“Online shopping has its acronyms, technologies, and innovation. But at its heart it digitises the human experience of walking into a wine shop. In a shop or restaurant you’d listen. Online you just have to use different sorts of ears.” That’s how the team at Pix, the new online wine discovery and search platform, analyses its users and consumers to work out what they are looking for from wine online. In the first of what will be a regular series of insights, Pix suggests four online tools that can help you analyse your own traffic data on your site to create more effective content and lists of wines that your consumers are wanting to buy. From Google Trends to Google Ads there are free existing tools out there that can unlock your online sales data and help you make more informed decisions about the wines you source, list, promote and sell.
If you find what you read below useful then the Pix team are happy to answer questions and dive into online topics and issues that you find interesting. Please contact Richard Siddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you heard the one about the tailor who was invited to meet the Pope? The tailor’s friends gathered round as he emerged from his audience to ask what the pontiff was like. He replied “A 42 regular”.
The wine business is not alone in being a hammer that sees every problem as a nail. But the move online brings us an opportunity to reframe and relearn. A chance to see the Pope as more than a suit size. And wine as more than appellation, variety, alcohol level, or food match. Even producer, points or prizes.
So what should you tell online shoppers if things like appellation and alcohol levels aren’t what they want to hear? In a shop or restaurant you’ll pick up cues, questions, or consumers’ bemused looks. These can’t cross the screen. But online you can go one better. You can find out exactly what people are asking. You can even find out what they don’t realise they want to know. Here are three tools you can use today. They will transform the way you build relationships with online shoppers.
First, have a play with answerthepublic.com who point out, “there are 3 billion Google searches every day, and 20% of those have never been seen before. They’re like a direct line to your customers’ thoughts”.
Type in “Pinot Noir” and you’ll find that people are more likely to ask if it’s white than if it can be aged. They want to know if it’s sweet more than if it’s related to Pinot Grigio. They want to know which Pinot Noir is “best” more than if it’s recommended. It gives you a direct insight into the questions shoppers want you to answer. So you don’t fill your website telling them each wine’s Papal suit size.
Second, start doing some comparisons on Google Trends. This gives a deeper, more subconscious insight into the mind of your shoppers. Google do this themselves. They recently captured many of their insights in the (free) report “Decoding Decisions: Making sense of the messy middle”. Online shopping is not linear with shoppers moving through research, assessment, and onto purchase decision. It has a “messy middle”. Shoppers switch from “exploration” to “assessment”. And back again.
They go back and forth from discovery mode to will-this-do-what-I-need? mode. The Google team also highlight how shoppers’ habits change over time. One of the biggest – and most relevant for wine – is the move from searches for “recommended” to “best”. Like with Pinot Noir. Representing a shift from “trusted authorities” to “crowd-sourced reassurance”.
Third, you can create your own insights using Google Ads. We did this at Pix. We wanted to see what classes of words were most likely to make people click on a wine link. For just tens of dollars we “advertised” links to articles in our sister publication, The Drop. Some we advertised with flavour or aroma words. “Blackcurrant scented”. Some with texture words. “Rich and velvety”. And some with context words like “vegan”, “ideal for a barbecue”, or “female winemaker”.
Using Google’s own insights the results were clear. The highest rate of click through was for texture words. Why? We don’t know. And we suspect those who clicked don’t either. But it underlined the importance of bringing texture descriptors to the front of tasting notes. And of testing our preconceptions.
Online shopping has its acronyms, technologies, and innovation. But at its heart it digitises the human experience of walking into a wine shop. In a shop or restaurant you’d listen. Online you just have to use different sorts of ears.
- This is the first in a series of insights articles from the team at Pix, the new wine search platform for wine.