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12 Ways to Sell More Wine Online in 2012

Jan 02, 2012   |   Andrew Kamphuis Recommended for:   Marketing, Ecommerce, Tasting Room & Hospitality
Seo Seo

It's 2012, and my #1 business New Years Resolution is to sell more wine online. Internally we have some great stuff we are working on, but let's talk about 12 ways you can sell more wine online.

1) Get Social

If you are looking for things to settle down and return to the good old days… think again. Facebook is here to stay, Google+ is signing up 625,000 users a day, we are now in a social world. Our Facebook Ecommerce App has been up for two months and the results have been great - it's driving upwards of 8% of sales for sites that have it enabled.

2) Recommerce / Remarketing

A hot trend in 2011 was "remarketing". Picture this - a visitor adds a wine to their shopping cart on your site and then they leave your website. The next time they are on Google or a blog or website showing ads, you can have an ad that specifically targets the visitor to try and get them back to your site. There are several vendors in this space including Google AdWords and in the wine industry watch for Vintners Alliance.

3) Focus on Your Visitor - Not Yourself

Do you force visitors to your website to jump through hoops, buy minimum quantities, or go through strange checkout processes just so they fit into your internal systems? Your visitor's experience matters, focus on it, and you will sell more wine.

4) Power Up the SEO

Search engines still drive a large percentage of your traffic. Ensure you havethe basics like great title tags, content that isn't hidden behind a wall, etc. You'd be surprised how tweaking your site might drive a large number of visitors. On Google, search for your brand, your key products, and a few of your other key words. If you're not coming up number one or number two, you're missing sales.

5) Use Social Influence

Okay this is a little bit like point #1. Use social proof. When visitors see "500 likes" and "10 product reviews", they feel great about buying your wine. Product reviews increase wine sales by upwards of 20% (read more).  We don't have the stats on Facebook "Like" - but I know when I see a lot of likes, or a friend that likes a product - it influences me positively.

6) Use Offline to Bring Them Online

In 2011 I started having a weekly lunch with the marketing director from a local marketing firm. One of the key things I learned in our very first meeting was "use offline to bring them online". There are people who didn't grow up with the internet and they don't always trust it. Offline direct mail and advertising will drive online sales.

7) Go Mobile

If you're a reader of this blog you know mobile traffic is up. Mobile traffic makes up over 10% ofthe traffic on our platform. We are now seeing wineries with 18 and 20% of their web traffic from mobile devices. If you don't have a mobile site it's going to cost you sales in 2012. Furthermore a great mobile site will generate sales. (The better the experience, the more likely the visitor is going to buy).

8) Speed Up Your Site

Tests at Amazon revealed that every 100 ms increase in load time of Amazon.com decreased sales by 1% (Kohavi and Longbotham 2007). Speed up your site and you'll sell more wine.

9) Use Decent Photography

People make assumptions about your wine based on how your website looks. High resolution, high quality images will increase your perceived brand value, and high quality photos will increase sales conversion.

10) Check Your Calls to Action

Not all buttons are equal (see proof).  Not all Call To Action lines are equal either. Which Test Won is full of stories where a simple change in the language adds a huge return. (While you're checking your calls to action - check that the links work, the color shouldn't be red, that everything is readable, clear, and possibly above the fold).

11) Use Realistic Shipping Rates

Nothing kills sales faster than high shipping rates (well maybe compliance laws kill sales, but that's not so controllable). Shipping costs are the number one deterrent to buying wine online. Make sure your rates are realistic.  Would a first-time customer buy wine with your current shipping rates?

12) Guide Loyalty

The most important sale is the second sale (read more). - use promotions and other strategies to build loyalty and repeat sales.

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At Vin65 we hope that 2012 is a great year for you - both offline and online.  Let us know what you are doing to increase your sales.

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