Advice for Merchants

The following advice can help you return the best sales results from a listing with Wine-Searcher.

What do your listings look like on Wine-Searcher?

To help consumers make easy buying decisions we focus on the product name, the price and the store. Alongside price we show bottle size and tax information, product name and vintage. Merchant name, location and star rating are together.

result list
This is how individual offers are displayed in search results.

The more information we are able to collect from your business, the more helpful Wine-Searcher can be for customers and the easier it is to distinguish your offers from other stores.

How are price lists collected?

We collect automatically from your website. We tailor-make the collection software to your website so it recognizes products and collects essential information, such as wine or spirit name, producer, region, vintage, bottle size, and of course price.

Each vintage and the size of a product eg. bottle or case, is listed as an individual offer. If you only have one product, but are selling it in bottle, magnum, half bottle, and cases; Wine-Searcher will collect and display each of these as separate offers. Please note: Wine-Searcher results always show lowest prices first.

Different types of collection methods are available.

Please ensure that your listing is accurate, up to date, and all products in your list are in stock and on premises.

  • Update your price lists regularly to avoid receiving orders for items that you do not hold or cannot ship. Any subsequent complaint will decrease the merchant star rating.
  • List collection methods:
    1. Wine-Searcher software will, at no cost to you, pick up prices directly from your website.
    2. You can email your price list in a spreadsheet using this format.
    3. You can send your price list directly via a data feed or Google doc.

    The fastest way to update your price list is using a datafeed or Google doc.

Not always seeing your products?

If you are a free-listing merchant on Wine-Searcher you may notice that your products won't always appear in broad search results. Whereas, if you use more specific search criteria, such as a location, or a vintage, then it will show results. This is because a Wine-Searcher Sponsor will also be offering that exact same product and will have bumped all free-listing offers from the search results.

Note. If you have a PRO account you can see all products listed, whether from a sponsor or a free-listing merchant.

Price lists collected daily, or every 3 or 6 days.

Wine-Searcher updates price lists everyday for Sponsors and for merchants that provide their price list using a data feed. If using a spreadsheet, Google Doc or if Wine-Searcher is writing software to crawl your website, then collection is once every three days, or every six days, depending upon the size of your list and how often it changes. So if you just updated your inventory, it may take a few days before it is refreshed on Wine-Searcher. Please consider upgrading to sponsor status if daily updates are an important past of your business.

Matching wine names.

We categorize all products we pick up in a price list and match the descriptions to that of the producer to make detailed comparisons of the same product.

New wines and spirits are constantly being launched so there is a chance new products, or hard to find products, may not have an entry in our database yet.

Can't find your product on Wine-Searcher? There's a chance we couldn't match its description to one that we recognize. This means the information picked up from your website may not have been detailed enough for us to be able to identify the exact product.

Product descriptions.

Products priced by the bottle show before those priced by the case and are noticed more.

  • Fully described offers receive more sales leads, as they are easier for customers to.
  • Wines, beers, ciders and spirits follow the same rule.
  • For each offer in your list, all following details are required:
    • Product name: max. 160 characters, e.g. wine name, color, grape variety
    • Description: e.g. appellation, country
    • Vintage: if required, 4-character format, e.g. 2005 instead of 05
    • Bottle/unit size: max. 20 characters, consistent throughout your list, e.g. 75cl, 150cl, 6x75cl
    • Price: use dot as decimal mark, no currency symbol, e.g. 12.34 instead of $12,34
    • Deep link url: max. 255 chars, pointing directly to a product's selling page on your website. Deep links must be written in full, and begin https://.
  • Use [square brackets] to describe anything that isn't about the product directly e.g. [damaged label] or [mixed case]. We do not list the same product twice, even if the price is different, if this product does not have additional information written in the square bracket to differentiate the two products.

We recommend providing accurate product descriptions. It is important that customers receive your product exactly as it was described. All information written on the label should be in your product description.

All listings must match your product detail page exactly and be available for sale at the price you state on your list.

example of effectual listing
Example descriptions. Click to enlarge.

SEO and Nofollow tag on links

A listing on Wine-Searcher generates sales leads to a merchant’s website. It does not pass PageRank to that website. A Nofollow Tag is added to deeplinks to instruct search engines, such as Google, that the links are trusted content.

What is a profile page?

All businesses on Wine-Searcher have their own profile page.

When a product of yours is shown in search results consumers see your price on the right and your store name on the left.

  • Clicking on your price will take the consumer to the product page on your website.
  • Clicking on your store name will take the consumer to your profile page on Wine-Searcher, where they can see additional information and still click-through to your product page at any time.

On the profile page, consumers can find essential information such as: shipping rates, delivery times, whether the store has secure online ordering, the store's star rating, store location, phone number, and opening hours. On this page consumers can also email a store about the specific product that they searched for. The email is pre-populated with the full product name to help the consumer and all emails are filtered by Wine-Searcher to remove spam.

