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Preview: What to Expect from our New Website

This looks like great news for me when I retire in 15 years’ time, and don’t have to work in the day, and have lots of spare time. I’ll be able to efficiently scan the website daily at 11am and 2.30pm using “new wine” and “low stock” search criteria.

In the meantime, presumably, this ability to search for new and low-stock wines will see the gems cleared out within hours.

This on, balance, is probably good news for forumites, who by definition use websites to find wines. And bad news for people who can’t respond quickly - people with jobs that don’t allow this, from surgeons to lorry drivers.

The important thing to remember will be: don’t get frustrated, fight the FOMO, and also look elsewhere - there’s lots of wine in the world. And be glad of wines you bought in the past.

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The day when I primarily look to my Reserves be they with the Society or at home for wines to drink, is not too far away. I would hope that the changes (whatever they are) with the Reserves function, allow us to manage our stock better.
We have had in Europe since the 2015 vintage, a stream of high quality wines to be able to take advantage of - and with a few cases from each EP offer might have built up a desirable collection. Add to that, what has been released onto the website and we are insulated to an extent, against the vagaries of a climatic effected vintage.
My main point is the member retains control, I do not want an avalanche of buying “suggestions” either from regions of historical interest or from “new” wines. I have no problem with the odd (laser targeted) recommendation, given my buying history - but the day when the Society is suspected of “selling” wine, to keep finances in good order gives me p(c)ause for concern.
So once this new website is up and running, the new warehouse successfully commissioned and the new IT in place, I would call for a “bedding in” period, so that we can see what we have and where we are going.
In other words, let us not get ahead of ourselves. :dragon:

I want to SIMPLIFY functionality. Fewer bells & whistles.

And I know this is impossible but can we get rid of the awful ‘swoosh’ graphics ! its oh so tacky & dated - pure copy’n’paste clipart. Surely somebody has more imagination at whichever company TWS employs for digital / graphics?

I used to lecture in design - that swoosh would have been slated.

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I am sure I recently saw or heard something that suggested the re-brand was a bit of a contentious issue from within TWS but I can’t remember if that was in the AGM or elsewhere. I wonder how spending a load of the surplus with a brand agency would go down with members…

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What bells and whistles do you want to remove? This must be about the least sophisticated website for a business of this size out there!

I spent almost 15 years being a leader on projects like this. The last one I was involved in was for a business with annual revenues exceeding $5bn.

You know how many rebrands I’ve done that were not at least moderately internally contentious?

None.

But the internal team is not the customer.

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That is a very fair question. It’s inevitable that designers always want to make things cleverer / better (I’m a designer, I cant help it) but sometimes, more simple is better.

I feel that the website is currently overwhelmed with ‘information’ click here / there / everywhere. Multiple ways to reach the same destination, a plethora of ‘offers’ (summer savers, discover English wines, Flavours of summer, recommended wines and events, 1874 flavours of summer, the summer edit, Summertime in England: Supporting our UK winemakers) - this is the tail wagging the dog, ever increasing marketing splurge. Which costs money - our money.

Take a step back. Who has the time to be bothered to read all this stuff, let alone respond to it. Does all this pap actually contribute to the members getting better wine ? This is a wine society, not the glossy magazine of a Sunday paper !

I would like to see a MUCH more simple site (I appreciate that ‘simplicity’ is much more sophisticated behind the scenes) - less is more - so to speak.

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The offers aren’t part of the design, that’s the way TWS has always promoted wines throughout the year as they rotate availability and bring in new stock. Maybe it doesn’t work as well for some as a collection of links, but I for one enjoy the offers when there’s added content like info about a region or style, or something unique like aged wines ready to drink. I missed not having a spring fine wine list for instance.

That’s the trouble isn’t it, you’ll never please all the people all the time.

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Which is why you should aim to allow each user the ability to determine what they see.

I’d tend to agree, but I suspect that is harder than it might seem.

This is kind of already the case to be fair.

Collectively the users of this forum (and others) are constantly scanning the website and new wines of interest are pretty much always posted here and elsewhere and sell out shortly. All this does is open that up to people that don’t look at online wine message boards.

At the end of the day you’re right, there’s plenty of wine out there.

I like the idea of being alerted to low stocks of my favourite wines, ideally if I can select which wines to apply this to or failing that, just ones I’ve bought more than once.

I’m fairly new to WS but I find there is always a not insignificant number of wines I like are out of stock and whether because of Covid or Brexit or both, it seems to take an age for them to come back into stock, often a month or more.

It can often be longer than that; it’s not uncommon for a wine to be listed, sell out within a few days, and that’s it until the next vintage. I was watching for ages for the 2016 Ch de Valois to appear and when it did it had gone before I noticed it and that’s probably it until the next vintage ('17 which I’m much less interested in) :frowning: Which is why I really hope we do get this feature but I’m actually not convinced it will be in this iteration. More likely that the reorganisation will allow for something like this to be added in the future.

Sadly it’s just not realistic for everything that everyone wants to get implemented all in one single release.

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Yes , I can be patient but it would be nice to have.

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I would expect that, for a co-op organization like ours, with co-opted committee members brought in with extensive experience in “digital” and “retail”, like @SteveF and De Kanter (who doesn’t seem to be on this, unfortunately), this website project should cover all the items discussed here so far.

Based on the impressive CV of the committee, there should have been opportunities for all of them to provide plenty of guidance and lessons learned from experiences acquired from projects of similar or larger scale.

We are now into August and it all seems to have gone very quiet on the new website that was appearing “next month” a long time ago.

Is it still on its way and if so could it appear this year?

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Soon be Christmas…

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…it was clearly coming in a month of Sundays, so a little way to go yet.

What’s the rush? Get it right and don’t launch before it’s completely ready. It’s not as if the current site has a problem allowing us to buy wine. Appreciate an update is needed but IT projects always take longer, many businesses don’t share when changes are happening and they just appear when ready and tested.

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To be fair I find the current W/S website easy to use in comparison with other places I buy wine (which tend to be small merchants with often very basic and creaky websites)

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