips for how your winery can improve its shipping strategy to increase online wine sales:

1. Set a spending limit for discounted shipping
If people feel like they can get a deal on delivery, they may be more likely to add a couple more items to reach the threshold. This is particularly true if you include information about the savings on your website. In addition, shipping discounts can be used as a special marketing promotion, a blog post for Amsterdam Printing suggested. Setting a limited time for these offers can increase the sense of urgency and encourage people to buy. This can be a great strategy to boost sales during a particular time of year. 

2. Analyze purchasing patterns
Before cutting shipping prices, you need to understand customers' behavior to make sure you're using this strategy to your advantage. Does discounted fulfillment cause customers to spend more or are they buying the same number of products? How many repeat orders do you see? Do your customers engage with your wine marketing efforts? These concerns can help you define the most effective shipping strategy. 

3. Be transparent about shipping fees
Hidden shipping costs are a major factor in shopping cart abandonment. While adding items to the basket, customers get the idea that they will be paying a particular price, and they will quickly be frustrated if the final total is a lot more than what they were expecting, The Street said. One way to avoid this shock during checkout is to display estimated shipping costs as customers add items to their carts. This is particularly effective if you display the discounts they can get with your wine shipping. It's also a good idea to offer more than one option. Shoppers will have different needs. Some people may not need their cases of wine in two days, and they may not want to pay extra for the increased speed.

4. Consider offering shipping subscriptions
You can take a cue from Amazon Prime and offer annual subscriptions for repeat customers. This can encourage people to buy more frequently since they will have already paid shipping fees. Implementing this strategy can ensure a more consistent stream of online revenue. Because shipping wine can prove to be costly, a subscription service can act as a tool to build client loyalty.

Sheri Hebbeln
April 9, 2014 | Sheri Hebbeln

Revolutionary trends in retail for 2014

The retail industry has changed dramatically in the span of just a few years. If you sell wine online, you need to be prepared for new trends and disruptive forces. How your business adapts to these developments may determine your success in the future. 

Consumer preferences are driving a large number of the shifts, according to Practical Ecommerce. There could be a huge opportunity for boosting online wine sales - studies have indicated that people under the age of 40 prefer to shop on the Web. This trend means shoppers are spending more time researching online before they buy. Even if customers purchase from inside your winery, they may have researched your products beforehand. 

Despite the overarching love of ecommerce, consumer expectations are higher than ever before. One of the major barriers to ecommerce adoption in the past was the fact that the online experience could not instantaneously deliver products to customers. Shoppers could go to physical store locations and buy products immediately. However, many ecommerce companies have created increasingly faster shipping, and the possibility of same-day delivery doesn't appear to be too far down the road. In addition, some retailers are offering in-store pickup so shoppers can get products faster. Not only do consumers want the fastest ecommerce fulfillment possible, but they expect free or discounted shipping. While the expectation of free shipping may seem like a lot to offer, shoppers also want the ability to return items they don't like for free. Speedy deliveries were once a way to exceed customer expectations, but quick shipping will become nearly mandatory in the future.

The demand for speedy wine shipping doesn't account for location. Even if you're catering to customers on the other side of the country, customers expect orders to show up within a few days, the article said. 

Technology is changing the type of service retailers can offer
Although consumers are putting pressure on retailers to offer a top-notch ecommerce experience, there are a number of technological tools you can adopt to stay competitive. For example, wine inventory software can help you manage stocks more efficiently. This is particularly helpful if you operate from multiple wine warehouses because it allows you to ship from the location that is closest to the customer. Radio frequency identification technology is helping retailers manage their inventories more effectively than they could in the past, Multichannel Merchant stated. RFID saves time and money by eliminating the scanning of individual items.

Consumers also want payment flexibility, so you may need to consider the capabilities of your point of sale system. Although it's a fairly new concept, more retailers are accepting digital currency such as Bitcoins for purchases. While it may seem like only accepting credit and debit payments will work for an online wine store, many consumers are utilizing PayPal and Google Wallet, Practical Ecommerce pointed out. 

While the online experience is important in the modern retail world, the focus will soon shift to seamless shopping. For example, if consumers add items to their online shopping carts from a mobile device and return to your website from a desktop computer to complete the purchase later, they want the same products to be saved.

Another system retailers are using to maintain an omnichannel experience is pricing automation, according to the article. Customers don't want to pay different prices for items based on the channel they use to purchase them. These systems can automatically update prices in real time across each channel to deliver a more consistent experience. 

