Winery Website Design, WordPress for Wineries, and Other eCommerce Options
A website should convey the caliber of the brand.
Some wineries’ online stores function with 1990’s liabilities and inefficiencies. Credit card data is collected online, then an accountant enters it by hand into another system for processing. Or product sales, event registration and club membership require a separate purchase. Perhaps transactions can’t be completed easily on a smartphone. In all of these cases, companies and their customers lose. The entire online experience, as new prospects find a wine site and convert to customers, should be straightforward and easy. So, the structure of a wine website should facilitate, not hinder, conversions. Here are some of the components to consider.
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Meet the Needs of the Web User
- Have content that is meaningful to the target audience
- Be easy to navigation and user-friendly with well thought out site architecture
- Hold the interest of traffic that arrives to visit for the first time (also known as “being sticky”)
- Attract a pre-qualified, target audience ready to take the desired actions (buy, join, register)
Meet the Needs of the Wine Business
- Convey the brand appropriately
- Reach interested audiences that would otherwise be unaware of the brand and/or unable to visit
- Be easy to find online
- Be easy to maintain, update and enhance
- Convert site traffic (from surfer, to customer, club member, event attendee, brand advocate, and so forth)
- Integrate necessary web, ecommerce and customer management components (CMS, CRM, POS, winery acccounting platform, eWinery, Vin65…)
At DigiVino we are much more than web designers. First and foremost, we are strategists. We begin each project (website design, re-build, ecommerce set up, search engine optimization, software integration, or web functionality enhancement) with a basic question. What do you want to achieve? It’s great to make a nice looking site. But it means nothing if it does not serve your essential goal. More often than not, that objective is to sell more wine. But it can also be to increase brand value, such as the case when a small winery wants to establish itself as more of a high-end boutique. Or, it might be to grow a winery’s club, decrease membership attrition, increase tenure, sign up new members, run a friend-ask-friend campaign. The winery website design project objective will dictate choices at every phase of the project, from discovery to delivery.
Consider How Audiences Will Use the Website or Web Landing Page
For example, to mention one very basic point we always address with our clients during a winery website design project: 60% of Internet users surf on smart phones. Plus, over half of Web users won’t surf a poorly designed Web site, even of their favorite brands. Multiply that by the fact that an overwhelming majority of purchases online take place on tablets, rather than desktop or laptop computers. The equation is simple: if your Web site isn’t easy to navigate and read on mobile devices, you are losing prospects and customers.
Consider How the Wine Business Will Use the Site
One of the myriad of aspects that must be addressed during a winery website design project, is what platform or software the solution will be built upon. For example, when a boutique business wants an online store, here are a few options we suggest. Pricing for each is varied and tied to the unique benefits and drawbacks of that option. At DigiVino, we are platform-agnostic. So we help our clients understand the pros and cons of each choice, weighed against the wine business objective and target audience needs. Here are the most popular choices:
MAGENTO ECOMMERCE WINERY WEBSITE DESIGN
- Perhaps the most robust solution for an SME (small or medium sized enterprise) would be Magento.
- It has built in shipping functionality to connect with most major shipping providers easily, along with out of the box tax, sales, coupon and other common store features.
- All sites have security risks, which must be mitigated against on an on-going basis. However, this tool manages some of those risks for those using it.
- Licensing fees (typically $5,000+) and/or enterprise monthly fees ($500-$5,000) are added to design/development costs.
WORDPRESS WINERY WEBSITE DESIGN
+ WOO COMMERCE WINERY WEBSITE DESIGN
- The most user-friendly back-end (site management) solution. (I.e.: This enables the business to have non-technical administrators add products, set up coupons, etc.).
- The world’s most popular CMS (content management system), originally used for creating blogs, but now a reliable tool for complete Web and ecommerce sites.
- Due to its popularity, there are thousands of plugins developed by third party vendors with free or low cost plug-and-play functionality add-ons (shipping, tax, events, clubs, slide shows, roll over maps, document uploaders, etc.).
- WordPress is open-source software, which means there is no additional licensing fee to use it. (I.e.: To build an ecommerce site on WordPress there is typically only the design/development cost.)
- As malicious hackers and malware (malicious software) grow more prevalent on the Web, WordPress makes frequent security upgrades and rolls them out for no additional cost.
- Many wonderful templates are available, which (if employed) can reduce design/development costs significantly.
- Sites that have customized elements may lose their custom coding upon upgrade, thereby requiring maintenance.
WINE INDUSTRY CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (CMS)
- Industry specific content management systems (i.e.: for wineries: Vin65, eWinery Solutions, VinSuite, eCellar, 750, etc.) will include specialized software tools to handle unique needs (i.e.: club, allocations, single bottles vs. cases, compliance, etc..)
- Typically all required software functionality can be found in one place (tools to process shipping, taxes, purchases, compliance, etc..)
- In part, monthly payments help to cover on-going costs of fighting/preventing malware and hacker attacks.
- Monthly payments (commonly $500-$8,000) are added to design/development costs.
Winery website design clients sometimes believe the line from that old Kevin Costner feature film, “If we build it, they will come.” But the truth is, having a beautiful site is not enough. In addition to designing a compelling website, it’s necessary to use SEO, email campaigns, social media and video to pre-qualify and convert interested prospects. More on this when you’re ready!
Strategic Winery Website Design Begins with DigiVino
At DigiVino, we will help you to find a solution that fits your budget, timeline, human resource availability and business objectives. But the first thing we’ll ask you is, “What do you want to accomplish with your winery website design?”