Where to find your business' profile page.

You can quickly find your profile page on Wine-Searcher by searching for your business in the Stores & Producers page.

How to let us know your information has changed.

To provide minor updates, please contact us. For more comprehensive changes please update the Listing Your Wines form.

example of business profile
Example of business' profile page

Merchant Star Rating

Online stores and merchants are rated by Wine-Searcher on a scale of 1 to 5 stars; five stars being the most trusted merchants. Poorly performing merchants lose stars until they reach the lower limit of a single star, at which point the listing is removed from Wine-Searcher.

Merchant star ratings are shown by green stars , whereas wine tasting note reviews are shown by yellow stars .

Ratings are a data-driven measure of the customer experience a merchant provides, with a mix of factors counting towards an overall star rating. All merchants start with 'Not yet rated' for 3 months. Every day, Wine-Searcher runs automatic software checks that can add or subtract stars to a merchant's score depending upon the response. A mystery shopping program also monitors how swiftly merchants respond to orders and ensures that merchants are able to supply the wines and spirits that they are listing.

Any negative feedback is progressively discounted over 6 months. This means that your most recent feedback is more important than past performance.

How to improve your star rating.

The most common reasons for negative feedback are issues with keeping prices current and delays in the fulfilment or delivery process.

  • Keep your pricing current: you must keep your price list up to date. Make sure that your website, datafeed, or Google doc is kept up to date at all times and we will collect your offers accordingly. Remove out-of-stock products to avoid complaints from your customers.
  • If you are using a third party to manage your website price list updates, let us know so that we can send emails to the correct person, and advise the website manager of any problems we find in the product feed or on your site.
  • Check your contact information: on your merchant profile page, you can see the information we display regarding your business: store address, store phone number, opening hours, price list, shipping, services, business description, etc. Make sure that this information is correct.
  • Make sure that you respond to any Wine-Searcher emails asking to reconfirm your store's details, asking about a price or other information. If you fail to respond, it will affect your star rating.
  • Answer emails from customers within 24 hours. Make sure that customers' emails are not being blocked by your spam filter or by a full inbox. Consistently great service, as reported by customers, will add to your star rating.
  • Resolve complaints promptly.

What will affect your star rating.

  • Unconfirmed details.
  • Price list not updated regularly.
  • Out of stock product listed.
  • Wrong prices listed.
  • Not responding to emails for more than a week.
  • Shipping time takes more than 3 days.
  • Email address bounces.
  • 1 or more unresolved complaints.
  • Negative feedback from our users.

Where does the merchant star rating appear?

  • Profile page, under the business name.
  • Search results page, your star rating is visible on our search result pages, under the business name.

Retailer Awards

This is Wine-Searcher's way of recognizing wine stores whose price lists contain a range of high-quality, diverse products.

The awards recognize both the merchant location and the wine region best represented e.g. Gold awarded Bordeaux Price List in San Francisco. Each award has a Gold, Silver and Bronze category. Merchants are awarded using a carefully calculated algorithm which takes into account various factors including location, critic scores, user ratings and wine regions best represented.

The awards are designed to recognize and elevate those price lists that Wine-Searcher feels show good breadth, vintage variety and represent wine regions well – but they are by no means a reflection on customer service or general business practice.

award medal

Availability, tax and price

Products in your price list should be in stock and be available for sale to the public at the price advertised. The price should represent the amount a retail consumer will pay.

Prices on Wine-Searcher should follow your country or region’s rules regarding the requirement to display sales tax, whether or not your shop has international sales e.g. in UK and Europe, prices are inclusive of duty and local sales tax. In the US, prices are exclusive of local sales tax. Where markets use bonded warehouses, in-bond prices exclusive of duty and sales tax may be displayed.

Out-of-stocks

Merchants are asked to keep their listings updated to reflect stock availability in their inventory. We realize that availability of items may change between the time an order is placed and the time a wine is dispatched, however, merchants must do whatever they can to maximise certain fulfilment. Out-of-stocks may result in the suspension or removal of your merchant listing.

Remote stock

Wine-Searcher recognizes the listing of remote stock is an important way of bringing diversity to the wine market. Merchants may list remote stock, where products can be obtained from a trusted distributor or source, and where the merchant has on-going systems to check condition, price and availability from the distributor. Wine-Searcher does not allow sourcing of products from an uncertain supply chain, where the starting point is an out-of-stock listing.

Drop shipping

Merchants may list stock where fulfilment uses drop shipping, where a merchant allows a third party to fulfil customer orders on its behalf. Merchants must always be the seller of record and be responsible for accepting and processing customer returns. Wine-Searcher does not allow shipping of orders with packing slips or invoices indicating a seller name and contact information other than yours.

Shipping and delivery.

