Diamond & Jewelry Ecommerce FAQ

A compendium of frequently asked question on diamond and jewellery e-commerce answered

Question With Answer

General Jewelry E Commerce

Q:I want to start a jewelry e commerce Business where to start?

A:

You may want to check out our post here. However please decide if you really wish to go ahead. It requires investment , hardwork and patience to make online sale.

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Q:Do online jewelry shops sell?

A:

Yes of course they do business. As per our estimate as high as 60% of the sales happen online and rest through brick and mortar shops. Few of our clients do 100% of their business online and they are going strong year after year.

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Q:To establish a diamond a jewelry ecommerce website which is the most difficult part.

A:

1) Compiling Data and product images
2) Selecting the right development agency to develop a top class website
3) Search Engine Optimization and getting traffic
4) Your hardwork and perseverance
5) Order Management and client servicing

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Q:What is your advice for entrepreneurs who wish to go online with Jewelry and diamond business.

A:

Your jewelry ecommerce website should be absolutely top class. Nice design , lots of inventory and secured payment gateways. Be ready with at least $20,000 in funding. Shoestring budgets would not give you a top class website.

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Q:I want a jewelry ecommerce website like bluenile.com /Brilliant Earth how much will it cost?

A:

This is the funniest question we receive almost once a week. Companies like bluenile.com, jamesallan.com are established for years with large funding. Recently bluenile was valued at 500 million. If you wish to develop a good quality ecommerce website first you need to create a detailed requirement document Please check our post here. Once requirement document is complete contact reputed development agencies specialising in jewelry ecommerce website design and development.

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Q:After finalising the contract with TransPacific Software on Diamond and Jewelry website Development what next you require from us?

A:

To start with: first we require design template.We can provide few options or you may get it done locally as per your choice(recommended). You may supply us just the home page design . Rest all pages we will manage.Based on the design we will create theme . simultaneously we require Menu structure. So we understand what all categories and sub-categories are required This will be followed by providing us with product data. Data can be supplied in spreadsheet format along with product images Here is the sample data format

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Q:What are the new features in jewelry eCommerce Websites?

A:

Touch based rotating images
In a Jewellery website, great visuals and media play a major role. Of late, the trend is towards having 180 or 360 degrees interactive spinning images.here is an example

These are not to be confused with videos rather these are the collection of dozens of images of a product in different angles. The images are stitched together with Javascripting.

Within touch devices like ipad interactive images provide users with an intuitive experience of touch-based interaction.

Interactive features like Build a ring

Custom jewellery is in Vogue. A user wants to create her own jewellery by mix matching designs and diamonds.

Interactive Build a ring feature allows a user to create her own bespoke ring by picking up the options.

A post on "Build a ring" is available here

There is an elaborate article on eight top trends in jewellery e-commerce You may like to check it out here

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Q:Using Multiple currencies will help us to grab business?

A:

Having a multi currency feature in your e-commerce website is an add-on feature. How it works is: visitor's IP address is detected by the website and reverse resolved to identify from which country the visitor is. On the country, identification serves the pricing in currency mapped within your website for that country.

For example, if the user is from EU country serve him with Euro and if from North America server with USD. However, if the user is from say China and there is no currency you have mapped than server the visitor with default currency (maybe USD) which is set in your website.

Within touch devices, they provide users with an intuitive experience of touch-based interaction.

Two important things here

1) Currency conversion happens in real time by pulling exchange rates from third party API like Yahoo Finance.
This process has its overheads and your website may get bit slow.

2) You need to subscribe to third party IP to country resolver like Maxmind to detect visitors country.
My advice is: identify your prospective customer. If you will be having orders from multiple countries regularly then you may consider multi-currency. If an international order will be just once in a while then give multicurrency a pass.

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Website UI/UX and Design

Q:Instead of designing a website can we use a ready to use design themes

A:

On theme markets like ThemeForest you will get tantalisingly beautiful themes up for sale at a reasonable price. Theme designers go overboard to make the themes visually appealing with stock image and, effects.

However using a theme is not always a prudent approach.

1) First and the foremost themes come with Numerous effects (Javascript) Jquery gimmicks custom fonts. All of which you may not need. This excess baggage of code makes your website slow to download.

2) Secondly are you willing to stick with theme design in to? You may have customised needs. Maybe you don't require so many banners on the home page. Customising themes is a pain.

We have put up an elaborate blog of Why Not to use ready themes Do check it out.

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Q:What is the current design trend in Jewelry eCommerce industry

A:

In jewellery eCommerce website development the trend is in tandem with overall industry trend.

1) Minimalistic design: Busy design is a pass. Users prefer a clean design with the liberal use of white space and subtle colours. Check out one of our clients Four Mine website created on Magento

2) Jewellery and diamond websites need to have well-defined menu structure and a powerful internal search engine so a user can quickly drill down into product.

3) Responsive design needs to be made considering the ease of use and not just the realignment. Responsive design version of the website should rearrange itself to be touch device-friendly.

