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When Selling Virtual Inventory Online Makes Sense

by Howard Morrison Nov 14, 2018

Managed correctly, online retailers can take advantage of a unique opportunity to increase sales, avoid upfront cash outlays, and build customer loyalty. They can sell products and quantities of products that are not physically on hand in their brick & mortar store. A common term for this is selling virtual inventory. Today, we present when it Does and Does Not make sense to sell virtually online.

When It Makes Sense To Sell Virtually:  Many online retailers offer products or quantities of product…

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David vs Goliath: Get Your Competitive 'Hat' on, David

by Howard Morrison Nov 07, 2018

Every Wine & Spirits small business store needs to identify what competing Goliaths do well, what you can do to mimic them, and how you can expose their weaknesses.

The internet has proven to be the great equalizer in the battles between Davids vs Goliaths. Even the smallest retailers, using a strategic, well executed eCommerce plan, can earn the marketshare they need to feel successful in their marketplace. The best of today's eCommerce platforms are made up of features that combine the hard ear…

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Local Delivery and In Store Pickup - Keys to Holiday Success

by Larry Kilroy Oct 29, 2018

Industry sales data suggests wine and spirit shops should have an eCommerce presence even if they do not ship. This is especially true during the holidays. Parties and social gatherings are at their peak. Shoppers are pressured for last minute gifts. Having an online store plan to accommodate Pickup at Store and Local Delivery orders should be part of your holiday preparation. Today we will look at some best practices to follow in order to make your online Pickup at Store and Local Delivery sale…

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Best Practices For Running Holiday Promotions

by Larry Kilroy Oct 22, 2018

During the busy giving season, not unlike the rest of the year, price will always be a huge factor when shopping online. Offering well timed and meaningful promotions that give shoppers a break on price is a good way to build loyalty with current customers and attract new ones. Not all promotion strategies fit all stores, factors like profit margin and ability to ship can make a store's circumstances unique. Having a plan for promotions before the holidays can greatly increase your profits headi…

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Tips For Email Marketing During The Holidays

by Larry Kilroy Oct 15, 2018

For many businesses, the holiday season (November to January) is one of the most profitable times of the year. It can be especially important for eCommerce sites to have their marketing right for the holidays for just this reason. Poor planning or execution of holiday marketing can result in lost sales income. October is the time to get your holiday marketing planned and organized. Today, we will focus on one of the most important tools any eCommerce retailer needs in their toolbox, email market…

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The Holiday Shopper Mindset - Give Me Convenience & Speed, I'm In a Hurry

by Larry Kilroy Oct 10, 2018

A successful holiday sales season begins with getting your eCommerce pieces in place in October. This month, our blog series will focus on the tactics, tools, and tips you need to start planning and executing an eCommerce strategy that will yield positive results when the holiday season is in full swing.

First, it is important to recognize that during the holidays your customers are likely to put speed and convenience at the top of their list of priorities when choosing how and where to shop. Hec…

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Mobile Optimization Methods and SEO - What are Best Practices?

by Larry Kilroy Oct 01, 2018

Recent studies show that nearly 50% of visits to eCommerce websites are from mobile devices such as phones and tablets. These visits account for just over 25% of all eCommerce sales.

Building an eCommerce site that contemplates how you will host mobile users is the key to making sure you do not miss out on this growing segment of sales. In addition to putting yourself in the best position to sell your products to customers on the go, optimizing your website for mobile users has an important secon…

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SEO: Best Practices For Getting Your Products And Store Found

by Larry Kilroy Sep 25, 2018

For online retail, success often depends on new customers finding your store and your products. How a merchant and their products perform in search engines will dictate how many new customers will find their way to that merchant's shopping cart. A store or its products landing on "Page 1" of search results can make a large contribution to that store's bottom line. But how can a merchant make sure their store and products are positioned to succeed in Google, Bing, or other searches? Tod…

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Budgeting for Website Product Management

by Howard Morrison Sep 17, 2018

In our last blog, we explored the importance of robust Website Product Management for successful wine and spirit eCommerce sites. When budgeting for Website Product Management, there are several components for a merchant to consider. In most cases, merchants must choose how and where to invest in product management. A good understanding of the basic information gathering processes and their cost structures can be the difference between a profitable eCommerce site and one that fails to live up to…

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Website Product Management - What is it, Why Important, and Best Practices

by Howard Morrison Sep 11, 2018

Research has found that wine labels, descriptions, images, and reviews can actually alter people’s emotions, even encouraging them to pay more for a bottle. Your online customers can't hold the bottle in their hand, so if your website doesn't provide complete, precise details about the products you sell, you're missing sales. The name of the wine and price is just not enough, people want to know more. And lack of product information is where a lot of online wine and spirit shops fail.

