Ecommerce Marketing Checkup: Wine on My Mind

Ever wanted some expert advice on your website? Then check out this first installment of our new series, Ecommerce Marketing Checkups, as our team analyzes Wine on My Mind’s online store and scouts out opportunities for improvement.

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Overview

Each month the Volusion Services Team assembles a cross-functional team of online marketing experts to take a quick look at a Volusion store. In this Ecommerce Marketing Checkup, our team explored Wine On My Mind, purveyor of wine-themed home décor for fun-loving women who enjoy a glass (or two). In the words of the merchant, Wine On My Mind is for “women with expendable income, who like to socialize, go out and entertain. They enjoy wine and friendship.”

Our team sat down, reviewed the site and immediately agreed: social media, conversion optimization and stronger branding are this store’s best opportunities. They also identified areas where the merchant could improve their search engine optimization (SEO) and best utilize pay per click (PPC) and shopping feeds channels.

What did our ecommerce marketing experts have to say? Check out their recommendations below; no doubt a few will help you refine your marketing strategy!

 

Conversion optimization: Improving the shopping experience

“Early on, in an effort to establish a brand identity, the website took on the role of store, their blog, Facebook and Instagram accounts. However, as Wine On My Mind’s social media moved off to their appropriate channels, this content was never taken off of the store and now what lingers creates a confusing shopping experience.” – Josh, Volusion Marketing Services Account Manager

The following suggestions are meant to improve customer experience and flow through the site in order to maximize sales (i.e. conversions).

  • Define your target market
    • Sophisticated and fun women who want to get together and chat over glasses of wine and…motorcycles?
      • Messaging to motorcycle owners is okay, but you need more products that serve that market and they need their own category.
      • How does the butterfly logo and color palette fit with the branding?  For example, if targeting sophisticated wine enthusiasts, the site should have a bit more richness and romance to it. We recommend darker, earthy colors.

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  • The site is currently product-focused, which is good!
    • Having a product slideshow on the Homepage allows customers to see for themselves what the site has to offer rather than simply being described in a long body of text (save that for the About Us page).

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  • Products on category pages are displayed as one column of products
    • Use grid view and not single-row view (Volusion software makes it easy to change.)

 

  • Navigation issues
    • Top navigation should be devoted to product related categories or themes.
      • Remove “We Get Around” link – this content belongs on social media channels.
      • Relocate “About Us” type links to the footer navigation.
    • Customers have to click deeper into site to get to product related navigation.
      • Create left-hand navigation bar for categories of products on the homepage.
    • Clicking on the Blog link takes you directly to the WordPress site, effectively escorting the customer out the front door.
      • The Blog link should open in a new tab so the shoppers/readers won’t lose their place in the store.
    • The “Learn More” social button on the Homepage links to the Mailing List subscription page, confusing users who probably want to get to your social media pages.

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  • Landing page issues
    • “Shop” landing page adds an additional step to reaching the products. By moving the categories featured under “Shop” to the primary navigation your customer is one page closer to checkout.
    • The “What’s New” landing page in the top navigation directs to a page with an image of a single product and no obvious way to navigate to that product page. With Volusion, a product can be featured in many different categories, so add all of your newest products to this page as well.

 

Social media: Connect and engage with your people

“Wine On My Mind has a highly engaged Facebook audience.  Ask questions, take polls, and encourage conversation.  Learn more about your target demographic so you can craft a marketing message that brings consumers back to the website.” – Cindy, Volusion Social Media Specialist

The following Social Media recommendations are intended to grow the target audience, increase customer loyalty and improve audience engagement. Our team recommends focusing on Facebook, Pinterest, blogging and Twitter (in that order).

  • Refine your brand identity
    • Leverage all channels to learn more about what your current audience likes.
    • The company needs to clearly define their target market and craft posts that appeal to that specific market.  Currently the branding contradicts itself at times.   For example, some posts reference “Goth” topics while others are a bit more cute or witty.
    • Likewise, the posts and themes should be consistent with the look of the site.  The “all black clothing” posts contradict the bright, colorful butterfly design.
    • Capitalize on the image space on Facebook and Twitter, using high quality and brand-focused images.
  • Run contests, promotions and offer coupons for your fan-base
    • Facebook is the biggest opportunity for Wine On My Mind.  Utilize the fan-base to do market research by polling, asking questions, asking for visitors to post pictures, etc.  Link in a coupon or giveaway with some posts to encourage responses.  If a post were “What else would you use this book cork cage for?” you could also say “Like and comment on this post to be entered to win a free Cowboy Boot Cork Cage!”
    • Be sure to pay attention to each channel’s contest rules.

