An update on some marketing options
There have been a few changes since we last presented some options for marketing your websites. Vinquire, the wine directory website has begun offering a Sponsored Results service similar to WineZap's Featured Merchant program. In the past 6 months we have noticed that referral traffic from Vinquire has grown to the point that it is usually greater than Snooth. We have negotiated a trial period rate for our stores of 15 cents/click for the first 3 months. After this the rate increases to 25 cents; they are also waiving a setup fee of $200. Even if you choose not to list Sponsored Results, your items will continue to be listed on Vinquire without the annual $200 fee. However, the introductory rate should get your attention as a good deal to try their new service level. Speaking of Snooth, this website was reviewed in the Vintank social media report which raised concern about the legality of their revenue model. As a result the California ABC has issued a warning about Third Party Web Sales that states "revenue sharing is not permitted and is considered by regulators to be the act of the marketing agent 'availing' itself of the privilege of the license of the seller." It is the licensee that is held accountable for any violations of this rule, not the marketing agent. Hopefully Snooth will change their revenue model in light of this warning. Finally, Wine Searcher has responded to complaints from a NY retailer about virtual inventory listings by adding an icon on their search results page. The icon shows a bottle with a question mark next to it and has been applied to all items from stores that list virtual inventory, instead of just the virtual items. We are lobbying Wine-Searcher to have this icon be representative of only virtual items and would be interested in any feedback on whether you have seen an impact from this new icon. It is pretty small and could easily be overlooked by consumers. Let us know if you have any questions.