We get a lo…

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What's New In Bottlenose 2.8

by Larry Kilroy May 09, 2018

Sales On The Go

First, a note from the Bottlenose team:

At Bottlenose our top priority is to be your partner in building a successful online presence that compliments and expands your brick and mortar operation. We believe that in order to do this, transparency is the primary building block for that relationship. With that in mind, we wanted to address the bumpy roll out of our 2.8 feature release these last couple of weeks. In hindsight, we could have done a better job making feature decisions th…

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Yes... Include Vintages and Everyday Products

by Howard Morrison Feb 16, 2018

It is in your best interest to list vintages on most of your wine products. Notable exceptions would be non-vintage wines such as champagnes and lower budget bargain wines. Examples are Barefoot wines and other Gallo products which do not provide a vintage. All other wines, which annually harvest grapes for a production from that year, should be listed with their vintage. Wines with vintages provide shoppers with specificity and confidence to purchase since critic reviews and scores, as well as…

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How To Use Your Website

by Howard Morrison Jan 03, 2018

Who is your most valuable Assistant?  Your website is, bar none.  It is capable of answering multiple questions from thousands of customers in less than a minute.    It can complete an order - shop, find, place in cart, checkout, in a fraction of the time it takes in-store.  It is your hub for in-store information and social media communication.  Your website works tirelessly 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  It can build your brand, give customers confidence, and lead you to long term growth.

How to Us…

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How To Use Your Website

by Howard Morrison Jan 02, 2018

Who is your most valuable Assistant?  Your website is, bar none.  It is capable of answering multiple questions from thousands of customers in less than a minute.    It can complete an order - shop, find, place in cart, checkout, in a fraction of the time it takes in-store.  It is your hub for in-store information and social media communication.  Your website works tirelessly 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  It can build your brand, give customers confidence, and lead you to long term growth.

How to Us…

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Product Details Increase Sales, Transactions and Page Views

by Evan Brown Nov 02, 2017

Wine merchants face a unique set of challenges due to the ever changing inventory they present online. Faced with many options such as number of products to list and how much info to add per product, they, understandably become perplexed, seeking advice, answers, and solutions. QUESTIONS: Is it worth the time it takes to provide completed info on products? Can't I pick and choose which products get complete and which get minimal information? ANSWER: You are better off not listing products with m…

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What's New In Bottlenose 2.7

by Evan Brown Oct 12, 2017

Bottlenose 2.7 is live and includes many new features and improvements.

Consumer Website

Slideshow Improvements

  • Homepage slideshows now expand to the full width of the device and are smart-cropped to fit the ideal aspect ratio. 
  • Slideshows can now be navigated by swipe on touch-enabled displays.

Calendar Improvements

  • The layout of Events in the Calendar have been adjusted to be more readable and provide navigation to view other events.
  • If no upcoming events are available, the Calendar will display recen…
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What's New in Bottlenose 2.6

by Evan Brown Jul 24, 2017

Bottlenose 2.6 has been released and comes with a host of new features and improvements.

Email Marketing

Platform Overhaul

Bottlenose has completely replaced the underlying system driving our Email Marketing platform, which results in a faster, more responsive experience. All screens related to Email Campaign management load significantly more quickly, without the loss of any functionality. This change was made to improve performance and lay the groundwork for more features in the future.

Choose Cam…

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Email Marketing Campaigns - 3 Must Haves

by Evan Brown Jul 05, 2017

If you are a retailer who is about to create an Email Marketing campaign, you should review our three "must haves" before sending to your subscribers.

1. Make sure your website and email campaigns are mobile optimized

As an average, Bottlenose reports that 29.6% of all online sessions and 18% of all online sales for wine & spirits retailers come from customers using a mobile device. The Apple iPhone represents 47.28% of the total mobile sales. These numbers signify the importance of mobile. It con…

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Best Practices: Guest Checkout

by Evan Brown May 26, 2017

Why do I want Guest Checkout?

Some retailers may question why their website should offer a Guest Checkout feature in addition to the traditional Account creation. Simply stated, you will have a higher conversion rate and make more sales with your website by offering Guest Checkout.

