The web has come a long way in the past decade, but not everyone has kept up. It’s not uncommon to find that some wineries’ websites are still living in the past, losing customers and brand loyalty by making some very avoidable mistakes.

Below are some of the biggest mistakes a winery can make online. Do any of these sound familiar?

1. Unintuitive navigation​ & architecture

This is common advice for websites in general, particularly with regard to their navigation menus. However, there is some specific advice for wineries when it comes to website navigation:

Don’t make your users pass through multiple gateways before they can see a single wine on your site. When they click “Wines” they should immediately see some wines! Don’t make them sift through categories and collections — nobody shops like that in real life, and it’s just annoying to experience on a winery’s website.

2. Outdated website design

The design of a website dramatically impacts how long your visitors will stay on your website and their willingness to return at all. Of course, a poorly designed winery website will drive visitors away.

For wineries, it’s easier to beautify a website design because they are often, by nature, beautiful places. Use stunning photography on your website to show off your stuff, both landscape photos and product shots!

Focus on creating a clean, spacious design with plenty of white-space. A strong focus on photography will also help. Most importantly, make sure your winery’s website looks good on smartphones. If it’s not easy to navigate, you’ll lose a huge percentage of your possible customers, as so many people are using their smartphones to look at websites and make purchases. Many companies have reported that mobile browsing accounts for 50% of their sales.

3. Sending too many emails

While email marketing is an excellent tool to have in your arsenal, it is easily abused if treated carelessly. There’s the obvious issue of making the email look good, but the worst thing you can do is send too many promotional emails and annoy your readers. You don’t want your list to unsubscribe!

Not every email you send out has to be promotional. Sometimes people are just happy to hear from you. Provide value and keep in touch to buffer the promotional emails you might normally send. And if you’re sending a promotional email every day and getting unsubscribes, space them out more.

Ring a bell?

If these hit close to home, don’t worry — there is hope. At Wine Zebra, handling these things is our specialty. Our winery website designs are clean, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly. We also offer a number of digital marketing services for wineries, including email marketing.