For example, check the design of diamond search engine in below image. How the desktop design morphs into a app kind of design in a touch device for single hand operation.

4) Off late Hamburg, menus are in vogue as it frees up more space on Home page for a large high-quality opening image

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Rapnet , IDEX and Diamond data API Integration

Q:Does Rapnet provide image or Video of a diamond through data feed?

A:

Rapnet provides a Media link within data feed. It may contain diamond photographs or a video or a certificate. As of now, Rapnet does not provide an exclusive video feed. Note that Rapnet is a P2P exchange and whatever their subscribers provide the same is distributed.

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Q:I am a member of IDEX Online and I need to integrate diamond data in my Magento based e-commerce shop. How do you do it?

A:

IDEX (International Diamond Exchange) is a prominent Peer to Peer diamond exchange providing Diamond Trading data to its members.

The data dumps provided by IDEX can be integrated into your eCommerce-commerce site in an automated way with regular auto updates.

This is how TransPacific Does it. Data can be integrated on multipe platforms including Woocommerce, Magento, Opencart, Prestashop, Shopify and custom built websites.

Step 1: XML data
IDEX provides the data in raw XML format. This file is pulled on to host server at pre-set time; daily through server cron job.

Step 2: Parsing and XML data insertion
Again; through cron job a script runs on the server to parse the data from XML and push it into shopping cart database . Data insertion has to be customised for host ecommerce platform eg. Magento, open cart, Woocommerce etc.

However if the ecommerce cart is on hosted platforms like Shopify or Bigcommerce the process is completely different. In these cases a separate webs service is created to feed the data.

Step 3: Data cleaning
The pushed diamond data is checked for duplicates and “sold off stones” which are automatically removed from database.

Step 4: Markups
Markup addition as per the requirements on the cost of the IDEX is added here

Step 5 : Diamond search interface
Creation of diamond search grid with basic and advanced filters. A completely customised page is created which has a theme similar to your host website. Filters are: carat weight, price, cut, shape etc,

Step 6: Diamond detail page
Diamond detail page is created to match the host site design. The detail page will have link to the Lab certificate (GIA /EGL) and . a schematic diagram of stones showing dimensions.

Step 7: Purchase | wishlist | compare
The stone will have purchase/wish list and compare functionalities. Wishlist/Compare pages will be made as per web site original theme.Purchase will be through default cart functionality of host ecommerce cart

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Q:Which Diamond feed API is better IDEX Online or Rapnet?

A:

Rapnet and IDEX both are Peer to Peer diamond exchanges. Both offer diamond data API feeds; However, technically the offering have different architecture.

Rapnet API offers two options, one is through web services (instant inventory) the other is DLS where in user can download the data in CSV format. IDEX provides data dump in XML format (updated once in a day)

Technically both offerings are good. TransPacific Software specialises in integrating both within multiple e-commerce platforms including Magento, Prestashop, OpenCart, Shopify and Woocommerce.

We would suggest you to select one depending upon commercial considerations.

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Which Shopping cart to Select?

Q:With my project scope , do you recommend Magento for my type of jewelry website? I have no idea what's the difference between all the shopping carts. I trust your expertise and experience.

A:

Magento is popular for ecommerce. However there any other good alternatives like OpenCart , Prestashop and Woocommerce. In case of Magento We would be bit concerned if you don’t have a dedicated IT guy to manage the admin. Learning curve in Magento backend is steep. You may also check out my post on which cart to select The Post talks about practical approach instead of technical.

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Q:Magento is better or OpenCart is better for Jewelry websites?

A:

when it comes to pushing 100,000 diamonds in the DB it is processor heavy. This is because Magento has EAV based DB. Same for Magento 2.X too. But on other hand Rapnet made a radical change in its offering that is; it is offering now web services instead of DLS (data dump) this eliminates the need to push diamonds in the Magento DB so Magento 2 + Rapnet web services is a good solution. But note that in this case you will not be able to push your custom diamonds or inhouse diamonds through Rapnet web services.

Opencart is also good but if you are planning to scale it up to high levels say Multicurrency, Multi lingual, multiple brand stores with one central admin I would suggest magento 2 CE I believe selecting which ecommerce cart is rather a practicle consideration than technical Check out this post

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Q:I want to create a jewellery retail website should I go for Magento or Shopify

A:

Shopify is a hosted solution whereas Magento 2.x CE is self-hosted and OpenSource.

If you wish to have a plain simple jewellery website Shopify is good. For customised needs like "Build A Ring" feature, I would suggest Magento Community Version
However, Magento management has a steep learning curve and you need to have a dedicated administrator to manage the shop.

Do visit my Blog posts here to pick the right shopping cart framework
https://www.transpacific-software.com/which_shopping_cart_to_select.html .

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Q:Which is the Best shopping cart for SEO in eCommerce?

A:

Let us try to answer the question from Google Point of view. Would the Google algorithms rank you better if you use any particular framework? Absolutely Not.

