Kevin Saw, Picup Media
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How do you design a convenient jewelry website experience and when do you know when it’s time to separate from the herd?
Starting your own jewelry website or an online jewelry store is absolutely rewarding. You start from nothing and gradually watch it grow in addition to the fact that no restrictive policies and changes can dampen your spirit or take that business away from you. This is an online business setting that is far different from an online marketplace where you are at the mercy of the people running it.
For instance, if you want customer payments to go directly to your account, this isn’t possible if you’re selling on Etsy where payments are processed via Etsy Payments before it gets transferred to your account. Those jewelers who are against this policy may opt to leave the platform altogether and set up another store via another online marketplace or start an independent online store and begin funneling their existing customers from the platform to their own jewelry website. What this tells you is that, with your own jewelry website, you get to have an advantage that online marketplaces could never afford to give you – CONTROL and FREEDOM.
So how do you know it’s time to start your own jewelry store? Look out for these signs!
1. Your e-commerce platform fees are piling up
Without any revenue stream independent from any of those global online marketplaces, you might feel like you’re drowning in fees. This feeling intensifies in seasons when sales are stale and you begin to question whether your product listings are visible to shoppers or you’re just part of the herd milked by whichever online marketplace you’re on.
1stdibs, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify, and other online marketplaces live off fees generated by transactions like listing fees, sales commission fees, and payment processing fees among many others. Needless to say, seller fees are their bread and butter. If you’re just starting out, you might think that a 5% transaction fee on the sale price does not seem like a big deal or does not warrant any loud protestation, but once you start raking in five to six figures in sales, you’ll realize that those transaction fees are better off financing your future jewelry business expansion.
If this is your case, you better move those fees to your bank account and start setting up your own jewelry website.
2. You’ve become too dependent on a single platform
Putting all your eggs in one basket is not an advisable strategy as it could make you lose everything in just a snap; therefore, you need to diversify your revenue stream to maximize your return and minimize the devastating effects brought about by being dependent on a single platform.
To go back to the Etsy example earlier, those sellers who did not heed the notice to change from Standalone PayPal payments to Etsy Payments had their account suspended – a suspension that would only be lifted once they followed what Etsy had told them to do. With a jewelry website of your own, you don’t have to make a business decision that’s against your will.
3. Why fit in if you can stand out
Some e-commerce platforms stifle creativity as you’re subjected to their own designs; thereby, making it more difficult for your shoppers to remember your brand. Additionally, your shoppers are bombarded with hundreds of thousands of jewelry product images every time they search on the platform. For instance, a simple search for ‘diamond engagement ring’ on the Etsy platform would give you nearly 300,000 product results. The chances of them finding you would depend on how well you satisfy the criteria to be favored in the algorithm, that is, for you to land on the first page of the search results. You’re endlessly competing for visibility.
It’s hard to stand out in a sea of similarity, especially in an oversaturated online jewelry market. As such, you must separate from the herd and watch your value soar. With your own website, you can do things a little differently – from designs to customization and after-sales services – but more appealing; thereby establishing your brand as the hunted and not the hunter. Further, having your own domain communicates to your shoppers that you mean serious business and that you have a brand which equity is not diluted by commoditizing yourself when you’re in an oversaturated online marketplace.
4. You don’t know your shoppers
Your sales are sky-high, but it is customer relationship, not transactions, that is the heartbeat of your jewelry business. Some online marketplaces restrict customer interaction to the point that you become transactional – clueless to the needs, demands, and preferences of your shoppers; hence, it’s almost impossible to influence your shoppers’ behavior at the top of the funnel. This e-commerce model is not the perfect approach to building and sustaining your long-term e-commerce success. However, having your own domain can eliminate this passivity.
When your target shoppers visit your jewelry website, consider half of the work done. This means you got their attention, but you must deliver the remaining half to convert or use data to make sure they convert next time. Collecting customer data to be able to provide a personalized and algorithmically-designed jewelry shopping experience is one of the many advantages of having your own website. It enables you to analyze order history, track shoppers’ buying behavior to be able to recommend relevant items the next time they visit your store and identify cart abandonment, among many others.
Needless to say, having a full view of your online jewelry business gives you a streamlined system for analyzing and improving your internal business environment.