Research studies show...

Research studies reveal that over 20% of the time cart abandonment is due to lack of a Guest Checkout option being offered. Formisimo quotes 23% and B1 Intelligence quotes 28%. This group of pote…

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What's New In Bottlenose 2.5

by Evan Brown May 19, 2017

What's New

Merchant Admin Portal

Bottle Count Promotion Trigger

You can now craft Promotions using a Bottle Count trigger, which will trigger the Promotion only when consumers have a certain quantity of Products in their cart.

Deposits

You can now include deposit amounts on your Products, which will shown separately from the price, but will be included in the order total as a separate line item.

Shelf Talkers

You can now create Shelf Talkers for any Product on your website. You can choose to include th…

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What's New in Bottlenose 2.4

by William Carr Mar 08, 2017

Merchant Admin Portal

Color-Coded Order Statuses

In addition to Pending orders being colored yellow, Cancelled orders now show in red and Ready orders show in blue.

Ready for Delivery status

Orders can now be set to "Ready for Delivery". This status sends an email to your customer asking them to schedule delivery.

Subscription Pop-Up

You can now enable a pop-up window to new visitors to your site, prompting them to sign up for your Email Marketing campaigns. You can also attach a key-based promotion t…

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Best Practices: Promo Code

by Evan Brown Feb 16, 2017

Promo Codes Grow Your Business

Offering your customers discounts using Promo Codes is a powerful way to induce customers to Buy Now! Customers like Promo Codes because they get a discount, such as Free Shipping or savings on their products or subtotal.  Retailers like Promo Codes because they're an easy way to target and track their promotions and learn about what their customers want. However, many retailers might not realize that they're doing Promo Codes the wrong way.

The Wrong Way: An Input Bo…

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What's New in Bottlenose 2.3

by Evan Brown Feb 01, 2017

Bottlenose has just released version 2.3 of our platform, which brings new features, improvements and fixes.

For Customers

Improved Visibility of Promotions

Customers who trigger a Promotion will now see the Promotion name listed with the order total in their cart, during checkout, and on their receipt. Also, if a Promotion has discounted a Product, the customer will see the original price of the Product and their savings in their cart.

Pre-Arrivals & Futures

Products with these attributes now offer…

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Bottlenose 2.2 Released

by William Carr Dec 22, 2016

What's New

  • Products may be designated as future/pre-arrival
  • Google Tag Manager Support
  • Delete and edit critic reviews
  • USPS Shipping service for paper goods
  • Buy a case button
  • Move buy button above fold for mobile devices
  • Prompt consumers to subscribe to email list on receipt screen
  • Promotion Engine administration enhancements
    • Drag to change sort order
    • Inactive/active toggle
    • Create key triggered promotions (https://www.mywinestore.com/save10)
    • Attach promotion to E-mail subscribe
    • Record promotion_id with order
    • D…
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New Features in Bottlenose 2.1

by Evan Brown Dec 08, 2016

Bottlenose has just released version 2.1 of our platform, bringing with it a host of improvements.

Promotion Engine Expanded

This release saw changes and improvements to our Promotion Engine:

Product Group Trigger

Promotions can now be triggered on Products based on their Product Group. Now you can offer discounts or free shipping for a select Group of Products.

Case Discounts

Case Discounts have been folded into the Promotion Engine. You can assign a discount percentage to Wine, Sparkling Wine and/or…

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Pick-up at Store: just makes "cents"

by Howard Morrison Jan 04, 2017

Shopping online, with a "Pick up at Store" option is a growing trend, gaining momentum steadily as consumers search for quickness and efficiency.  In their lives, use of smart phones has produced an explosion of online activity while, ironically, it has dampened enthusiasm for actual telephone calls which are less time efficient.

If you have been holding back on adding a "Pick up at Store" ordering option, now is a great time to reconsider. While consumers love the ease of online shoppin…

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Dealing with fraudulent online orders

by Howard Morrison Nov 21, 2016

It is possible to receive a fraudulent online order even when preventative measures are taken, such as using a PCI Compliant Payment Gateway. Every merchant should examine orders from unknown purchasers carefully. Check for inconsistencies. If the phone number, bill to, ship to, and email address do not seem to match, get the order verified. If the product ordered seems suspicious, such as for Christal Champagne, and/or the requested delivery is Overnight or 2nd Day, it's best to verify. Typical…

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