If you’re running a wine business, you’ve likely already set up a website with an e-commerce store… because, 2017 (and if you haven’t, that’s #1 on this list… do it now!). So why aren’t wine orders pouring in like hot lava? I hate to be a Negative Nancy, but it could be because you’re doing one or more of the things on this list. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. “Killer e-commerce instincts” are not something most of us are born with. Furthermore, since every wine business has different customer types and goals, there’s no one magic formula that works for everyone. That said, there are some common pitfalls that potentially plague every winery e-commerce.
Here are 8 things that can sabotage your e-commerce success and the simple solutions to overcome them.
1. Your Website or Store Isn’t Responsive
If you have any doubt about the importance of having a mobile-friendly website and store, I implore you to look at some statistics:
- 55% of all time spent on retail websites takes place on a mobile device.
- According to Adobe, more than one third of Black Friday sales ($1.2 billion) were conducted via mobile devices in 2016, up 33 percent from the year before.
- Additionally, retailers that have invested in mobile have seen 30 percent more sales on average and 25 percent higher average order values.
2. Your Content is Too _______
If your content is too anything, that’s generally not a good sign. Specifically, if your content is too:
- Technical: Unless you’re talking to industry folks, customers almost always prefer a narrative over numbers or jargon. Pick one or two technical details to highlight and then put them into a narrative that consumers can understand, relate to, and envision.
- Vague: “This wine is delicious!”
- Flowery: “Dark cherries and lavender enrapture your senses like the velvet cloak of a heroic knight galloping through….” Whoa, whoa, whoa. We’re still talking about wine, right?
- Lengthy: Modern attention spans being what they are, attempt to use no more than 150 words to describe your wine & winemaking process.
3. You Don’t Go After Abandoned Carts
According to the Baymard Institute, nearly 70% of customers abandon their online shopping carts. There are numerous reasons why this happens, and while there’s no way to completely eliminate abandonments, you can recover lost sales with the right cart abandonment software.
4. You’re Not Putting Safety First
Trust is one of the most important factors in e-commerce conversions. If a customer doesn’t trust your site, they will quickly leave and find wine elsewhere. Some good ways to foster trust on your site:
- Point to testimonials & reviews on your site & social media
- Provide contact information that connects to an actual person
- Make sure your e-commerce platform and point-of-sale are PCI compliant and use Tokenization (like vinSUITE). Without it you could be susceptible to a breach of your customers' data, like the one that occurred a few years ago and impacted hundreds of wineries' reputations.
- Display security badges that show you have a secure checkout process
5. You’re Not Clear About Your Shipping or Pricing
Being 100% transparent about shipping and pricing will not only build trust and loyalty with your customers, but it will save you tons of time and effort trying to explain (again and again) what your customer can expect.
6. It’s Complicated
If your checkout or shipping process is too complicated, chances are you’re getting lots of abandoned carts... or no carts at all.
- Minimize the number of clicks needed to purchase
- Add call-to-action buttons that make putting items into the cart a no-brainer
- Offer multiple payment & shipping options
- Email customers tracking info and other updates about orders
- Invest in a system with automatic payment updater (ask your vinSUITE Sales Rep for more info!).
7. You Don’t Offer Incentives
In order to remain competitive and make your e-commerce store stand out, you need to find unique ways to increase traffic to your store. Some ways to do this are through loyalty cards, referral rewards, event discounts, club benefits, holiday offers, and social-only coupons. Remember to make your offers time-sensitive and use direct, action-oriented language, so customers are prompted to purchase ASAP!
8. You’re Not Looking at the Data
Effectively targeting the right audience requires solid data and statistics on your visitors and customers. Data gives you a window into what consumers look for in an online shopping experience, so you can adapt your e-commerce accordingly. Make sure your website and store are set up with Google Analytics and Tag Manager. Additionally, invest in a Business Intelligence system, which will give you in-depth information about your customers and sales channels.
The Bottom Line
Year after year, the line between on and offline shopping becomes increasingly blurred, and the consumer’s process from awareness to purchase becomes more complex. Thanks to e-commerce and mobile devices, wineries no longer have either a digital consumer or a retail consumer. Instead, they have consumers who freely cross borders, sometimes using multiple devices and pathways at the same time. The more you can embrace an omni-channel approach to DTC wine sales and avoid the issues above, the happier (and wealthier!) you’ll be.