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  • Engage! (With every post, in a personal matter)
    • Try and make most posts conversational, and remember that it’s a two-way stream of communication.
      • Post highly relevant, helpful, interesting or compelling articles.
      • Use calls to action. For example, “Share with your friends!” “Share with us in the comments – what’s your favorite white wine?” “Like this? Spread the word and share with your friends!” etc.
      • Always encourage conversation:
        • Ask questions
        • Take polls and surveys
        • Ask people to post pictures such as, “Ladies, post your photos of you drinking wine!”
        • Play around with fun theme days.  For example, Thirsty Thursday or Wine Wednesday
        • Most people expect a timely response.
          • Set up notifications to be alerted in real time to when someone posts
          • Utilize HootSuite for notifications across other social media channels
          • Craft blog posts around topics that interest your audience
            • Post to social media channels, bringing people back to your blog
            • Use “How To” posts (“How to Choose a Wine” “How to Use a Cork Cage in 5 Fun Ways”), lists (“Top 10 Gifts for Wine Lovers” “Best Housewarming Gifts for Wine Purveyors”), seasonality (“Fun Stocking Stuffers for Wine Lovers.”)
  • Keep the company account distinct from a personal account.
    • On Facebook, limit posts to 2 -3 day maximum.  Post as frequently as you like on Twitter.
    • Continue establishing trust and a personal relationship with your users, but keep extremely personal posts separate.
  • Bring people back to your site
    • Post products more frequently than you are currently, but make sure the messaging is not too sales-y.
      • You can identify other markets and uses for your products by asking questions like, “What else can you use this wine rack for?” “Where would you take this Insulated Cooler Tote?” To encourage responses, you could offer a giveaway – all answers will be submitted into a contest to win a coupon for 50% off or to win a compelling product for free.
      • Include links back to your website with clever or funny posts. This makes it easy for people to navigate to your website.
      • Offer exclusive deals to your follower-base.
        • Flash sales (“30% off today only!” “$5 coupon for all Facebook followers this Friday!” etc.)
        • On Pinterest, add more boards geared towards broader topics, such as Home Décor, Wine and Food Pairings, etc.  You can also invite fans to post to a “Fan Posts” board.

 

SEO: Improve linking structure & content

“A site’s internal linking structure is integral to its over-all health.  Wine On My Mind has a few internal linking issues, but thankfully, nothing difficult to correct.” – Mike, Volusion SEO Team Lead  

“The site’s content and keyword targeting could use some freshening up, too. I suspect they crafted some of these Title tags early on in the store’s history and the site’s focus has shifted since then.”  – Alison, Volusion SEO Manager  

These following suggestions are intended to improve the site’s crawlability and improve the search engines’ understanding of what the site and each page are about, thus increasing organic traffic for relevant keywords.

  • Correct internal linking issues
    • While great for social media, don’t use Bit.ly links for internal linking on your website.
    • Don’t use a search result page for internal linking, but rather use a keyword optimized URL.  For example, instead of linking your calls to action from your homepage slide show to a search result page, try linking it over to a specific category page that’s been optimized with the focus keywords for that category. When you link, use descriptive anchor text.
  • Conduct a keyword refresh on the site
    • Look at the homepage’s current Title tag and determine if it’s still targeting the best keywords.  If not, conduct keyword research, identify the best 3 to 5 keywords for the homepage and ensure those keywords are contained in the Title tag and on-page HTML content.
    • Repeat this exercise for all major landing pages.

