Maybe you have a beautiful vineyard, stellar wine and a luxurious tasting room — but if your website is a flop, your brand health and revenue will suffer. In this day and age, most people's first impression of your winery will be through your website. Tourists searching "wine" on the internet may not have the word-of-mouth recommendations allowing them to look past that bad first impression, so visual appeal and brand representation on your site couldn't be more important.
Without a good winery website design, many potential customers won't even know your brand exists unless they happen upon it at a trade show or it's recommended by a friend. Wineries are in the luxury experience market, and if you don't display your gorgeous vineyard and high-quality product on your website, potential customers will move on to one that seems more sophisticated.
Bottom line: There's no greater tragedy than a fantastic winery being held back by a subpar website. Here are five reasons you might need to revamp your winery website design:
A poor website will erode any brand value you've built through word of mouth. When the website doesn't match the glory in the bottle, it's very offputting for potential customers first visiting your site, recent tasting room guests looking to book another reservation and loyal club members alike.
Anyone visiting your site needs to be able to understand where they're going, what your winery is like and the kind of experiences you offer. That means you need a site that's beautifully branded with great functionality. You may think of it as a simple landing page, but visitors will think of it as a true representation of your brand's principles.
If your website doesn't offer online shopping functionality already, then you're missing out on a huge opportunity. Maybe recent tasting room guests want to purchase some wines they just tasted, or new customers want to try a bottle before visiting your vineyard — regardless, the online purchasing experience is essential for customers who want to follow up and make additional purchases.
If you do already offer online shopping functionality, be careful. We often see wineries who redesign their website to offer online shopping, only to realize afterwards that customers can't figure out where to find the online storefront. Try to balance the site aesthetics with its purchasing functionality; customers should be able to easily find where to purchase your wines, navigate through the selections, search for a specific wine and check out in their shopping cart when they're ready.
Online purchases are great, but a sophisticated winery needs more than that. Your website should display some form of an events calendar, including day-to-day tasting schedules, live music and other attractive events to entice people to come in and visit. Consider offering a reservation bookings integration on your website to make it as easy and convenient as possible for customers to book an experience at your winery.
Here's a great tip from our reservation integration partner Tock: When wineries offer three tiers of wine tasting experiences, such as basic, reserved and reserved + cave tour, people tend to upsell themselves and choose the more expensive experiences. In particular, they'll choose the middle experience most often. If you offer two choices, on the other hand, they tend to choose the least expensive. This kind of anchoring behavior can help turn your website into a traffic-driving, revenue-generating machine. Check out this blog post for additional reservation tips from Tock.
So far, we've focused mainly on acquiring new customers and driving purchases — but a significant function of your website is enabling existing customers, including club members, to manage their accounts and interact with your brand.
In this modern age, ecommerce is quickly becoming the norm, so customers expect to be able to log into their accounts to update their shipping addresses, change their credit cards or update their wine club selections. If your website doesn't have login capabilities, then the only way for club members to do this is to call your winery directly. This added inconvenience may deter them from making those repeat purchases, so it's important that your website offer clear visuals and easy-to-find login functionality.
Here's another reason you don't want to require club members to call in every time they need to make a minor change: This creates a significant administrative burden for you and your team. New wineries in particular may be short staffed and have a small support team, so integrating a self-service option into your website can stretch your limited resources a long way.
Make it really easy on your website for customers to make basic administrative changes, such as changing their wine club preferences, or to answer basic questions, such as which tastings you offer or where you're located. When your website supports those things, fewer people will call with those simple questions, and your team can focus on more value-add activities.
It's no question anymore: Improving your website is a critical step in revitalizing your business, boosting online sales, driving tasting room traffic and becoming the sophisticated winery you know you can be. So what's the first step in creating a better website?
Look for a knowledgable expert who can execute your vision and is in line with your goals. In particular, look for someone with real expertise who is willing to set up a website that you can maintain and update on your own; there's nothing more exhausting, frustrating and expensive than having to call your designer every time you want to make a small change. If you need help, WineDirect can connect you with a certified designer who knows the wine industry and can build a truly custom site for your winery.
Looking for some wine website inspiration? Check out our free, easy-to-use website templates designed to strategically drive sales for your winery.