When deciding on the best approach for your website project the first step is often whether to move forward with a template option or invest in a full custom design. The difference in investment is significant as are the end results. Consumer expectations are continuously rising in arguably one of the most competitive industries out there. Wines cannot be sampled online so the consumer is moved to purchase based on the emotional connection made through their online experience of your brand.
The goal of winery ecommerce is ultimately to build a loyal brand following which translates into increased sales. You invest heavily in the creation of your brand, your logo, the labeling and packaging. When wineries build their online presence they should seek to showcase this investment in a manner consistent with their ethos - what message do you want to convey to your consumer, how will you gain their trust and earn their loyalty. The answers to these questions will inform the best approach forward.
When is a Template a good option?
A template is a good option when you need to have something up quickly and/or have a constrained budget. Wineries who do not currently have an online presence but need to get something up quickly will opt for a template solution.
Template solutions can work well when the wine label isn’t backed by a strong story or brand strategy. If either of these have been developed you will want to carefully consider how best to represent your story or brand online. Consumers may not understand the discord they feel when they experience a website that does not match the brand story but the discord they experience will be enough to generate uncertainty and/or mistrust which in turn can result in lost sales and high bounce rates. Your competition is only a click away.
Wineries who are prepared to invest in representing their brand strongly online will earn the trust and therefore the business of consumers, building brand loyalty with every positive interaction the consumer experiences.
When is a Custom Website necessary?
When a consumer is not visiting your tasting room your website is usually the primary way they interact with you, your company, your brand and your wine. Previously it was enough to have a simple online presence, now the online experience needs to match and even exceed your consumers expectations. Anything less sets you back and diminishes the experience they remember.
In order to establish a connection with your consumers and lay a solid foundation on which to build brand loyalty, it is important to accurately present your brand online. Your website should match what consumers have come to expect from your brand:
- The website should be as carefully considered as your wine
- The website experience should be as satisfying as your tasting experience
- Your website should be as polished as the label and packaging
- The website should communicate the essence of your story to match your brand
For the new winery, building a website is one of the final steps in getting your wine to market. You have invested what feels like everything on grape production, winemaking, managing the vineyard, the facility, the tasting room, logo, labels, packaging the list may feel endless. Your website is the place, sometimes the first place, you will engage with your consumers. You will be required to decide if it is worth the investment in time and effort needed to share your story and accurately represent your brand position and ultimately win the loyalty of your customer.