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  • Content improvement
    • Having a strong product focus is good, but adding some targeted, on-page HTML content on the homepage is better. This gives the search engines a clear indication of what the page is about and relevant to.
What Wine on My Mind looks like through spiders' eyes
The above image demonstrates how valuable HTML content is to search engines. Since the search engines aren’t human and can’t (yet) understand an image, it’s important to also include descriptive content containing important keywords.
  • Ensure homepage content contains your targeted keywords naturally.
  • Link up the Google+ profile to the site.
  • Use the Google Authorship rel=author / publisher feature on all blog content.
  • Ensure blog topics are relevant to the target audience and contain keyword rich anchor text links back to a variety of pages on the store (not just the homepage).  For example, a link might have the anchor text “fun cork cages” and that link would drive to the cork cage landing page.

 

PPC: Differentiate yourself from the herd

“Pay per click (PPC) is going to be a difficult marketing channel to pursue as there’s not much differentiation among wine gifts being sold online.  For this reason, I would say PPC probably shouldn’t be your primary focus from a marketing standpoint. However, if and when you decide to engage in PPC, you should consider your messaging carefully in order to achieve the best ROI.”  – Kate, Volusion Search Marketing Manager and PPC expert

The following suggestions are best practices for optimizing Wine On My Mind’s PPC campaign for the highest ROI.

  • Focus on your best selling products first.
  • Avoid overly competitive gift-related terms (ex. “wine gift”).
  • Use long-tail keywords to drive the most targeted and qualified traffic to the site (ex. “wooden cheese board set” versus “cheese board”).
  • Highlight your value proposition to differentiate your ads.
    • Free Shipping on orders $50+
    • Excellent customer service
    • Wine expertise
    • Reflect the fun and friendly brand persona in your ad text to attract attention.
    • Create highly specific focus and use appropriate landing pages for each ad group (ex. wine cork holders, wine wall décor, etc.).

 

Shopping feeds: Engage in free feeds

“Shopping Feeds work best for sites that have great product images and information; Wine On My Mind has both. To manage budget on the paid engines, focus your higher bids on products you know sell well and create low bids for all others.” -Mia, Search Marketing Specialist, Volusion

The following suggestions are intended to maximize the Wine On My Mind’s Shopping Feed campaign for highest ROI.

  • Most of the product titles and descriptions are good. However, titles like “Picnic Stix” should be revised to “Picnic Stix Wine Glass and Bottle Holder” to be more descriptive and immediately communicate what the product is.
  • Shopping Engines
    • Submit all your products to Bing and The Find. Those are free engines and it will help to have as many products as possible searchable on there.
    • On the paid engines, focus your higher bids on the products you know sell well already.
    • Have a very low bid on all your other products. This allows them to still show up on the shopping engines, which gives people a chance to find them.
      • You can bid as low as $0.01 on Google Product Listing Ads.
      • Many people use shopping engines to price compare products.
        • Do searches for wine products, cork cages, etc. to see how your prices would stack up against others selling the same products.
        • Make sure to set up information like “Free Shipping on orders over $50.00” correctly in the Shopping Engines. This will make sure it displays correctly and can give people an incentive to click on your products versus others.
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An example of blended search results when listing products via Google Product Listings – being present in this space can help you compete with much larger competitors like Amazon.

 

Conclusion

Wine On My Mind has a very solid foundation in place for their online success, but as with most marketing strategies, there’s always room for improvement.  Their Facebook audience is perhaps their biggest asset; an audience of this size is something that can take years to accomplish!  Now is the time to leverage that audience to better understand the brand’s target market and identity. It’s also the right time to improve the purchase flow of the site, spruce up the site’s keyword targeting and submit to free shopping engines.  Budget permitting, paid shopping feeds and strategic PPC can help round out the campaign.  With a little elbow grease and marketing know-how, Wine On My Mind is well on its way to expanding their online visibility and sales!  

 

Have questions, recommendations or are interested in having your store reviewed by our team? Comment below with your thoughts and store URL.

Want the Volusion experts on your marketing team?  Check out Volusion’s Marketing Services!  Volusion offers all of the marketing disciplines discussed in this Checkup, including Conversion Consulting, SEO & Social Media Services, PPC Management and Shopping Feed Services.  Our team of more than 20 experts specialize exclusively in ecommerce marketing and the Volusion platform.  Take advantage of our industry know-how and jumpstart your online success today!  

