I want to preference this talk by saying that I’m a programmer – not a speaker. I’m never quite sure why they choose me to give these talks. Truthfully - I’d rather be programming than talking with you. One thing I’ll tell you is that I’m deeply passionated about the web and about selling wine on the web
I’m the CTO at WineDirect one of the sponsors of this show. If your unfamiliar with WineDirect – they know for being a fulfillment company but they are a whole lot more than that.
I’m also the President at Vin65 – the ecommerce platform owned by wine direct.Over 700 wineries use Vin65 and I get to see a lot of wineries doing some great things on the web – and I also see some wineries making some big mistakes.While I’m a numbers and geeky guy – I’m going to try and stay away from some of that today. (If you are a numbers guy just ask me afterwards and I’ll get you the details behind some of the recommendations here today)
Before we talk about how to sell more wine online - let’s talk about how to annoy your customers online.A customer comes to your website – what’s the best way to piss them off.
Here’s what some wineries tell me – visitors come to our tasting room, they fall in love with us, they love our stories, and they love the whole experience. Let’s create a video on our homepage and duplicate that whole tastingroom experience online. Guess what – if doesn’t work – people come to your winery while they are on holidays and they absolutely love your stories and the experience. People come to your winery website when they are at work, on their bosses dime, they are thinking about a weekend BBQ, and they just want to buy some wine for their friends.
You want to know what’s annoying – broken functionality. Links that don’t work, a shopping cart that doesn’t work, a broken checkout process, etc.Now the customer has to wait till tomorrow – and call you – or they can just go visit another website and buy wine there.
Know what’s annoying – having to create an account to checkout.I’ve added wine to my cart – I click checkout – I want to give you my credit card – and you developer has decided that I needed to create a unique username that has one capital, one lower case, a number, and a symbol.
Know what’s annoying – I come to your website – I add some items to my cart – I check out then I receiving a phone call a day or two later – and am told the item that Iwanted is out of stock.It is wine – so a substitution might work – but it’s still very annoying.
Know what’s annoying – exorbinant shipping rates.It costs $25 for the wine – and $25 for the shipping – that’s crazy but true.
Agegates are annoying – you know the little thing that pops up and asks you your birthdate before you enter a site.Let’s walk through the process – click the month, click November, click the day, click 15, click the year, scroll, find 1973, and click that – then click submit
In fact it’s easy to calculate if an AgeGate works or doesn’t work. In Google Analytics look at the bounce rate when your site has no agegate – and at the bounce rate when it does have an agegate. It makes an X percent difference.
Here’s one that chocks me – spam. I define spam as any unwanted email. I don’t care if you comply with the CanSpam act and put your address on the bottom of your email. If I didn’t subscribe or I don’t want your email – you sending it to me is spam.
Painfully slow websites are annoying. I’m at work – on your site (that is when most people are on your site) – and I got a couple minutes to buy some wine – and your site is taking foreva.
Here’s another oen that is annoying. I order wine – then there is no follow up.No order confirmation. No order tracking. No follow up. Where is my wine and when is it coming?
Okay – final one. Cute Navigation Names are annoying. You decide to use symbols, or cute little words rather than something that I can understand like “Wine”, and “Contact Us”.
So let’s get into the presentation – 10 ways to sell more wine on the internet. Today I want to give you something concrete – that you can take home with you – and you can apply.There are a lot of ideas here – I’m hoping that you can take one, two or three and run with those.
1. Amazon, Zappos, Apple are the new bar. Next gen customers are digital savvy.Dont look at your neighbor winery website.Here’s whats not going on in your customers head. They aren’t thinking to themselves – this is a small Paso winery – it’s okay their site sucks – I’ll be patient and put up with a bunch of shit. People expect your site to behave the same way the other stuff they are visiting online behaves. And your customers are at Zappos, Amazon, Apple, etc.
Let’s look at a Zappos product page. They have exceptional photography. Customer ratings, Clear product costs, shipping, cost. Clear action message.
Further down the page we see suggested products, customer reviews.
We add to the cart – checkout.First thing you’ll notice is clear shipping times and very reasonable shipping costs.This is followed by a really simple checkout.
We checkout and within a minute we get an order confirmation. It’s got a fun message, a phone number, some additional marketing, and my full order information.
Hours later we get shipping notice – this contains our tracking number, more marketing, and our order information.
What you want to do is walkthru your own order process. Compare this to Apple, Zappos, etc.Where are they winning?What can you do to keep your customer better engaged and informed.
Over 20% of your traffic is mobile. This does not include iPad traffic. It’s growing at a staggering rate.
When it comes to mobile your regular website just doesn’t cut it. Mobile isn’t second class citizen – nobody wants to pinch and zoom and go to your site on their mobile device if it sucks.Vineyard: Talley Vineyards
Make your mobile seamless. Every link, every page, every product should work mobile.Winery: Law Estates
While wine sales on mobile websites are behind sales on regular websites – if you don’t have a mobile website people aren’t buying on their phone at all.. On the Vin65 platform - Mobile site outperform regular sites views on mobile by 28X when it comes to sales.Winery: Calera
X% of your visitors are out of town and only visit once a year. I come to your tasting room, I’m from out of town, I have a great experience - make sure you grab my email address.
Connecting POS to your website is pretty easy to do (it is 2013). You get a total view of your customer (tasting room and web), your able to see their true lifetime value, your able to market better, and you can better understand your customer.Your customer benefits too – they get better marketing, they can go on your website look at their order history and see their tasting room purchases.