Any eCommerce framework with which you are comfortable is fine. As far as on-page SEO is concerned all the e-commerce carts have built-in features including friendly URLs, Meta tags, Schema.org rich snippets, sitemap functionality and so on.

E-commerce frameworks also have Content management Systems(CMS) built in to publish educational content. You may even add Blog extensions which will Integrate with the parent site. Use these to create quality text content for your visitors, answer FAQ, have good quality Product descriptions and so on. All this hard work in creating content will help you in SEO.

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About Ring Builder , Pendent Builder and earring Builder

Q:I would like to buy your Woocommerce/Magento/OpenCart plugin for Rapnet Integration How much it will cost?

A:

Rapnet Integration Plugin is not off-the-shelf product. They need to be custom built by us as per your website’s theme design and features. So costing can be provided on case to case bases. Costing may range from $1800 to $3500

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Q:Can I use your plugin on multiple websites

A:

No you cannot. Each plugin is licensed for one domain only

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Q:Do we have full control over what goes into the ring builder?

A:

Yes you have full control. All products (semi mounts) are like additional category which gets inserted from Magento admin backend. However you need to understand basic Magento concepts to do data entry.

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About Products data, Images Media and 360 Product views

Q:Don't have product data but you can finish the development and we will provide data later.

A:

Yes we can create the full website with dummy data but remember product images and data is the heart and soul of a e-commerce website. So sooner you arrange for it better

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Q:We don't have product images, could you help us in getting it.

A:

We would not be able to help. Product images are either CAD renderings or actual product photographs. You may check with your CAD vendor or manufacturer for images.

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Q:What should be the size of Product Images and Videos?

A:

For each jewellery, we suggest at least 4 images i.e front, side, top and a perspective view. Images can be 1000 x1000 pixel in size and within 200KB

Images are recommended to be in square shape and with white background. Note that images should not have too much white space. The object within should occupy almost 80% of the image

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Q:I wish to have 360 spinning videos of my product How can it be achieved?

A:

360 or 180 degree product views are not necessarily videos. They are the collection of images put into one bunch . Check out our detailed post here

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Payment Gateways ,Security and order management

Q:Which is the best Payment Gateway.

A:

Paypal is recommended. It also depends on geographical regions you are operating from. Some of the prominent once are the stripe , WorldPay, authorize.net. Its better to go with established players even with higher charges.

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Q:Could you suggest how to protect our diamond website from fraud transaction.

A:

Jewellery, Diamond, colour stone websites sell high-value merchandise; making them a target for fraudsters.
Fake orders, orders through stolen credit cards, hacked PayPal accounts are common. On an average, a Jewellery e-commerce site can receive upto 10-12% of fraud orders. Nothing can replace human experience and manual check in identifying these fraud orders. However, there are plugins and extensions to aid manual effort.

These extensions weigh an order from certain risk parameters such as originating ip address of the order. The distance between billing and shipping address and also run them through databases to identify stolen cards.

I would strongly suggest installing fraud detection plugins on jewellery website. These extensions are available mostly on all the e-commerce platforms including Magento , Opencart , Prestashop , Shopify and Woocommerce. An elaborate blog post on Fraud detection plugins is available here

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Hosting requirements and other costs

Q:What configuration web hosting server is required for a jewelry website?

A:

Linux based hosting is recommended .Any flavour of Linux is fine including CentOS , Ubuntu etc. Amazon web service is the best choice but expensive. On Regular hosting we suggest at least VPS (virtual Private Server) with at least 4 GB RAM and Cpanel. Further we recommend a good hosting company nearest to your geographical region. Please don't go for shared hosting plan . Shared hosting cannot sustain a ecommerce website

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Q:What is SSL do I require it?

A:

SSL is secured socket layer certificate. Yes it's required

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About AMC , Bug management and site maintenance

Q:After the website is live, if bugs/errors show up would you charge to correct it?

A:

We provide 1 year's free support .If there is a bug in our code due to which website breaks we will get it corrected free of cost.

However important condition is: : code should not be tempered by any other developer other than TransPacific.

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Q:Before the project delivery date, will I get training on how to use the shopping cart admin?

A:

Yes sure but we expect you be conversant with shopping cart backend. Eg. Magento, Opencart etc. There are numerous self learn videos available on Youtube for the Purpose In addition, 30 min . training on custom modules will be provided.

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Q:What are some of the common problem after the project goes live?

A:

It’s a very open ended question and can be responded on case to case basis. However the initial issues are ; Web site owner expects the new website to immediately list on the top of Google search for relavant keywords. This is near impossible. It takes weeks or months to get your website listed in first 3 pages .

Then there is a problem of fraud transactions . Fraud transactions can be identified with a combination of automated plugins as well as mannual deep inspection.

Here is a post on good plugins/ extensions available.

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Q:Is there a monthly fee you charge?

A:

No It's a one time installation . one year support will be free . We don’t charge any Monthly fees. After one year you may renew a AMC contract for maintenance.

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