Foster Lasting Customer Relationships by Adding Education to Your Ecommerce Platform

Delaney McDonald | April 21, 2020

Younger or less experienced wine consumers may find speaking with a wine expert at a tasting room or wine retailer intimidating. There is plenty of wine-specific terminology that consumers outside of the wine industry may find opaque or confusing. Don’t underestimate the role that even seemingly basic education can play in helping convert customers. At bars or restaurants there is usually a brief description of the wine, and if not, a server can help guide a consumer with recommendations tailored to their preferences. But this experience and guided help doesn’t always translate when shopping for wine online. 

Many people enjoy wine, but don’t know a ton about it. They may have a basic understanding of what styles are out there or what they have liked in the past, but there is a great opportunity to teach and expose consumers to the vast world of wine culture. According to Conversioner, millennial consumers are 40 percent more likely to be influenced by impressive product descriptions that they see online. With education and additional information, consumers of all ages are more willing to get out of their comfort zone and purchase new and different varietals. 

In a time where you can find reviews, ratings, and top 10 lists for just about anything on the internet, having information readily available to consumers about your winery’s varietals on your ecommerce website can greatly improve overall customer experience and satisfaction. According to Sales Layer, six out of 10 shoppers point to poor product content as the main cause for leaving a shopping cart, besides price and delivery. Having this added information and elevated customer experience can help your winery standout from the multitude of options available.

After speaking with some of our clients, we’ve captured a few best practices on making a more educational ecommerce platform:

  1. Give an overview and description of the varietal, in terms of where it is grown, the type of grapes it uses, and the tradition tasting notes or descriptions that are associated with the varietal. For example, if it’s a Cabernet Sauvignon, you might mention it traditionally has an opaque, full body with robust notes of black currant and berries. You could go on to mention when grown in moderate climates it has more herbal and floral notes, but when grown in warmer climates it has more notes of blackberry, chocolate or mint. You could give an example of some terminology people associate with this varietal: full-bodied, rich, spicy, fruity and smokey.  This is where you can get really specific on your wine offering, paint a full picture of the varietal and then describe how your wine fits within the larger frame. This is a great place to highlight what makes your wine special and different from the standard. You can describe details like vintage, aging, harvest dates.
  2. Share tasting notes, level of dryness, mouth feel, aromas etc. Having a standard scale from most dry to least dry for every wine you sell, for example, could guide a consumer and help them narrow down their choices. Use taste descriptions like notes of blackberry or cocoa to give consumers a better idea of what the wine will be like. This can help you mirror the tasting room experience online.
  3. Make customer reviews available for every wine you sell. People like to read reviews to help them make purchasing decisions online. According to Spiegel Research Center, consumers are 270 percent more likely to purchase an item if it has five or more reviews rather than if it has none.
  4. Have suggestions readily available. For example, if a consumer is looking at one of your citrus-forward Sauvignon Blancs, you might suggest your Pinot Grigio as well, as it has notes of green apple. Small suggestions like this can go a long way to help the consumer get exactly what they are looking for. Another way of doing this is to share “ people have also viewed” as a way to give a tailored experience without getting too specific.
  5. Suggest food pairings with each varietal. This is common practice in restaurants, and can easily be carried over in your ecommerce platform. For example, if a customer is looking at your oak-aged Chardonnay you could highlight common foods that accentuate the wine flavors, like light fish or chicken, buttery or creamy sauces, or fruits like peach, melon and mango. 

Adding some of these educational pieces will help the consumer feel informed and appreciated during the buying experience. This can improve customer satisfaction and foster a long-lasting relationship between the winery and consumer. Your winery’s ecommerce platform can not only be a place for consumers to purchase their favorite wines, but also a resource to explore and learn more about different varietals.