Sheri Hebbeln
April 8, 2014 | Sheri Hebbeln

Study: What drives wine purchases?

Why do shoppers settle on particular wines? Is it because of cost, flavor or brand loyalty? A new study from the University of Adelaide in conjunction with the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation analyzed the preferences of consumers in 11 countries and retailers, distributors and restaurateurs in the U.S., Australia and China. The findings may help you refine your wine marketing efforts based on what customers are looking for. 

"All the work that goes into making a 'brand' for wine, including the packaging, medals, name and taste may be a waste of time if a wine business doesn't know what influences wine selection at various points of the supply chain," said Dr. Steve Goodman, a wine marketing researcher at the University of Adelaide. "Our research found that retailers are not influenced by an attractive label and medals. They want to stock wine that will deliver a good margin."

The research aimed to identify the factors that played into purchasing stages during each step in the wine supply chain. Wineries need to be aware of different segments in the market. For example, if you sell wholesale wine to restaurants, your primary customers won't have the same concerns as individual consumers. Goodman added that restaurant managers tend to choose wine offerings based on taste and pairings, and customers are more likely to pick a wine they have tried before and liked - even if the staff makes a different recommendation. This means wineries need to consider multiple target audiences to ensure they are highlighting the most appropriate brand attributes. 

Deciding factors varied by country
Not only did each audience have different concerns when it came to buying wine, but predictably customers in separate countries had different values. Both Chinese wine suppliers and consumers were highly concerned with wine brands. Individuals in the U.S. and Australia were more likely to make decisions based on the origin and type of wine when choosing wine in a liquor store. However, this was less likely to be a factor for the same consumers in restaurants and bars. 

"Wine businesses need to understand their consumers and their customers (those who buy wine to sell to others)," Goodman said. "At the end of the day, the majority of retail purchases are made because of what is available - someone may love your wine, but if it's not easy to source, they're less likely to buy it."

Acknowledge customer preferences in wine marketing
Whether customers buy wine online or from a liquor store, segmenting can make a huge impact on the success of your winery's marketing. To do this well, you need to collect as much information as possible about your clients. Analyzing purchasing history can be a great way to make more relevant recommendations in the future. In addition, you need to be be able to gather data from each customer touch point. 

However, this prospect can be difficult for those in the wine business because their products in sold in retail outlets that belong to other companies. Online wine sales purchases from your tasting room may be only a small fraction of the overall sales of your brand. This means some wineries have less access to information about customer preferences, according to MediaPost​, which makes it harder to target marketing efforts based on specific preferences. However, you can still collect information on previous purchases from your customer relationship management platform and point of sale system. 

Maintaining a solid understanding of different customer segments is essential for executing successful wine marketing campaigns. These individual customer concerns should never be overlooked.

Time Posted: Apr 8, 2014 at 2:49 PM
Sheri Hebbeln
April 7, 2014 | Sheri Hebbeln

Successful online wine marketing relies on a good call to action

Ecommerce is taking off for wine companies. Consumers are increasingly interested in finding ways to buy wine online. According to an article from Wine Searcher, the global online wine market is worth about $5 billion and is expected to continue to grow at a rate of 30 percent annually. On the other hand, these sales still only represent less than 5 percent of worldwide sales, which means that online wine sales are still a relatively untapped business strategy. However, to maximize product sales online, wine businesses need to make sure they are optimizing their e-stores to make more conversions.

While there are many elements to this, a good call to action is an important part of any ecommerce conversion strategy. The more refined CTAs are, the more sales wine businesses will make online. As an article from ContentVerve points out, the CTA is the point at which shoppers will either bounce or convert. In other words, perfecting just a small part of the website can have significant results.

Make CTA buttons stand out
To make online sales, businesses need to make sure their CTAs stand out from the rest of the material on the website. If a consumer is just browsing, a button that tells them to shop online may give them a reason to make a purchase. Once they are in the online store, it's vital they know where to click to add an item to the cart. It may sound obvious, but consumers are less inclined to perform these actions if the CTA is hard to see. According to content marketing company Copyblogger, making these buttons stand out in terms of color is a good way to ensure click-thrus. Make sure the text is big, and the button color stands out from the background. It's also smart to place them "above the fold," or in a location where visitors don't have to scroll down to see them.

