A rough guide to establish eCommerce business for Jewelry, Diamond & Gemstone companies

 
Below is a simple worded article for anyone who would like to establish on-line Jewelry & Diamond business. Most of the points enunciated here stem from our day-to-day experience with developing dozens of jewelry e-commerce portal.

So, you are a small or mid-size jewelry, diamond , gemstone retailing  company operating in traditional brick and mortal environment. You have realized the potential to take business on-line and would like to establish your eCommerce presence.

 

Where do you Begin? Here is compact and to-the-point guide:

 

Domain name

First things first; get a simple but effective domain name for your company. There are many registrars offering on-line domain reservation Click for the list.

Our suggestion for selecting a domain name

  • Integrate your company name; for e.g. Arsalan Gems can have arsalangems.com if not available then arsalangemsonline.com or arsalangemsshop.com would be good.
  • .com names are the most preferred once.
  • Most of the domain names will be unavailable. So creativity in selecting a catchy but simple domain name is important.

Check out this article ;  a dated one but still holds good when selecting a domain name.

Photographs Most important ingredients of the web site

Get ready with photographs of your inventory. Preferably in three angles and in good lighting conditions. If hiring a professional photographer is out of your budget; you can do it in-house. All photographs should be in the same angle and of good quality (at least 640x640 resolution). Label the photographs appropriately e.g. "solitaire-ring-m123-Top angle .jpg" labeling should be self-explanatory and SEO friendly.

Don't Photoshop images except for clearing dirt particles or blemishes. Photoshopping or doctoring images of jewelry is not ethical.

Budget for web site development

Will range from $7000 to $8000 depending on your requirements. But $7000 would be good enough. If you have something like bluenile.com or gemvera.com in mind, set aside atleast 100K as they have huge ERP system, logistical module, billing, accounting and dozen more modules integrated.

Data Collation

Organize inventory data in spreadsheet format like Excel. It may include Jewelry stock number, design number, metal, size, stone details, stone origin, cut,size etc. Here is a sample data format  for your reference: https://goo.gl/9KSc79

Programmer selection

You may find a good web site development agency through elance.com or guru.com but be careful to look at their past experience and feedback. Jewelry web site designing is a specialized job. As a thumb rule don't go for the lowest or "too good to be true" pricing rather give emphasis on developer's portfolio.

We would strongly suggest hiring a development agency over individual programmers due to reliability issues.

Ask the programmer how long he will support your web site with bug fixing as and when required. Initial support of at least 3 months is crucial till web site becomes stable.

Request the selected programmer or the development agency to provide a demo of backend console from where you can manage your web site with no or little training. Some of the backend web site management includes updating inventory, changing static page contents including contact details phone number etc., adding new pages in content like additional questions in FAQ.

Maintenance and updating work can be done in-house through web based simple admin console inbuilt with Magento and OpenCart frameworks.

Check out Our Blog: Setting up an e-commerce site ? Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish

Platform

Opt for Open source platform like php+mysql. We strongly suggest open source frameworks like OpenCart or Magento which are built on php. A developer may suggest frameworks like dotnetnuke or aspdotnetstorefront. But unless you have complete knowledge about these I would not suggest them.

Hosting

You will have to buy a hosting package from server provider like Godaddy.com , Justhost.com or hostgater.com (there are hundreds of companies offering hosting services). Linux server with shared hosting is good enough. Don't go for expensive fancy stuff like VPS or dedicated server.

Here is the list of some top hosting companies.

Payment gateway

If you wish to have realtime online transactions through credit card you will have to subscribe to payment gateway providers.

Payment gateway is the service that automates the payment transaction between the shopper and merchant. It is usually a third-party service that is actually a system of computer processes that process, verify, and accept or decline credit card transactions on behalf of the merchant through secure Internet connections.

Your developer will integrate the payment gateway into your ecommerce website. Alternately if you don't wish to have online transaction, you may opt for offline transactions wherein the buyer can make payment through check or wire.

Here is the list of some recognized payment gateway providers.

SEO

Search Engine Optimization is perhaps the diciest area. If anyone is promising to put your web site on first page of Google for search terms like "engagement rings" or Diamond Jewelry"; he is conning. Google algorithms are extremely sophisticated. It takes months before your site can even start showing up in first three pages for generic search strings like "Diamond engagement ring".

You may open a Facebook fan page, Twitter and Google Plus accounts, regularly announcing "what's new", NEWS and your thoughts. But you need to keep these accounts buzzing. Don't open social networking accounts unless you devote regular time to keep these active.

  • Include semantic tags adhering to schema.org standards. You may want to take help of a qualified developer for the same .
  • Ask your developer to integrate a blog and keep regularly blogging your thoughts, industry News etc.
  • Don't use flash in your web site.
  • Introduce original content in the web site like "How to select jewelry" or "Type of color stones" etc. Google ranking algorithm will give good scores for original content.
  • Ask your developer to create account on Google webmaster central and submit sitemaps to Google spiders.
  • Submit your web site to directory listing services such as Dmoz or Yahoo Directory.
  • List your website in appropriate category of social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, delicious and Digg.
  • Ask your developer to provide Google Plus, Twitter and FB sharing Icons on the web site.

Social Networking

You may open a Facebook fan page, Twitter and Google Plus accounts, regularly announcing "what's new", NEWS and your thoughts. But you need to keep these accounts buzzing. Don't open social networking accounts unless you devote regular time to keep these active.

How should I advertise my web site?

  • Advertise your web site URL wherever you can.
  • Print it in stationary; e-mail it to your clients.
  • Declare it on your personal FB profile.
PPC ads or Google paid advertising

We would not suggest the same for small and medium size jewelry companies unless you have $2000 monthly budget exclusively for advertising. Its expensive and competitive.

Feel free to contact us on connect@transpacific.in with any questions or ecommerce development needs.

TransPacific Software is a leading e-commerce website developer for Jewelry, Diamonds and color stone industry.

 

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