Are you missing out on sales online? Best practices for website shopping carts

Best practices for shopping carts ecommerceEven if you have a great website you could be missing out on sales if your shopping cart is lacking some basic elements. If the main purpose of your website is to sell wine, then you want to make the shopping cart easy to find from the home page. There shouldn’t be any confusion about which tab on the navigation bar they should click on to get to the cart. In addition, you can also use a colored button or an image carousel to draw attention to your cart. The goal of your homepage, in this case, is to get them over to the cart as soon as possible.

From the consumer’s perspective, buying wine can be an intimidating experience. They may or may not have tasted your wines before, and they don’t want to buy something they’re not going to like. When they are in the shopping cart your job is to showcase the wines in their best light and reassure them that they are making the right decision by buying your wine. It is also an opportunity to reinforce your positioning as a luxury brand. And, don’t forget upselling and cross selling; while they are in buying mode this is the opportunity to increase their order.

Here are some helpful shopping cart dos and don’ts:

Shopping cart dos:

  • Consider the layout of your cart. Some sites display the wines across the page, then down. This works well if you have several wines to sell. If you only have a few wines then doing a menu or list layout may be a better option.
  • Add tasting notes to your cart page. Tell people why they might like the taste of each wine.
  • Include tasting notes that are concise, easy to understand, fun and entertaining (if that makes sense for your brand).
  • Use professional bottle shots. Shots should be taken on a contrasting, plain background.
  • Mention scores, awards or accolades under each wine if applicable.
  • Add customer feedback and more detail to the pop up or profile page about each wine.
  • When deciding on the order the wines should go in try testing various options and find out what works best for sales. (i.e: experiment with lowest priced items to highest, whites to reds, your best wine first, etc.)
  • Tech sheets should be on secondary pages not on the cart. They are really only worthwhile if you are marketing wines to distributors, restaurants, etc.
  • Add 2-3 lines of copy above the cart about your brand or quality of your wines. This also helps drive traffic to the page via search engines.
  • Add Google Analytics code to your shopping cart (this is separate from the code you have tracking the rest of the site).
  • Show pricing by case as well as single bottle.
  • Mention the discount for wine club members if you have one.
  • Create scarcity: Show the number of barrels/cases made. If it is almost sold out then say so.
  • Create urgency: Consider including an offer on the page. Purchase by a certain date and give them a discount percentage off their order.
  • Create value: For collectable wines include the recommended cellaring time.

Shopping cart don’ts:

  • Avoid presenting the wines in the cart as labels. Instead, include a professional bottle shot of each wine. Your customer is buying a product, not a label.
  • Don’t be too technical, long or boring with tasting notes.
  • Don’t use dark or patterned backgrounds on bottle shots. White or clean backgrounds work best.
  • Don’t use too much copy above the cart as it drops it down too low and no one will want to read it.

Confirmation emails:

Once someone makes a purchase they will then receive a confirmation email. This email is an opportunity to thank them for the business. You can use this email to reinforce your brand personality through the copy and spark customer excitement about receiving their wines. You can also secure future sales by providing customers with a discount code to use in the next 30 days. If someone signs into the site, adds items to their cart but does not check out you can set up a cart abandonment email. This can work to convert potential buyers that for one reason or another did not purchase on their first visit.

Do you have any questions, or comments? Please add them below!

This post was written for The Wine Foundry and their Commerce clients.  The Wine Foundry is a one–stop shop for custom wine production and offers fruit sourcing, label design, e-commerce solutions and coaching on D-to-C marketing and sales.  The Wine Foundry’s commerce clients, about 80 entrepreneurs, wine enthusiasts and vineyard owners, produce and sell their wines through the Napa-based company.

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