believes not only are producers telling a
story, they’re selling a lifestyle.
“For a lot of people who don’t live in
wine country, their experience is to go sit
in a tasting room or a patio, take in the
view, see the landscape and enjoy the wine
in this magical experience,” said Froese.
“The question is, how do you translate
that experience on a website? You want
really great photography that shows people
the place and gives them a connection to
the land and that will hopefully either
remind them of an experience they had
there or they will go, ‘Wow, these guys
care about their land, they make a quality
product,’ and without really intending to,
it gives people a feeling of trust towards
the product,” she said.
Great photography means saving
those iPhone photos for Instagram and
investing in professional photography. “I
can’t tell you how many times I’ve visited
a website, looked at a photo and seen
the photographer in the reflection of the
product shots,” said Nidle.
It’s fine to showcase team members,
but take photos individually because
“I prefer photos over icons,” she said.
“If a website is really simple, sometimes
icons work really well, but I feel there are
more beautiful, compelling photographs,
especially in this industry, that people will
Plus, just because a brand’s story is
being told doesn’t mean it has to be a long
one. If anything, brevity and minimalism
was a leading trend on websites in 2020.
“From a design perspective, the trends are
toward clean pages with minimal text and
a main image or video,” said Froese.
The ultimate tip for readability that
both Froese and Nidle agree on is creating
a website that looks just as good on a
mobile device as it does on a desktop
computer. After years of humanity being
attached to their phones, one would think
this is a no-brainer, but Nidle says you’d
“You should always check the mobile
menu when testing,” she said. “It shouldn’t
be profound. Everyone has a phone. In
addition, there are a lot of browsers – test
them all. There’s nothing that will lose
your viewers faster than going to a website
on a different browser and suddenly, the
site is all weird.”
Simplicity and readability are
particularly important for alcohol
producers because following too many
trends and adding too many bells and
whistles to their websites can distract
visitors from the true goal: making a sale.
Making the journey
A key component of any website’s design
is UX, a shorthand for “user experience”
or how visitors can navigate through a
website. There are several things alcohol
producers should consider when thinking
about UX for their website.
“You want to make sure that customers
can get to your content, shop with ease and
checkout with no hiccups or frustrations.
It also means accessibility for those who
may be visually impaired, have colour
blindness or otherwise differently-abled,”
said Rebecca Bollwitt, Town Hall Brands’
web guru who also maintains the award-winning
blog Miss 604.
For alcohol producers that means
making the site accessible in plain text
reader view, using colours with high
contrast, buttons with proper spacing and
lots of white space.
As for age-gating to ensure visitors
are of legal age, it’s not a legal requirement
in any province, but producers do have to
ensure they’re not selling to minors. It’s
also important to have an Socket Security
Layer (SSL) certificate to protect data
transmission of financial and contact
information against breaches.
However, the most important part
of UX from a marketing perspective is
ensuring visitors are quickly and easily led
to the goal action, usually buying alcohol
and secondarily, getting them to subscribe
to a newsletter or loyalty program.
“Get in the head of the customer and
understand what they’re looking for when
they’re going to your site and make that
available to them easily. Literally, help them
make the journey through your website:
make it engaging, tell the story of your
brand and lead them to the action you
want them to make and that they want to
make,” said Nidle.
Finally, Nidle recommends using
Google Analytics because a producer’s
relationship with their website doesn’t end
once the site is built.
“It’s part of the journey,” she said. “The
mapping journey doesn’t end once we’ve
developed your site. You should go on
Google Analytics and keep monitoring that
behavioural path users are taking. What
pages are they going to? Where are they
clicking and how long are they staying?
Your website should always be evolving.”
COV E R S TORY
Age-gating is not a legal requirement in any
province, but producers have to ensure they’re
not selling to minors
Photo courtesy of InHouse Media + Marketing
Creative planning at Town Hall Brands
Photo courtesy of Town Hall Brands
18 § POURED CANADA § www.poured.ca