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Sheri Hebbeln
 
May 30, 2014 | eCommerce , Email Marketing | Sheri Hebbeln

How can small wineries succeed online?

It may seem like ecommerce is getting more complicated all the time, which can make smaller wineries believe they can't create a competitive niche in the market. However, this isn't the case. Even your small boutique online wine store can see great success if you put customers first. Some small retailers start out in a physical location and then expand online, which can help them reach a wider audience, according to Practical Ecommerce. Adding a personalized touch can help you connect with customers and build lasting relationships.

How to start selling wine online
Winery websites should be intuitively designed for a user-friendly experience. Contact information should be clearly listed, and all navigation features should be easy to use. While a website may look good, this isn't a guarantee that it will function well or grow sales, the U.S. Small Business Administration reported. As ecommerce continues to develop, it's important to consider mobile, since this channel may account for a higher percentage of sales in the near future. 

The use of images on product pages can attract more customers. Additionally, you can avoid shopping cart abandonment by including shipping estimates as consumers add items to their carts. This prevents any unexpected costs at the end of the transaction. 

Things to avoid for your online wine store
A significant number of considerations go into creating an enjoyable Web experience for shoppers beyond the basic design of the site. There are a few major inhibitors that can prevent ecommerce success. The first is having no marketing plan, according to Entrepreneur magazine. Websites don't attract visitors all on their own. Wineries may think a high-quality product is all they need to increase traffic to their online stores, but wine marketing is necessary for the success of this venture. Search engine optimization is important for raising awareness to consumers who aren't familiar with your brand. 

The other mistake is getting overwhelmed with technology. While digital tools are often necessary to survive in the ecommerce arena, you should take a customer-centric approach rather than relying on technology. In fact, putting the customer at the heart of your ecommerce strategy can be one of the best ways to carve out a niche online. 

Provide a high-quality shopping experience
Consumer expectations are higher than ever before, largely because retail giants like Amazon and eBay keep increasing their capabilities, CFO magazine stated. Consumers will switch to a competing brand if they have a bad experience with your website. However, offering great service can win customers for life. CFO pointed out that 75 percent of Zappos shoppers are repeat purchasers. The brand goes above and beyond expectations to ensure customers get the product they want every time. If smaller wine merchants apply this strategy, they could significantly increase online wine sales. Many studies have indicated that returning shoppers spend more because they already trust your brand. 

Contact a sales representative to learn more about how WineDirect's ecommerce solutions can help you boost online sales. 

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