Four Truths for Winning at Wine e-Commerce

Posted in Insights

When it comes to e-commerce, the wine industry is a beast all its own. The most successful e-commerce experiences don’t just leverage off-the-shelf technology; they’re an exercise in collaboration, customization, and branding.

Between the nuances of an increasingly competitive landscape and unique business goals that support ever-evolving products, your e-commerce platform needs to serve your customers, and your brand. Simply defaulting to a plug-and-play platform is a recipe for, at best, looking the same as a thousand other wine brands, and at worst, offering a clunky website experience. Ensure you stand out and design a smooth experience with these four simple tips.

1. Pick a Platform and a Partner

There’s no way around it: an e-commerce implementation, or replatforming, is a complex decision, and the way it interfaces with consumers is only one element in the process. While your operations team evaluates the backend and how a potential platform might integrate with existing ERP and inventory software, an experienced partner or agency can operate as the connective tissue for all things customer facing, from design to user experience.

From choosing the best winery e-commerce platform for your needs to customizing, launching, and supporting your efforts, a partner can offer seamless, consistent support and expertise. This extra support could involve defining your unique brand distinctions, opportunities, and requirements to help you understand the pros and cons between your top providers from both a customer experience and technology lifecycle perspective. m both a customer experience and technology lifecycle perspective.

2. Small Details Drive Big Experience

When it comes to a smooth user experience, the difference is in the details. Between widgets, APIs, custom software, middleware, and a little of all the above, an e-commerce platform is truly what you make it. When it comes to winery e-commerce platforms, or any D2C platform for that matter, the best solution is typically a blend of out-of-the-box platform capabilities with an added layer of custom solutions.

With in-depth perspective on integrations ranging from Commerce7 to WineDirect, an experienced partner can help you to understand your unique customer goals, whether it’s a wine club program or adhering to shipping compliance. From there, they can help your team identify the types of website integrations that might be necessary to make your D2C system run like a dream—which often means it’s easy enough for customers to use in their sleep.

3. Integrate Your Integrations

Several digital tools will need to come together to create a truly powerful digital destination for your winery that looks and feels as good as it works. In scenarios where you might have separate email and creative tools, brand storytelling CMS, an online purchase experience, and niche features that cater to gifting programs, bulk purchases, or product customization, an expert partner can help make disparate integrations feel like, and operate as, a cohesive experience.

This is the magic of Brand-Led Business Building®. The belief that every element of a brand, even if it seems purely operational, stacks up to the overall brand experience.

4. The Real Work Starts Post-Launch

Transitioning platforms or integrating from scratch can feel like a tall order. It requires a lot of up-front energy from your team in both time and cost to select and implement. Even still, a lot of the heavy lifting occurs post-launch, and this is where an integration partner can come in handy.

From creating agile solutions for quickly evolving business goals to enhancing performance marketing, a partner can make sure everything runs smoothly. An experienced partner or agency can also ensure your funnel is brimming with the right kind of loyal customers, creating and supporting opportunities for unique product packaging and fulfillment experiences, on-winery messaging, and promotions.

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