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November 23, 2009

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Tyson Caly

One of your best posts yet! Great suggestions Mike.

Fabius

Brilliant post! Excellent! I've been surfing the net for weeks looking for this type of information. (Yes, I'm in the process of designing a webpage!) Thanks you.

Andrew Kamphuis

You have an interesting explanation for using both an 'Our Wines' and 'Buy Now' link on a navigation bar.

I personally find it frustrating when I'm on a site and I'm on the 'Our Wines' page and it doesn't have a button to 'Buy Now' or if I'm on the 'Buy Now' and I can't redily get more information about a wine. For that reason I have recommended to clients to combine those two pages into a single page that has both the wine description and a buy button (although we haven't done a whole lot of testing around two seperate pages vs one page, or even two navigation links to the same page).

I'd be interested in exploring this more.

Mike Duffy

@Andrew: No argument about the "Buy" button. But frequently, the presentation of each wine overwhelms someone trying to find a particular wine and just buy it. For example,

http://www.twistedoak.com/Get-Twisted-Wines/All-the-Vino

is great for someone who came to the site to buy "The Spaniard," as it is easy to find. It's a pretty good model for the destination of a "Buy Now" navigation link.

Basically, someone who selects "Buy Now" has told you what they want to do. Whatever page you present should make that as easy as possible.

On the other hand, someone who selects "Our Wines" is looking for information. Do you make reds, whites, sparklers, ...? The landing page for this item should be (I think) informational, and guide the visitor.
It's also a place to feature your best-sellers, as a way of saying "this is what other people like."

But you make a great point: TEST! Which means making changes and seeing what happens. Which means having a Web site you can change easily.

Larry Chandler

I think it's confusing to the user to have "Our Wines" and "Buy Wines" as separate nav items. Since some sites use one, the other or both, no one is quite sure exactly where to go to find the wines to buy.

One site had only one and that included a brief description of the wine with a buy now button. But prominent was a "More About This Wine" "More About This Variety" "More About This Region" wine buttons for each wine so people could delve deeper if they so chose but could buy quickly since that is probably why they came to your site in the first place.

Mike Duffy

Well, it doesn't actually matter what Larry, Andrew or I think about "Buy Now" and "Our Wines." The point is to TEST it and see what improves sales and visitor experience.

Unfortunately, few wineries test, and even fewer (if any) share their results.

Julia Brown

Great info, I am currently looking at updating our winery website. I am finding it hard to balance the online shopping component with the information (brand building part). Do you have any recommendations on this?

Mike Duffy

Hi, Julia.

What do you see as the problem in balancing the two?

It should be 3-clicks-or-less to put something in your shopping cart. Ideally, specific information that your visitor is seeking is as easy to find (i.e. 3 clicks or less).

Remember, your visitors come with a goal already in mind (buy, give, browse for info, trade information, media information). The hardest is people who come with an "information" goal. What kind of information are they looking for? My guesses are:

- where can I buy this wine locally (retail, restaurant)
- is this wine ready to drink (or past its prime)
- where is your winery?
- what are your hours/can I visit?
- event information
- sales/specials/featured wines
- newsletter
- ....?

This is where it's good to actually talk with people who use your site, although your Web analytics can give you ideas about what people are searching for.

Just some thoughts. Let me know what you think.

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