Focus on results
Another element that can increase conversions is stating not just an action, but the result in a CTA. A video from ContentVerve suggests that focusing solely on process can have negative effects. Using just the word "order" implies a procedure that may be time-consuming or bothersome. Rather than using a word with such connotations, emphasize the result, for instance "get delicious wine in the mail!" To determine what copy to use, ask two questions: What is the prospect's motivation for clicking the button, and what will the prospect receive once they do?

Once wine stores optimize online stores, sales have the potential for serious growth.

Sheri Hebbeln
April 4, 2014 | Sheri Hebbeln

Increase Online Wine Sales From Returning Shoppers

When trying to sell wine online, are you directing your efforts toward new customers or previous clients? Some online retailers devote all their attention to attracting first-time shoppers, but this approach may not pay off in the long run. Especially when it comes to ecommerce, new customers won't spend as much on their first orders because they want to ensure the quality of a retailer's service before committing more. Returning shoppers have already experienced your brand and trust your wine shipping capabilities. Because there is no acquisition cost for repeat customers, this segment may warrant more focus. While it's important to gain new clients, individuals who return to your online wine store may be more likely to make higher-value purchases.

These reasons are why some online retailers devote a great deal of their marketing efforts to boosting customer loyalty, but it's difficult to measure the results of these initiatives or tie them directly to revenue gains, according to Forbes. It can be more worthwhile to monitor customer engagement and identify ways to encourage repeat purchases. Engaged consumers are more likely to buy regularly and spend more per order. These potential revenue gains are why retailers create programs to foster loyalty and engagement. 

Customers have higher expectations than ever before, and it's more difficult to retain a client base over time. If consumers' desires aren't met, there isn't much to stop them from switching to a competitor. Proactively striving to boost loyalty can help retention efforts and lead to increased online revenue.

How to extend the customer lifecycle
Retailers have an assortment of tactics to encourage people to return to their websites. Loyalty programs and specialty discounts are among the most common, but there are other effective techniques, Practical Ecommerce stated. Here are some suggestions wineries can utilize to gain higher-value sales from returning customers:

1. Use a product-driven approach
This tip may be particularly beneficial for wineries because it often works best with items consumers have already purchased. For example, you can make suggestions for wine varieties consumers may like and offer them at a discount. To make this strategy work effectively, you can give customers the option to set up a profile of their preferences so they receive more relevant recommendations.

2. Rewards and discount opportunities
These programs are classics for building loyalty, but they are still highly effective. There are many different ways to structure reward and discount programs, such as accumulating points from purchasing that can then be used toward additional items, BusinessNewsDaily said. Clients will often feel motivated to shop more so they earn higher rewards. 

3. Have conversations with customers
Even though the Internet can feel like an impersonal place at times, customers want to have real-time interactions with the retailers they frequent. Whether this conversation occurs over social media, email or the phone, this dialog is an opportunity to learn more about client preferences and build the relationship, according to Practical Ecommerce. One of the most important considerations in this pursuit is to be as available as possible. A customer service email and phone number should be listed in an intuitive place on your winery's website to make it easy for shoppers to get in touch.

4. Offer shipping discounts to repeat clients
Shipping wine is a costly prospect, and it can be a major detractor - even for wine connoisseurs. However, you can use this to your advantage. Through your wine marketing, you can offer discounted rates for speedy shipping to loyal customers. This can often act as a purchase driver. 

Jim Agger
April 3, 2014 | Jim Agger

How will ecommerce change in 2014?

Several years ago, ecommerce was a practically unheard of phenomenon. Now an online store is all but mandatory to stay competitive. Online wine sales have changed a great deal since their introduction, and there are a number of new trends you need to be aware of to maintain consistent revenue. For example, a large number of consumers are shopping from their mobile devices, which adds to the challenge of creating a high-quality experience for many retailers. 

Citing data from Forrester, Venture Beat said the U.S. ecommerce market reached $230 billion in 2013 and experienced 13 percent year-over-year growth. As more retailers rush to offer customers an online experience, it may become even more difficult to stand out. Many industries are dealing with an oversaturation of brands, especially because ecommerce can eliminate many geographic boundaries. 

Not only are consumer behavior and technology rapidly evolving, but companies need to contend with shifting search engine models. For example, Google and Bing have moved away from the original model of displaying all the products in a certain category and switched to a completely paid model, meaning consumers will only see results from retailers that have paid to promote their goods, Venture Beat said. If customers are looking for niche items - such as specialty wines - it can be difficult for them to find what they want.

