How to launch your jewelry business online during the pandemic
A guide to first-time e-commerce venturers
To our surprise, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Transpacific is receiving more enquiries from Jewellers across the globe for creating their e-shop than ever. As per our CRM data, amongst them, 50% are first-time venturers in e-commerce, and remaining have a basic informative website, sort of e-brochure.
Due to CoronaVirus Lockdown, most of the jewelers have their brick and mortar shops shut and expected to remain closed for a long time. The only lifeline their business has is selling through the e-shop.
So here is the advice for first-time jewelry eCommerce starters.
You are making the right move. Pandemic or no pandemic; your e-commerce website will always get you business.
However, you need to be careful about how you start.
1) Start Small
Most of the first time, jewelry eCommerce entrants try and emulate the big daddies in the arena. Many of their enquiries read like "I want a web site like bluenile.com or jamesallen.com or brilliantearth.com."
Companies like Blue Nile are in the Diamond jewelry eCommerce business for decades. If you wish to start that big, you are beginning all wrong.
Go for an excellent minimalistic e-commerce website with your available inventory feeds.
The website should be top class, clean design, fast, and only a few categories of products wherein you have a good number of jewelry to display.
Let's say If you only specialize in engagement rings, then go for engagement rings, ready to buy and build a ring feature.
Don't venture into optional sections like pendants, earrings, Bands, Home preview,etc. There is no point in creating categories with only 2-3 products to display.
2) Media, data and Images
3) Who will buy from me? there are already big players
This is a myth that buyers buy only from big eCommerce stores. As high as 60% of our clients are small businesses, and they are doing well, even in the COVID-19. The trick is concentrating on your geographical regions and customizations.
The buyer is always comfortable buying the jewelry from a vendor who is at a nearby location. They will be comfortable with a buyer who, in person, talks to them to understand their bespoke requirements. Most of the jewelry buyers don't like canned responses and marketing gimmickry. Only small niche jewelers can provide those services.
As an example, we have a client from New York City. They sell custom engagement rings and ships worldwide. Still, as high as 85% of their sale is from New York state.
So you can thrive if you concentrate on the local market.
4) Localizing and Minimalizing
If you don't have a domain name yet, then pick a domain name with an assorted city name. Example: roseburyjewelry-houston.com If you already have a domain, then see that your website has a good number of geographic references in the text. Especially in the "About Us " section, eg. Established in 1976, Rosebury Jewelers are one of the most trusted jewelers from Houston and so on...
When approaching a website developer, be ready with your homework on what you require. I would suggest you to thoroughly define your website Menu, which will define the overall site structure. Keep your data ready in a spreadsheet like Excel. Have your jewelry images well organized.
5) Ecommerce Platform:
Pick a platform that you can manage easily. Magento's e-commerce framework is the Gold standard for an e-commerce website but may not be the right for you. It has a steep learning curve and a bit complex to handle.
Go for Shopify or Woocommerce. Both are easy and excellent platforms to start good quality e-commerce websites.
Don't aim for world's most beautiful website. Start with ; "Good Enough" approach.
Forget multilingual multicurrency, go for one currency and one language website.
Once your e-shop presence is set more modules as required can be built .
You should get a good quality jewelry website for $7000-$8000 range. Timeframe tocreate 2-3 weeks. Trust me; it will be your lifetime investment in the business—anomnipotent, omnipresent sales channel.
Don't be too worried about SEO at this stage. You can always publicize your website to your existing customers and through your social media account.