The State of eCommerce in 2014
Online wine sales are becoming more important for wineries, and this trend isn't going anywhere. But it isn't just enough to have an online wine store. In 2014, mobile commerce will no longer be optional. Several trend analysis firms have predicted mobile traffic will surpass desktop visits to websites in 2014, according to Practical Ecommerce. In addition, mobile e-commerce may have accounted for nearly one-quarter of all online sales in the last quarter of 2013. To sum it up: Mobile may be the next frontier for direct-to-consumer sales for wineries.
Google is leading the charge for mobile because its new search engine optimization standards factor mobile into its rankings. Google has set the bar pretty high: the recommended load time for a mobile page is one second or less. The current average time is seven seconds. Not only will faster pages offer a better experience to customers who want to shop from their smartphones and tablets, but it will also help your winery's website appear higher on search engine results pages.
Responsive Web design can help you prepare for the mobile revolution
In the past, marketers had the choice between a separate mobile-optimized site or responsive Web design, which adapts to the device used to access the page. However, with the emphasis on faster page loading times, responsive design is more efficient. A separate mobile site will require a redirect, which can take too much time to be effective. A different article from Practical Ecommerce noted that many computer manufacturers are starting to blur the lines between laptops and tablets. With this trend, mobile traffic will almost certainly overtake desktop this year.
Because returning customers may interact with your site from multiple devices, responsive Web design can provide a more consistent user experience. In addition to the site features, you need to make sure images are the right size across multiple devices. Images are still important in mobile because without them, your e-commerce site wouldn't be delivering the same user experience. Compressing images and displaying lower-resolution images on mobile are two ways to get around the sizing problem.
Multichannel selling is more important
Your customers are constantly connected through their mobile devices, which means you need to sell through every channel you have, whether it's your tasting room, online wine store or mobile e-commerce site. The more locations you maintain, the more attention you can get, Fox Business said.
To have more than one point of sale, you need to be sure your software is fully integrated so there aren't any lapses in e-commerce fulfillment and inventory management. A multichannel approach is nearly impossible without tight connections between different customer touchpoints.
Making shipping as convenient as possible
Part of the popularity of e-commerce is because of the immediacy of purchases. Amazon has enabled people to buy something with one click. Shoppers don't want to make a speedy purchase and then spend a month waiting for a case of wine to show up at their doorsteps. Major online retailers have already redefined consumers' expectations, which means your fulfillment needs to be as quick as possible. Faster shipping options can be extended to loyal customers as a continued retention tool.
Plan marketing and promotions in advance
Email is essential to increasing online sales. You may want to map out your email campaigns and your promotional offers ahead of time so you aren't scrambling at the last minute.
Mobility is going to have an impact on all e-commerce operations in 2014 - from wine marketing to ordering to e-commerce fulfillment. If you adapt your e-commerce strategies, mobile wine sales can work to your advantage rather than being a challenge.