There is a very interesting article in the WSJ titled 'What's wrong With Wine on the Web'. (Found via Tom Merle on OWC). The WSJ article is mainly focused around wine stores and less about wineries.
I agree with most of the suggestions in the article. Over the last few months we have been asked similar questions about what makes a website successful. If you asked for my personal top 5 recommendations for a wine store wanting to do ecommerce on the web...
- The most important factor online is user experience. How your website feels and operates will directly affect how much you sell.
- Provide a true e-commerce experience using a platform dedicated to wine sales (our platform, Inertia Beverage, Beverage Media, etc).
- Have a well defined information architecture, intuitive navigation, and clearly labeled categories and products.
- Focus attention on your products by keeping distractions to a minimum.
- Build trust and credibility. Providing highly visible support options, shipping policies, privacy policies, and phone numbers will also build trust.