Periodically, take a moment to step back and look at your store. Are you maintaining it regularly? Does it have a clean, tight presentation? Here are a few high level tips and suggestions to help you wipe the dust off your store.
Your store landing page is one of the most important pages within your site. Make sure that it’s intuitive and easy to use through strong hierarchy and logical organization.
If you want to grab your customer’s attention with certain products and promotions, don’t bury them deep within your store pages. Treat your store landing page like a window display, and place your most important features front and center. The CMS area at the top of your store page is precious real estate that can be strategically used.
Cellar 360 includes a kicker for Father’s Day.
Organization goes hand-in-hand with the hierarchy of your store set-up. Who has time (or patience) to sort through a mish-mash of this, that, and the other? Make the shopping experience as easy and painless as possible. Guide your customer’s eye through the store by hierarchy, and make it easy for them to sort through your products by organization. Create logical categories within your store. For example:
By Product Type (Wines, Gifts, Accessories)
By Varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay)
By Wine Type (Red, White, Dessert)
By Usage (Wines to Pair with Food, Wines to Cellar)
Within the CMS area at the top of the page, you can create image buttons which link to your different categories. While the automated category crumbs are convenient and easy-to-use, images are attention grabbing and can instantaneously tell a customer what they can expect. (This is one of the reasons that iconography is so widely used.)
Terra Valentine uses bottle shots to give a preview of each store category.
Israeli Wine Direct sells several different brands of wine and uses labels to show each store category.
Take time to focus on each product’s imagery and content.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your product images. The quality of your images communicate the quality of the product and brand.
Are you debating between using bottle shots or labels? If you have substantial inventory, you may find yourself fighting for space. Try using a 3-column store setup with labels as thumbnail images. Labels require less vertical height, so even when displayed at a smaller scale the branding of the label will remain prominent. (As a compromise, you can always use a bottle shot on the product detail page.)
Now if your situation allows you flexibility between use of bottle shots or labels, my personal preference is to use a bottle shot. This is reflective of what your customers are accustomed to seeing on the store shelves and their dining room tables. Besides, what could be more enticing than a glossy bottle shot with deep shading, striking highlights and a crisp, clean label? If all you have are grainy snapshots taken from your old Olympus camera, with your reflection clearly visible in the bottle, than I highly recommend investing in professional photography. (Artisan Media knows what they’re doing.)
Tamber Bey uses beautiful bottle photography throughout their site.
Tantilize your customers’ taste buds with a short description (1-2 sentences) about your product. If available, also include a noteworthy review or award. Your teaser could be the deal breaker between click or no click, so give extra thought to what is written.
Venge Vineyards includes a short description and awards in their teasers.
Use your product detail page to elaborate on the description of your product. Keep in mind that while you are providing more information, there is a such thing as “too” long, so be concise and clear. (And if you can’t say it like Steinbeck, it may be better to take a simpler approach – make it short and sweet!) Include any other relevant information a customer might want to know such as pairings, tasting notes and reviews/awards. If you have have PDFs, you can include them as downloads. Or if you have pairings in another section of your site, link back and forth.
B Cellars includes ratings and suggested pairings on their detail pages. Winemaker notes can also be downloaded.
Rodney Strong includes a vineyard map and product sheet which can be downloaded. Notice how they use icons for these downloads.