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Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The Coolest Wine Site of the Future?

Here are some brief comments and observations...

A woman drinking wineRecently we were doing a redesign and reprogramming in PHP of a popular wine site.  They have been a client of ours for 10 years.  I had a chance to look at many of the famous wine sites again and I have a few comments for this blog.

Make your website standout with a cool design - that's my first comment.  Almost all of the big wine sites look the same.  They all have the same overloaded pages crammed with too much stuff.  They remind me of warehouse stores, stacked to the ceiling with product. It is very difficult to find your way around, wine sites have too much naviagtion, too many choices and not enough editorialor compeling visuals.

I think what has happened is everybody is copying everyone else.  There was probably a site that was perceived as the 'leader' at some point and that became the template that everyone else patterned their own site on.  If you don't know a wine site brand through personal experience there is no ay to really tell them apart - except for their logos.

I think most of the wine sites are thinking like store managers and not online retailers.  It looks like their number one objective is moving inventory 'out the door'.  I can understand that.  Wine sites are businesses.  But I think there is a great opportunity for somebody to break out of the pack; take a totally fresh look at wine and the web and set a new standard.

Web visitors to wine sites zero in on specific site content based on site objectives and demographic.  People who want wine deals and the widest selection probably like sites that are jam-packed with inventory and deals.  This is the group that most of the sites have been built for.  Wine connoisseurs are looking for the rare, premium and unique.  They like being part of exclusive clubs and inner circles. Casual shoppers are often wine ingenues who are eager develop relationships with wineries and websites.  The corporate buyer probably have their own distributors and is not a frequent visitor to wine sites, ecept to get information on specific wines or to compare pricing.

I'd like to see somebody develop a fantastic new concept in wine retailing on the web; something with a beautiful design and a new perspective on marketing ... is that you?  If so give me a call at 512-469-7454 and let's talk!

Bob Atchison

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