Brick-and-mortar stores have been slowly losing out to eCommerce sites for a while, as online stores and jewelry fulfillment services get more sophisticated, fast and accurate.
Sadly, fine jewelers are also feeling the pinch, with over 1,200 stores closing in 2016, a 50 percent increase year over year. There is still plenty of potential for fine jewelry stores, but retailers like yourself have to start thinking about using the web, where fine jewelry sales are growing at a rate of 10 to 15 percent per year, as opposed to 3 to 5 percent for the overall market.
What Does a Digital Fine Jewelry Store Need?
Breaking into eCommerce isn’t as simple as building any old website and waiting for customers to come calling, you have to start with a design that’s appealing, efficient and easy to navigate.
Many eCommerce packages today make it easy for retailers to design their own storefront, or you can hire a professional web designer to provide a one of a kind feel for a site that’s truly yours. Keep in mind, though, the most important parts of your site are those product pages that make it simple for a customer to imagine an item is already their own, as well as the mechanics that are working behind the scenes.
Product pages should have clear descriptions that are easy to read. You can elect to go over the top with descriptions reminiscent of top creative catalogues, or stick with the basics and make sure every detail you publish is correct. After all, your audience is counting on you to give it the information it needs to make the right buying decision. Professional quality photos are invaluable, as well, so make sure there are multiple angles of each piece of jewelry you have available.
With your site built, you’ll need to advertise it. Audience segmentation is a huge helper in this modern age, it helps you cut through the noise that is the Internet and target your marketing to just those people who are likely to be interested in your products. Being newly online, you won’t have the data that some do, but you know what your audience looks like in your shop. That’s a great place to start, your site’s growing collection of analytics will help you further narrow this down over time.
Analytics and Order Fulfillment
You’ll read a lot about online analytics if you’re trying to figure out what you need to start an eCommerce shop and the sheer amount of information can be overwhelming. The truth is that what pieces of data matter most really vary based on what your focus is. For some shops, it’s going to be important to know which items are the most popular, so they can be mass produced and ordered again.
However, fine jewelers don’t always work this way, so you may be more focused on your audience and how well they’re engaging with your site. You can increase engagement by producing quality content about jewelry on your blog, for example, or sharing important information about various gems directly within your sales site. Audience could also be another important set of data points for you to monitor closely so you know who is really doing the buying.
Jewelry Order Fulfillment
You can have the greatest online jewelry site possible, but if you neglect your behind the scenes duties, you’ll be sunk. One of the best ways to create goodwill and foster a healthy online reputation is to give your customers the very best order fulfillment possible.
This means that you quickly and accurately ship orders to anyone, anywhere, and those packages arrive exactly when they were expected. You can certainly do this yourself if your volume is small, but as you increase your sales, it might be a good idea to hire a 3rd party fulfillment company to help keep those orders moving smoothly.
It’s not all that difficult to move your jewelry store online entirely, or even create an omnichannel experience that incorporates your retail location and a well-designed website. Just remember to collect plenty of data so it can tell you a lot about anything you need to know and keep fulfillment a high priority so customers don’t end up frustrated, damaging your reputation.