What do shoppers expect from retailers?
While ecommerce gives consumers to ability to readily shop for comparisons, price isn't the only factor influencing their decisions. Your online wine store won't necessarily succeed based on costs alone. Customers want to read user reviews, receive discounts, the choice of multiple ways to pay and the ability to get the most convenient, cost-effective options for shipping. Ecommerce fulfillment is a major influence when people order wine online. Retailers that don't offer all these features may be left behind competitors. Plus, it may be even more difficult to impress shoppers on mobile devices because of the limited space.

In particular, free or discounted shipping and accurate orders are becoming more important for retailers to maintain success. A few years ago, consumers had to wait several days for deliveries to arrive. As Amazon and eBay have ramped up their capabilities, patience is increasingly getting lower. This means you need to consider your inventory management and fulfillment operations to ensure demands are being met. 

Highlight wine shipping offerings for a marketplace advantage
Your fulfillment operations are critical for encouraging customers to buy wine online rather than in a store. Shoppers don't want to wait days or even weeks to receive their items. The retail industry as a whole has been under intense pressure to update shipping capabilities, and many are still struggling, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The 2013 holiday season is a time that will go down in infamy because of many retailers' and carriers' failures to deliver gifts on time through last-minute shopping and severe weather delays. Highlighting data from consultancy Kurt Salmon, the article said that even companies that had a deadline of December 20 for shipping before Christmas only managed an 80 percent success rate.

While some parts of the country were hit by winter storms, many of the issues were the result of employee errors. For example, workers didn't mark packages for rush shipping or didn't send them to FedEx or UPS until the day after they were processed. Another significant problem was single orders being filled from multiple warehouses, which adds to retailers' costs. It may be beneficial to consider your wine warehouse and determine if you're shipping in the most effective way possible. Wineries can learn a lot from the example of the most recent holiday season.

Sheri Hebbeln
April 2, 2014 | Sheri Hebbeln

Are you missing the chance to convert customers with your product pages?

Winery websites may be able to convert a higher number of prospects based on how persuasive their product pages are. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't your home page that influences the decision to buy - it's your landing pages and product listings, according to ClickZ. If you want to encourage more customers to buy wine online, you may need to make adjustments that will help you convert shoppers on these pages.

Common Web design knowledge dictates that the home page is the first part of your website visitors will see, and it warrants the highest creative investment. While organic search through Google means any part of your site can act as a landing page depending on the search terms shoppers use, many visitors won't spend a lot of time on the home page. They will only look for navigation links to find what they want as quickly as possible. For many ecommerce websites, shoppers want to reach product pages, the article said. It may not be worthwhile to excessively highlight seasonal promotions, new releases and your blog in this location.

Ecommerce landing pages
Compared to the importance of your wine shipping capabilities, inventory management protocols and point of sale system, website design may seem like an afterthought. Even your landing pages should be optimized to direct visitors to product pages and increase online wine sales. A conversion rate increase of a few percentage points can make a huge impact to revenue, a blog post from Wishpond stated. 

Because people are ultimately visiting your website to view your products, it can be beneficial to include images on your landing pages. Especially in a short landing page without a great deal of content, imagery will help to capture attention quickly. Less text can make it easier to get to the point of your call to action so customers are more likely to take the next step. Easy navigation to product pages or frequently asked questions can ensure potential customers stay on your page. If visitors arrive on your site through a search engine, they don't want to have to dig through each page of the website to find what they're looking for. When this information isn't immediately apparent, they could easily click the back button and return to the results page. 

Like nearly all wine marketing efforts, a call to action is essential to boosting conversions. In some cases, landing pages will be the first impression visitors receive from your website. It's up to you to direct them to the next step. Calls to action matter for product pages as well. 

What makes a successful product page?
Because this may be the last view of your product that customers get right before purchasing, it's important to avoid a cluttered look and feel, ClickZ said. Page structure could play a role here. Too much scrolling can be frustrating for shoppers. In fact, the majority of consumers are unlikely to ever see any product page content displayed below the fold. To increase conversions, you may want to include links to examples of products that other customers viewed or purchased, a technique Amazon has applied to great effect. This upsell can increase dollar amount and items per order. 

Some ecommerce websites include the top user reviews. Customers are placing more priority on the opinions of other shoppers to a greater extent than ever before. This can help establish trustworthiness. However, all of these approaches can benefit from testing to ensure conversion goals are being met. Design features that boost conversion are critical to the success of your online wine store