Sheri Hebbeln
 
December 9, 2013 | Sheri Hebbeln

4 tips for an effective e-commerce strategy

The Internet has rapidly made shopping more convenient for consumers and generated many new opportunities to boost sales for wineries. Direct-to-consumer sales can have many benefits for business growth. In particular, the holiday season is a huge chance to end the year on a high note.

The second sale shouldn't be overlooked. It costs much more to acquire new customers, and this can eliminate any profit advantages, according to Practical Ecommerce. When designing an e-commerce site, attention should be paid to aspects that will drive customer loyalty to encourage repeat business. Even though first-time conversions are a primary source of conversions for many e-commerce retailers, the costs of customer service, returns and e-commerce fulfillment seriously curb profit margins. In actuality, returning shoppers spend more and you don't have to pay acquisition costs.

While wineries still need to work on acquiring new clients, e-commerce interactions have to support relationship building to encourage a larger number of these customers to return. The website needs to be designed to establish authority and trustworthiness because these are aspects potential shoppers will consider when they first arrive.

Having a site that is easy to use and navigate can help encourage returning visitors, and recording customer information for second orders will save time and improve satisfaction. 

With customer loyalty in mind, here are 4 tips for creating an effective e-commerce strategy:

1. Identify seasonal customer segments

Holiday website traffic can be a mixed bag because there will be repeat visitors and shoppers who are unfamiliar with your wines. One way to cater to these two separate groups is to incorporate website personalization, Real Business said. Returning visitors can be welcomed and shown suggestions based on their browsing or order history. New shoppers can be guided through product options to increase the likelihood they will make a purchase. Outlining the functionality of the site for new guests can improve the user experience.

 

2. Use customer reviewers to build credibility
Online shopping isn't without risks for consumers, and they want to be sure they are selecting a trustworthy provider. Reviews and customer testimonials covering product quality, level of service and speed of fulfillment can be an effective tactic to boost reputation, Practical Ecommerce stated. Previous customers' feedback on the quality of service will be critical for encouraging new shoppers to buy from you instead of a competing winery. Another crucial step for increasing credibility is providing service guarantees to reduce the uncertainty of potential customers.

3. Don't forget email

Email is the perfect complement to any e-commerce wine marketing strategy, especially for holiday promotions. Real Business said approximately 44 percent of shoppers have purchased something online because they heard about it from an email. This is the perfect vehicle for sending promotions and seasonal discounts.

One way to maximize the potential of email is including address signups on the website, whether it is on product pages or at checkout. If people aren't ready to buy yet but they sign up to receive emails, they can be sent promotions at a later date. It's important to consider personalization in all email marketing efforts to ensure you aren't sending customers messages for products they have already purchased.

4. Make seasonal changes to site navigation

Many online retailers have found consumer attention spans are getting shorter, and this is especially true during the holidays. One of the primary reasons customers abandon online shopping carts is because of slow page load times. This means you need to grab shoppers' attention and hold it. Any holiday promotions should be highlighted on the home page, and they should link to the relevant product pages to save time. 

Comments

Andrew Keson's Gravatar
 
Andrew Keson
@ Dec 14, 2013 at 1:21 PM
I like the point about customer reviews. Trust is important, and trust can be built through learning about other people's purchasing experience.

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