Robert Parker is Dead - the average consumer is the new king.Social is here to stay - embrace it.Zappos knows it. Amazon knows it. We all know it.
The stats are incredible on this:Consumer Ratings/Reviews sell 20% more Winery: Pithy
You tell me a movie is fantastic, Robert Ebert tells me it 2 stars – I’m more likely to trust you than him.
Studies done by Bizzarre Voice, Wines.com, etc.
How to get consumers to rate/review your wine?
Booster Juice & Ticketmaster
Remember Key Dates - send them a happy birthday email, remember their club anniversary, their wedding anniversary, etc.Wells fargo does this with Birthday – except they have a “Birthday Month” – goes to the ATM and opening screen has birthday balloons. If you go to the teller they wish you a happy birthday plus you get a card in the mail.Castoro Cellars
Show them the wines they want to buy first
Segment your email blast
You have to know these numbers:Conversion RateAverage Order ValueLifetime ValueCost to Acquire A CustomerNet Promoter Score
Average Order Value
Cost to Acquire A Customer
Net Promoter Score
Don’t let designers override common sense
Designing a great product page is tough. Before you get to far into the creative we recommend you wirefame it out.
Make sure you have an Great Photo, Call to Action, Add To Cart, and Teaser.Don’t be afraid of the Add to Cart button – people come to your site to buy – they aren’t on a holiday just there to read the data.On the Call to action – use Scarecity, Member only Offers, Limited Time Sales, etcWinery: Wine Tasting
Also include tons of product data, social media, reviews.Winery: Wine Tasting
At Vin65 we’ve been running a A/B test since January to see where people “Add to Cart” from. List pages outperform drilldown page. 81% of people click on list page. 19% on drilldown page. – shoppers click this button – make sure it’s on your list page.
The cart page is one of the most complicate pages in ecommerce – it’s really hard to get it right – but it’s a critical piece.
The most important thing we want the user to do is to go to the checkout. We make that the largest and brightest button.
Secondary engagement buttons like Update Cart, Apply Coupons, etc are also in blue – but not as large.
Items like the Keep Shopping, and Remove Item are necessary buttons – but definitely buttons we don’t want to highlight.
The final button I want to talk about is the ‘Add to Cart’ button on a product drilldown page – this needs to be above the fold. Study after study on the web have shown that having this button higher on the page results in more conversion – and more sales for you.
Let’s talk about a few other things when hiring a designer.
Hire a WEB designer – a print designer is completely different. Like hiring a pool pump mechanic to fix your car. Yes both mechanics, but very different purposes.Also encourage your designer to study best practices. There is some great blogs that focus on ecommerce, that focus on winery websites, etc.
One page long scrolling sites, weirdiframes, and too much ajax is bad for Search Engine Optimization. Make sure your designer can do something SEO friendly.
Single biggest hurdle in checkout is creating an account. 45% increase in sales with a Guest Checkout.This screenshot actually comes from a winery – I don’t like to name wineries – but Malibu Family Wines isn’t selling a whole lot with this thing. My favorite form element there is the ‘Secondary Email
As an aside – and just to pick on Malibu Family Wines – why do I enter my credit card on this page before I enter my shipping information. This is the only thing on the page (no other form, no order total, etc)
Get your checkout to one page. Least amount of form elements possible. Don’t show any fields you don’t need to. In A/B tests the one page checkout outperforms a 3 page checkout by 21.8%.
Final thing in the checkout – show a ‘Secure Shopping’ message. This has a lift of up to 13%. Make your visitor feel comfortable as they enter their credit card.
It’s fairly easy to get me to buy at your winery. I come, I’m on holidays, I’m having a great time, I’m half buzzed, I taste your wine – it tastes great – and I buy.But how do you get the 2nd order? How do you get me to come back?
There are great books like “Permission Marketing” by Seth Godin that talk exactly about this process. What you want to do is walk a person up the permission ladder or stairs… go from a Visitor, to first time buyer, to repeat buyer, to club member. Getting a person to buy that 2nd order is the tough one. They’ve left the winery, they’ve gone home. You have to capture their email address or phone number in the tasting room, you have to give them some incentive to buy.Once you have them buying – they are hooked.
The single biggest reason people don’t complete a sale – is shipping. Wine is heavy, it’s hard to ship, you live in California and some of your customers are East Coast.
Zappos – pair of ShoesVs How Much Do you charge for a bottle of wine.
Amazon 2 books Vs How Much Do you charge for a bottle of wine.
Okay maybe Zappos and Amazon are unfair examples. Wine is heavy.Let’s look at other examples – Inman Family is totally up front about shipping costs.
Use realistic shipping rates
Use shipping as an incentive.
If you can’t control the content, if you can’t upload your own products, if it’s not easy – run away.A website is not a digital POS handout. This is a living, breathing thing – not something you touch once a year when you want to update vintages in your store.
If they know about responsive design even better.Don’t use a developer that doesn’t care about mobile.
Have they done any A/B testing?Do they read blogs? Which blogs?If they are into ecommerce they need to be reading GetElastic, eConsultancy, Wider Funnel, etc?
Can you get the data out of the system or do they charge you $1300 for an export.
This was a lot of information today – and there are some great speakers up next – guys for more fluid than I.What I want you to remember today – if everything you do – you shold get people addicted to the experience.