TTODAY, The CONSUMER experience begins online. Make your customers feel welcome in your online store, and they’re likely to show up at your doorstep as well.
“Websites are the lifeblood of any small business,” says Shane O’Neill, vice president of Fruchtman Marketing. “It must be designed as a sales tool and a means of communication. Showing pictures of goods with prices is a good start. Electronic commerce is the next step. And communication can be established in real time with live chat function. Even social media strategies should mirror the website.
What makes a strong website goes beyond technical bells and whistles to reflect the personality of your store and the customer experience that can be found there. Include attractive photos of the store itself, so visitors know what to expect – in terms of atmosphere and interior design, when they walk through your doorstep.
Julie Gotz, Marketing Director for Freshley Digital, works with her team to design bespoke client websites. While these are all clean, high-end designs that are easily searchable and adaptable to e-commerce, each has its own unique personality; the team does not use universal models. Her job, she says, is to dig deeper into what the customer likes and dislikes, what their aesthetic is, what their competition is doing, and then producing a website design that will help them dominate the market.
If you’re making the leap to e-commerce, remember that the goal of most of these efforts is to drive those sales to your store as well. “When I think of e-commerce,” says O’Neil, “I think it’s not just about online sales; I think it’s like sales. Most retailers market and target local shoppers, so it makes sense that if you are selling big ticket items, they will always come to your store after you buy your store online. “Even with items that cost $ 500 or $ 600, if you’re right down the street, they might still want to come and watch them. Foot traffic is down, yes, but sales may not suffer if you have a high-quality website and a great digital presence.
Alchemy Jewelers of Portland, OR, introduced their new website with Shopify e-commerce features in July 2018. in the right place, ”says Megan Walsh, Director of Marketing. Photographing fine jewelry and reflective diamonds has been a learning experience, she says, but having the right equipment – a professional-grade light box and a Nikon DSLR camera – helps. Walsh also creates blogs and updates product offerings and event information.
Although Santa Fe, NM, gallery owner Belle Brooke Barer strongly believes in the power of the brick and mortar business, bellebrooke.net still makes a statement about the business by deploying eye-catching model photographs to mimic the experience of walking in the distinctive Santa Fe boutique. Jewelry is displayed with prices and a selection from the main collection is available for purchase online. Each page displays information emphasizing the artist’s priorities.
Jewelers Jack Lewis
Jack Lewis Jewelers of Bloomington, IN, does a great job of personalizing the online shopping experience by showcasing quality photos of every staff member, and, in particular, showcasing their personalized ‘superstar’ jeweler, Jim Leeds, who can create the ring of the client’s dreams. Rather than announcing “We do custom design,” this innovative introduction begins to create a relationship between the customer and the jeweler.
Croghan’s Jewelry Box
The sleek look of this Charleston, SC store is reflected in its easy-to-navigate website. You can instantly purchase (or admire) a 1950s sapphire, diamond and gold bracelet for $ 14,950, or pick up a pair of gold-plated “goldbug” earrings for $ 65 designed to resemble palmetto insects. About half of the clients live outside the city. Standard shipping is free when buyers spend $ 100 or more.
Walters and Hogsett
Walters and Hogsett’s website raises the bar for functionality by marketing relevant content on other pages. For example, the jewelry and watch repair page links to the new watches page as well as the custom jewelry design page. So, if a customer is considering repairing a piece of jewelry, they might instead consider reusing it into something new. Doing this across an entire site keeps people engaged and on the site longer, says Shane O’Neill of Fruchtman Marketing. The company also provides clear options for their email newsletter and uses site-wide banners for trade shows or other events. They are linked to Instagram buying options and have a loose diamond finder.
Williams Englewood Jewelers
Freshley Digital designed the bespoke website for Williams Jewelers of Englewood, CO, integrating Edge POS with the website and making it fully e-commerce compatible. “Every market is different; every customer is completely different, ”says Julie Gotz of Freshley Digital. Freshley Digital has simplified the user experience while keeping the store’s brand history one of the top priorities of the Williams family. “It’s about having a very clean, very high-end design that reflects the store. We only have a few minutes to grab their attention and take them to the next step, ”says Gotz.