  • Communicate a shipping time frame: e.g. usually within 1-3 days, within 4-7 days, 7+ days.
  • Be clear about your shipping policy, whether national/within-state/out-of-state/international.
  • Use precise wording: e.g. Free shipping within-state instead of Free local shipping.
  • Where possible, provide a link to your shipping policy on your website.
  • Notify buyers immediately of any delay. Manage the buyer's expectation by providing the date they can expect delivery.
  • If you receive an order from a place you cannot ship to, cancel the order immediately.

Discounts.

  • Please let Wine-Searcher know of your non-seasonal discount policy if it applies to the entire wine list.
  • Use specific wording: e.g. 15% discount on orders of 6 bottles or more.

Minimum order.

Mention it if it applies to your entire wine list.

  • Avoid vague terms: e.g. Minimum order may apply.
  • Use specific wording: e.g. Minimum order of 3 bottles/$150
  • Do not hesitate to mention if required: e.g. No minimum order.

Type of complaints received.

Consumers generally complain about:

  • Bait-and-switch tactics.
  • Out of stock products.
  • Different price on a merchant's website than the price shown Wine-Searcher.
  • Order and purchase with no follow up communication or delivery.

Complaint process.

When Wine-Searcher receives a complaint, the customer is asked to forward all relevant documentation and correspondence. If the information received supports the complaint, Wine-Searcher will email the merchant asking to resolve the issue. Complaints that are not resolved will lower merchant's star rating. Complaint records expire automatically after six months.

Managing customer complaints.

  • If a business receives three or more customer complaints and they go unresolved, that business will be removed unless there are mitigating circumstances Wine-Searcher is aware of.
  • If a complaint is lodged, Wine-Searcher will email you the details of the complaint and offer you the chance to respond and resolve it.
  • If a complaint is happily resolved it will be removed from your record and not effect your store's star rating.
  • Complaints may include out of stock listings, poor delivery and customer service, bait and switch tactics and fraudulent listings.

From time to time, Wine-Searcher has to remove a merchant' listing for various reasons. Although Wine-Searcher is very keen to keep merchants on board, sometimes we are left with no choice in order to maintain our database and online community at the highest standard possible. If you find your business is no longer showing on Wine-Searcher and you're not sure why, please contact us and we will try our best to help get you back online. Here are the main reasons why your business may no longer be listed, and tips on how best to avoid them get back to a 4-Star listing.

Keep your price list current.

  • Merchants with price lists more than 3 months old will be removed.
  • Producers with price lists more than 12 months old will be removed.
  • To remain listed, please ensure you keep Wine-Searcher up to date with your latest prices.

Please respond to our emails.

If Wine-Searcher has not heard from a business after three months and that business does not respond to continued communications it will be delisted.

Website with technical problem or under construction.

  • If your website is experiencing technical difficulties or is under construction, please let us know and we can make the appropriate arrangements.
  • If your website is experiencing malware, again please let us know and we can suspend your listing until you get it fixed.

List the inventory you have in stock.

  • We take out of stock products very seriously as they are misleading to users and reflect badly on Wine-Searcher.
  • Please ensure all products in your listing are in stock otherwise your business may be removed from Wine-Searcher.
  • If you do have out of stock products listed on your website and we collect from your website, please ensure they are clearly marked out-of-stock so our software won't pick the items up.

Deliver on time and deliver customer service.

  • Delivery problems make up the majority of complaints Wine-Searcher receives about stores; Wine-Searcher expects merchants to fulfil orders within the dispatch times they stipulate to customers at the time of sale.
  • Wine-Searcher also expects merchants to behave in a respectful and professional manner at all times to both the customer and to Wine-Searcher. Poor customer service will also result in business removal.

Wine-Searcher's policy on fraud

  • If a business is knowingly listing fraudulent products the business will be removed and will not be re-listed. A business is considered fraudulent by Wine-Searcher if it practices bait-and-switch tactics, does not deliver purchased product, or lists artificially low prices to attract customers.

Making wine? Crafting whiskey? Brewing beer?

Share your inspiration on Wine-Searcher, complete a free Wine-Searcher profile to get started.

Keep your brands up to date on the web.

Be sure your products are correctly represented in the largest database of the wine & spirits industry. Wine-Searcher will list your products for free, with or without prices. Even if we're not able to collect a price list from you there are encyclopedia pages about your region, its grapes and styles that add rich information to people looking for wines or spirits likes yours.

Listing not correct on Wine-Searcher?

If you notice that your products are missing from Wine-Searcher or incorrectly listed we'll happily update your information to keep it current. Please contact us.

Upload your bottle labels and wine maker notes

Share you latest labels and bottle photos, wine-making notes, and connect with the trade. If you send us photographs or artwork in high resolution of your labels we will upload them on Wine-Searcher to the web. If you have a new release and we are not displaying, please send it to us and we will update your label and wine name details.

If you have any further questions, contact us.

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