Many wineries are missing the boat when it comes to their online presence. As a wine enthusiast, I like to explore new wines online or learn more about the latest wine I picked up for dinner. As a wine blogger, I need detailed information at my fingertips and if I can’t find it easily, I often move on to another wine. Regardless of what type of consumer we are (blogger, enthusiast, or occasional wine drinker), we all demand immediate access to this information. Right or wrong, that is the world we now live in.
I think there is a great opportunity for wineries to educate and connect with their customers via their website. To take the guesswork out of it, I have come up with a list of ten things every winery website should include.
- Up to date information – If you haven’t updated your website in the last month, I would rather you take it down. I don’t want to see your Latest News section riddled with articles and events from 2008.
- List of wines available for sale with prices – I want to know what wines you make and the price point of each. If you have a 2007 and a 2008, I would like to see both, especially if they are priced differently.
- Complete tasting notes on each wine – Let’s face it, most people don’t create their own tasting notes, so this is your chance to tell people what they will be tasting. The power of suggestion is very powerful and very real. This is your opportunity to shine.
- Directions to tasting room, tasting room fees, and hours of operation – Again, if your website is not up to date, I am not convinced that your 2006 tasting room hours are still being followed.
- Detail about the winery and the winemaker – Help us connect with you by telling us your story and bragging about your winemaker. We want to get to know you, so we can have a more intimate experience with your wine.
- List of wine events – We want to know of any wine dinners you are hosting, or special events. Please don’t rely on your Wine Trail or Vintners Association website to give us this information, as they are usually more outdated than your site.
- An email address to the winery – Contact forms are so 1995. We are lazy and I don’t want to have to type my name and email address on your form, if I already have an auto-signature on my email. If you are really committed to connecting with your customers, I would go so far as to list your winemaker’s email address.
- Good photos – I bore easily and want to be visually stimulated by good photos. I want to see your vineyards, tasting room, staff, wine bottles, harvest, crush, equipment, and yes even customers tasting your wine.
- Links to your social media sites – I should be able to link to your Twitter and Facebook pages without searching around for them. If you don’t use Twitter and Facebook, you are missing out on a great way to connect with your customers.
- Signup form for your mailing list – Why in the world would you not want to capture the name and email address of customers who want to know more about you? This is simple Marketing 101. Once you get my email address, send me updates, news, coupons, etc no more than once per week.
None of these things are revolutionary, expensive, or otherwise difficult. Most wineries have this information readily available; it is just a matter of publishing it to their website. It may seem like I am nitpicking, but I believe that connecting with your customers is vital in 2010.