Case #1: French wine producer

The client is a medium sized wine producer based in the South of France. Their yearly production is currently 300,000 bottles which can be pushed to 600,000. They have an e-commerce website where people can order their wines (great variety, red, rosé, white, sparkling white). Below is a proposal on how to increase sales and web visits. Since the case study contains some sensitive figures the name of the business has been hidden.


To increase the number of active users on the website and the number of online sales.

Specific achievements required

  • A better online presence
  • An increase of the website visits
  • A better long-term interaction with existing and future clients
  • A better connection between promotions and sales
  • An increase in sales

Target audience

  • Wine consumers (B2C)
  • SME’s and restaurants (B2B)
  • Wholesalers (B2B)

Targeted countries & region

  • 1 to 3 months: Gaillac region
  • 3 to 6 months: South of France
  • 6 months to 1 year: France
  • 1 year +: United Kingdom, Germany


Obstacle #1

Very few people will be ready to buy a wine they’ve never tried before. We need to focus all our marketing on the prizes the wine won and all the good reviews to reassure the potential buyers. We should also plan a long-term series of actions that would lead to sales.

It is therefore important to have an email collection system in place on the website. We need to discuss potential special offers with the client to trigger it. Actions following registration could be email marketing, direct marketing or even telemarketing.

The special offer could be to receive free wine samples through the post so the users can try before they buy. Let’s test this over a small quantity to check how it translates in terms of sales and ROI. (approximately 50p per tubed sample)

Obstacle #2

The postage costs for a bottle of wine as advertised on the website are currently exorbitant.
Options :

  • Find a cheaper shipping carrier.
  • Increase the cost of wine on the website to decrease shipping costs.
  • Sliding scale of prices according to the number of bottles purchased.
  • Reduce shipping costs to a break even point to increase the number of sales to its maximum potential.

Performance analysis of the current website

There’s been an average of 150 visits per month between January and August 2012.

Breakdown of visits per country

5United Kingdom13
8United States8
9New Zealand7
10Switzerland 6


Breakdown per city in France



Traffic source

RankTraffic sourceVisits
1google / organic 746
2(direct) / (none) 145 / referral 30 / referral 29 / referral 21 / referral 20
7yahoo / organic 17 / referral 14
9bing / organic13 / referral 13



1Branded keyword171
2(not provided)113
3Branded keyword28
4Branded keyword + gaillac 26
5vins de gaillac23
6gaillac blanc perlé 22
7Branded keyword11
8gaillac + Branded keyword 9
9Branded keyword 9
10Branded keyword + gaillac 8

The analysis shows us that the bulk of the traffic comes from branded keywords (mainly the business name). There is no information available about conversions.

Type of website required for a digital marketing approach

  • We need to be able to create alternative landing pages easily to do some A/B testing and determine which ones convert best.
  • A tracking system needs to be implemented to be able to analyse where visits and conversions come from easily and optimise these.
  • We need the possibility to create forms easily.
  • Record users’ details in a database or possibility to export them to Excel easily.
  • Automated transactional email system and confirmation of registration emails.
  • Email collection system on all pages

Marketing methods


1. SEO (search engine optimisation)

Optimise the website with important keywords such as ‘vin gaillac’ for example to have the website listed on the first page of Google. (approximately 500,000 search results for this keyword which means competition is moderate. Searches per month for ‘vin gaillac’ and ‘vins gaillac’: 6,500). The website is currently on the third page of Google results for ‘vin de gaillac’.

Impact of a first page listing in Google in organic results on the number of visitors: it will depend on the position we achieve but as an example:

August 2012 :

  • Number of searches for the keyword ‘Gaillac blanc perlé’ : 36
  • Number of visits to the website (#1 in Google for this keyword) : 5
  • Conversion rate search/visit: 14%

Based on these figures, let’s take a keyword with a higher volume of searches like ‘vin gaillac’ (3,600) and let’s assume we manage to position the website at the top of Google.
Potential of extra visits per month: 500 (300%+ increase)

Content can also be optimised for the following keywords:

KeywordLocal Monthly Searches (France)
vin de france49,500
vins de france49,500
achat vin33,100
vin bio14,800
vin pas cher14,800
vins pas chers12,100
vins pas cher12,100
meilleurs vins12,100
vins blancs9,900
vins rosés9,900
vin français8,100
vin mariage8,100
vins rouges5,400
site vin5,400
vin blanc sec4,400
vin internet4,400
vin gaillac3,600
gaillac vin3,600
vins discount3,600
vins gaillac2,900
gaillac vins2,900
vin blanc moelleux2,900

Identify keywords best adapted to the wines they’re producing then optimise according to those. Start with less competitive and generic keywords such as gaillac vin, vin blanc moelleux and vin blanc sec.

Several possible methods of optimisation

  • Method #1 : create specific pages on the existing website for each keyword. For example create a page named ‘vin blanc moelleux’. Also create a blog with regular news about those specific wines.
  • Method #2 : create a new website with a domain name that includes the main keyword we want to be positionned on.
  • Method #3: get some PR activity going to push those particular keywords. This will also help with link building and the reputation of the website.

All these methods can be implemented at the same time for optimal results.

Recommendation: to minimise the costs we’ll work on the existing website and optimise its content.

Necessary resources : copywriters (low cost). The important content should be written by a specialist of this particular wine.

Engagement of users : all users won’t be ready to buy from their first visit. Find a way to still collect their email address (competition, free wine samples, newsletter registration, free wine tasting, etc…)

Creation of an email newsletter with special offers to push the users to place their first order.

2. Google Adwords










Quick action

Get the business and website listed in Google Places

3. Email marketing

  • Buy a banner on a B2C wine newsletter.
  • Rent or build a database of restaurants’ emails. Send newsletter. Telemarketing on clickers.
  • Email marketing to wholesalers. Telemarketing on clickers.
  • Collect email addresses at all times (onsite visits, exhibitions, etc)
  • Find local email lists of consumers interested in wine when an exhibition is organised.
  • Promote the numerous prizes the wines received.
  • Try to collect as many emails addresses as possible from web visits.
  • Creation of regular newsletters.

Cost: pretty low in general when it comes to sending emails, tbc when it comes to renting or buying a database.

4. Get listed on online directories

Getting listed on wine producer directories will have a double effect: from an SEO perspective you will get more quality inbound links to your website. You will also be able to increase your sales directly.

Examples :, , ,

Possibility to buy banners on these websites too.

5. Social Media


Creation of a Facebook page

Create a business page on Facebook and make sure you engage your users regularly with news, special offers, polls, etc. Start building your list of followers through friends and acquaintances. Advertise your Facebook page at exhibitions, have it on your business cards, offer a special discount for every ‘like’.

Creation of Facebook ads

Target a specific audience (to start with, users in the Gaillac region with an interest in wine – audience of approximately 12,000 – then spread it to the rest of France – audience of approximately 26,000 users). Don’t try to sell directly through ads, just collect more followers that will get converted to customers in the long run. Plan to develop an app to collect email addresses.

6. Banner advertising & Affiliate marketing

  • Use Google display network to advertise special discounts on specific websites (target could be lifestyle websites and any pages containing the keyword ‘wine’. Audiences should be 18+ and in France).
  • Use the Tradedoubler network for affiliate marketing.
  • Target websites : wine, recipes, etc


To be competitive in the internet era wine producers need to adapt their offering and one of the ways to do so is to be able to offer their potential customers samples of their wines before they buy. Once this process has been put in place the database and sales will grow through less expensive channels like social media, SEO and email marketing.

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