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Jim Agger
 
October 26, 2015 | eCommerce | Jim Agger

5 considerations for choosing an ecommerce partner

Wineries that sell their products online face the challenge of choosing the right ecommerce service provider for their store. An ecommerce platform can drastically impact the shopping experience as well as your bottom line. There are many important factors to consider when choosing an ecommerce partner, but these five will help you get started:

1. Responsiveness
In today's business world, having a responsive site is no longer optional. This is especially true since so many people are shopping on their mobile devices. According to the "2015 Internet Trends Report" from venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Americans spend 51 percent of their time on mobile devices compared to 42 percent for desktops. Even for consumers using their desktops, the variance in browsers and screen size means businesses must ensure their ecommerce provider has solutions for site responsiveness.

2. Page load times
Page load times are also crucial, and can have a major impact on your winery's bottom line. In fact, research from Kissmetrics showed the majority of respondents are only willing to wait six to 10 seconds for a page to load before abandonment. Additionally, Fast Company reported in 2012 that slowing down Amazon load times by one second would cost the company $1.6 billion annually. Wineries shouldn't need to strip valuable content from their sites in order to improve load times. Product videos, reviews and other features are crucial to the shopping experience. Instead, partnering with the right ecommerce provider will maintain quality speeds without harming the customer experience.

3. Multibrand compatibility
It is very common for wineries to feature multiple brands on their sites, and each brand may require different features and experiences. If you are managing more than one site, choose a partner that allows your winery to manage those sites simply. Additionally, multibrand compatibility will leverage dedicated servers to create a load-balanced environment.

4. Software integration
Whichever ecommerce platform you choose for your winery, it will not be able to work on its own. Make sure you partner with a service provider that can easily integrate with online payment tools, social media, email marketing and even the Amazon marketplace. As your winery continues to grow, you'll want to make sure your ecommerce partner can grow with you and accommodate the different software plugins you will need to enhance the shopping experience. 

5. Easy checkout
Make sure your ecommerce provider offers simple checkout solutions, such as one-page checkout. Optimizing the checkout process on your online wine store can increase sales. According to a study conducted by the e-tailing group, respondents cited easier checkout as the No. 1 factor that would lead to an increase in mobile purchases. In one of our earlier blog posts, we outline 5 features of an optimized shopping cart:

  • Appealing colors.
  • Options to continue shopping.
  • Prominent checkout buttons.
  • Optional registration.
  • Responsive design.

Choosing the right ecommerce partner can be challenging, but with these considerations in mind, you'll be on your way to selling more wine.

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