Whenever you represent your wines face to face you can answer questions and volunteer the information you think is useful, depending on your audience. When you are not able to communicate in person, how do you know you are providing the right information to support your wines and that it is easily available and accessible?
‘We make our information available to everyone via our website and social media.’ Logically interested customers consumer or trade, can access information you have made available online, via your website.
Your website can absolutely do a good job of spreading the message of who you are and what you do, alongside any activity on social media. However, communication may become less clear and effective, if your site needs to perform multiple roles for you, talking to different audiences.
Often you may have at least two different audiences. A local or domestic market, which may involve selling your wines direct to consumers online and your export markets, where your site is primarily useful to provide reference information for international customers, trade and press
If your website is primarily aimed at consumers, but you also export your wines, the answer to this can be yes….and no. It is correct that you have plenty of interesting information available on your history, your vineyards, your winemaking, with details on each wine you make, alongside tasting notes, pricing and delivery. However, the type and amount of detail considered useful, which may be required for trade customers can differ considerably and go beyond the needs of what works well on line for your retail customers.
If you think your existing content is more aimed at consumers and you are happy with this, you don’t necessarily need a new website. You will need to review how you make available the relevant, detailed information for the trade and journalists, which would ideally also be accessible from your site.
Available: Find a way to include it online and if this not possible, you need to ensure your trade customers know you can make it available to them – let them know.
Accessible: Think about the format you can provide to ensure it easily accessible. Ideally you should have some content online, which is also downloadable as well as emailable, including wine (tech) information sheets for all your wines.
Think here, how do I help my trade customers sell my wines for me? They will ultimately be talking to consumers on my behalf, which I can support by making the added level of detail available to them, either directly or online.
In anticipation of the some of the questions usually asked, they are likely to need:
You will not be able to anticipate or answer everyone’s questions. The aim is to provide a comprehensive picture to clearly identify who you are and what you do, what is unique and interesting about you and your wines, your story. This will ideally spark interest for people to want to know more about specifics of interest to them.
Knowing what information is needed from producers to support selling their wines here in the UK, a great deal of what is supplied, often falls short of the mark. It is important to remember that each wine is only one of many, many choices available to trade, press or consumers. A good relationship with your trade customers is essential, they need the tools to achieve good sales of your wines.
The solution is not complicated, it just requires some guidance on understanding the groundwork needed to get this right. It will more than repay you, once you have the right tools in place, versus wasted time and effort spent, repeatedly responding ineffectually to demands for information. You will be set up to review and update your own information for new wines and vintages.
If you are not convinced, have a look what can be achieved with The Producer Toolkit to get on you on track.