Insights - January 25, 2023
With Vintners.co, we provide more than a marketplace. Vendors on Vintners.co can leverage the technology to power their own storefront, or beyond, creating their own digital channel, with no effort.
Our understanding of the market today is that creating and maintaining your digital presence (website, e-commerce and more) is not that easy. For sure websites have become key and being able to route your customer to your website is important, as much as being able to capture potential customers who search the web and might/could find you. And for sure there are many technology options on the market, but there are no satisfying simple solutions for midsize companies.
We mostly see companies taking two different paths: Sevenfifty/Provi Storefront features or standard website builders like Squarespace, Wordpress, Wix or others.
Opting to use Sevenfifty/Provi Storefront features, seems to make sense to list your products, especially if you’ve been posting/publishing your portfolio on their marketplace. Many importers and distributors around the US use this feature. Sometimes they use solely this feature as a web hub for their business. Other times, they use it as a portfolio complement to a static website showcasing their company (vision, mission, team, producers and more).
However, the result is a rather bad experience from an end-user standpoint. Not only is the product information often poor or inaccurate, but the interaction and the user experience is convoluted. It feels hard to log in to the storefront and access prices, and when doing so, you’re redirected to the Provi marketplace, bombarded with advertising. The user journey ends up feeling a bit disconnected and difficult.
"A Provi Storefront when accessing it without the right credentials"
What you see if you don’t have the right credentials to access the SevenFifty/Provi storefront (if you’re out of state, for example)
When searching or navigating, you can only rely on the Provi’s categorization. The browse categories of your storefront are very generic. Good luck with guiding your customers to what makes your product so special! Cab, Pinot, Merlot, Malbec or Red Blend, right?
"The top navigation on any Provi Storefront, not always the best fit"
The navigation on a Provi Storefront, no matter what your products are
Another route taken by companies is to manage the storefront using a standard website builder like Squarespace, Wordpress, Wix or others. There are several disadvantages to this approach. First, these systems are not really designed to manage very structured information. However, wine information is very structured and it requires some kind of a database, in order to allow proper navigation and structuring of the information.
Using these systems requires a ton of manual work to manage and edit pages, plus it limits your ability to provide a good user experience to your users to navigate your offering. In particular, you will end up doing the same things twice (as these systems will never generate your portfolio, your price list or your tech sheets automatically). Every time you update a (producer or wine) page, you will have to edit things at a myriad of places. With these, it also gets very difficult to have different access levels to your information (for example to have a retailer access the prices for retailers, and to have a distributor to have access to the national distribution prices only).
Therefore, running your digital presence becomes a costly burden with the risk of it not being updated regularly and almost certainly, that user experience for your customers and prospects will be far from satisfactory.
At Vintners.co, we designed our system to offer something new and innovative. For our users who are already managing their catalog on Vintners.co, we offer to use this information to automatically generate their websites. The objective and value is dual: a better website specifically made for the purpose of offering all the user needs AND a solution that minimizes any manual work to be maintained and updated, letting vendors focus on managing their information in one single place.
The result is a website that can include all the required features at no effort:
Good looking home page that can highlight products of your choice
Your own vendor profile, with the access to the portfolio (for authenticated users)
List of all producers you represent organized by region or country
Detailed profile page for each producer in the portfolio (that you can make as thorough as you’d like)
List of wines for each producer
Powerful search engine that lets users browse through all your wines in many different ways
Module to manage content (i.e. news, events, blog posts, etc.)
"Navigating a Vintners.co seller site, anonymous"
It also offers the power of giving your visitors the ability to login with their vintners.co credentials, and suddenly your website turns into more than a storefront, but rather to an entire b2b e-commerce website. Your customers will not only be able to discover wines and producers, but will see - if authenticated - prices and inventory and will have the option to order directly and/or communicate about their orders with your sales team.
The website will give your sales team and your customers the access to the usual marketing collaterals: downloadable and printable wine tech sheets, wine lists, portfolio and price list. These are always up to date with your catalog information and generated automatically (no editing required). With a click of a button, our system produces these ready-to-print PDF documents that also feature automatically generated QR codes.
Last, but not least, all these features are made so that they function on a smartphone, just as well as on a computer.
"Navigating a Vintners.co Seller site, authenticated as a buyer in NY"
Are you running a wine distribution operation and wondering how to improve your digital presence? Please don’t hesitate to talk with us. We’d love to show you that we can get you up and running in a matter of days with our technology, and still offer a great experience to your visitors / buyers.
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