23 Responses to “Ecommerce Marketing Checkup: Wine on My Mind”

  1. Darin Abrams

    Very well written and will definitely be looking out for this with our companies strategies. Keep it up!

    Reply
  2. George Piloni

    Going to have to say this was a great article to read. This what keeps me looking at volusion for support and advice. Thanks again all the best.

    This is my site here http://www.addheight.com

    Reply
  3. Karen Messick

    Thanks for the helpful insight, we have been with Volusion for over 8 years and our business has really dropped off in the last year. We would love to have our site reviewed to see what may have caused our store to have stopped being productive and what changes we may need to make.
    The Volusion team recommendation would be a honor to have from such a expert selection of knowledgeable people.

    Reply
    • Anjuli Desai

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for your comment! I have sent this to our Ecommerce team and they will be reaching out to you about your business. Happy Selling!

      Reply
  4. Eileen

    Wow, a website review is worth a million dollars…over time. I would love to have our site reviewed: http://www.CozyCalm.com

    Reply
    • Gracelyn Tan

      Noted! http://www.CozyCalm.com is now on the list of possible candidates for our next check-up. 😀 Thanks for reading!

      Reply
      • Carol

        Hi,

        I truly appreciated the thorough review of the site. The critique/comments were put down very clearly and can easily be carried over to other sites. I do wish that you can go through my site petalsbypia.com since I think there are other areas that may need tweaking.

        Thanks again,
        Carol

        Reply
        • Matt Winn

          Hi Carol, glad you learned something! I’ll relay your website to our Services team for consideration as a candidate for a future Marketing Checkup. Thanks!

          Reply
  5. Lucia Gerbino

    Thank you for all of that info. I have been on the Volusion platform for a couple of years and I always appreciate your efforts to help us be successful. I would love our site to be considered for review.
    Thanks,
    Lucia
    http://www.luckydogleather.com

    Reply
    • Matt Winn

      Hi Lucia, glad that we can help! I’ll be sure to shoot your website over to our team as a possible candidate for a future checkup. Thanks!

      Reply
  6. Derek White

    Great review here on Wineonmymind.com. I have been a volusion customer for close to four years now. I have seen a lot of changes and growth. I am really happy to see you guys making the effort to help everyone be more successful with their volusion stores. If there is a waiting list for a site review, we would really liek to be put on there Gracelyn.

    Our store is http://www.myliftkits.com

    Reply
    • Gracelyn Tan

      Hi, Derek. I’m glad to hear you’re happy, and I really appreciate your kind words. You’ve now been added to the list of possible candidates as well. Best of luck!

      Reply
  7. Michael Duong

    Great article! The recommendations are priceless. The expert team at Volusion really stepped it up. It would be awesome if our store could get a review too.

    Thank you for sharing.
    http://www.kidsformal.com

    Reply
    • Gracelyn Tan

      Hi, Michael. We’ve added your name and website to our list of possible candidates, so if you hear from us later, that’s why. :) Thanks for your kind words!

      Reply
  8. Christopher

    Wow! This is really useful. Would love to have our site reviewed… http://www.wonderdognyc.com

    Reply
    • Gracelyn Tan

      Hi, Christopher. Consider yourself added to the list of possible candidates. :) Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  9. Nathan

    As a site owner it is nice to know Volusion is taking an approach to give something back to sites running on there platform without trying to charge.. A great review of Wine on My Mind I wish them well with attempting the changes suggested

    Reply
  10. Jeff Wellwood

    Great read, well written and will definitely utilize this into our companies strategies.

    Reply
  11. Faith Brickel

    Wow! That was a little brutal to read through. Thank you so much for the detailed and thorough review of my site. I am determined to make my store successful and now with these great suggestions I can move forward and create a better store and shopping experience. I definitely have my work cut out for me. Tech support I need you!!! Thanks again!!

    Reply
    • Gracelyn Tan

      Hi Faith,

      Thank you for being so gracious and keeping such a positive attitude! As always, we are here to help. We appreciate your letting our team do a checkup on Wine On My Mind, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for you guys! :)

      Reply
  12. Carole

    Great article! Looking forward to others in this series. I will be checking my own site for any of these issues.

    Reply
  13. Alan Thompson

    Thanks, it looks helpful.

    Reply

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