5. Your jewelry business is dying a slow death
I was lurking in the forum section of one of the online marketplaces the other day when I came across this topic, “sales are 95% down! is this still an e-commerce site?!” This was followed by many responses echoing the same sentiment. While there may be seasonal fluctuations in sales, when you think that you have hit a plateau, it’s time to plan your exit, pack your stuff, and explore the rest of the internet.
Overall, having your own jewelry website – whether on its own or alongside your other online marketplace presence – is great for your business. It facilitates a meaningful shopper relationship, establishes your brand identity, and gives you more freedom to build an impeccable reputation.
Becoming the Hunted: How to Design a Convenient Jewelry Website Experience
“If you build it, he will come,” says the mysterious voice in the film, Field of Dreams. Unfortunately, your business environment is far from fantasy and approaching it with the ‘field of dreams’ mindset is like setting yourself up for failure. Don’t be a victim of this business fallacy, here’s how you can be sure your target shoppers will come.
1. Avoid visual clutter and use CTAs
They say clutter is a sign of genius, but sadly, not in this case. Clutter is the number one design mistake that could kill your conversion as it could be confusing and overwhelming for shoppers.
To avoid this pitfall, think clearly what you want your jewelry shoppers to see and do when they visit your website and make sure that you have a corresponding Call-to-Action (CTA) that guides them to accomplish just that. CTAs are one of the most commonly neglected website elements. In fact, 70% of websites do not have CTA buttons on their homepage even though it is said to perform better than Google ads.
There are three types of CTAs you can use. See below.
- Button CTA
A simple colored button with a text that says “Buy Now” or “Download for Free.” It is said to have an average click-through rate of 5.31%.
- Designed CTA
A more complex CTA design that requires CSS skills and has an average click-through rate of 3.53%.
- Text CTA
A basic text link with an average click-through rate of 2.06%.
Do you know that a personalized CTA – one that changes based on the attributes of your web visitor – converts 202% better than the basic CTAs that aren’t tailored to an individual? Always be smart when choosing, and familiarize yourself with every step of your shoppers’ journey to understand how your CTAs can adapt to each and everyone of them.
2. Simplify your checkout process
Do you know that 26% of online shoppers abandon their cart because the checkout process is too long or complicated? That’s right! In this day and age when almost everyone is clamoring for convenience, a lengthy checkout process should be considered a mortal sin. When a shopper decides to enter your jewelry website, your job is to ensure that they wouldn’t have a hard time looking for what they want and that they would be able to complete the purchase hassle-free.
Refrain from asking for unnecessary information. Other than their correct shipping address and billing information, you don’t need to know the name of their favorite dog, their favorite author, or their mother’s maiden name. Eliminate as many steps as you can because every step leading to the checkout page creates friction and the more friction there is, the less likely they would convert.
3. Cart abandonment emails save the day
Cart abandonment is when online shoppers add items to their carts and then abandon it before they complete the checkout process. There are many reasons why shoppers abandon their carts.
Although forcing a shopper to create an account or profile is a no-no, this doesn’t mean that you cannot encourage it. There will be shoppers who would create an account and once they did, you’d be able to see when they add an item to their carts without completing the checkout process. This is not one of those shrug-your-shoulders moments because you’ll be losing sales when you do. Simply send an email reminding them of the item left in their carts. And yes, sometimes, it takes just one reminder email for them to finalize the purchase.
According to these statistics, over 40% of cart abandonment emails are opened, 50% of these are clicked on and half of those who engaged with these emails completed their purchase. There really is no harm in trying, is there?
4. Forget about sales talk. Your jewelry images can do the work
Do you know that 75% of shoppers research products online before purchasing? This means that aside from your product descriptions, your jewelry images come up every time your target shoppers type your product keywords. Depending on the quality of jewelry images you put out there, this could be your make or break deal.
Sixty-five percent of the polled affluent shoppers point to the inability to see or touch the product as a top barrier for online purchase, but if you can manage to convince them through your images that what you see is what you get, you’ll pass with flying colors because online shopping offers convenience, which is the main motivation (53%) for purchasing online.
Presenting high-quality jewelry images when selling online is a no-brainer. It closes the gap behind your actual jewelry piece and the visual representation you put out there, as shoppers rely on it to make sense of what they’re buying and help them visualize how it would look on them when worn.
The value of studio-quality product images has long been proven compared to the low-quality ones. In fact, high-quality product images convert three times higher than the low-quality ones. This is not a surprise. How could you trust an online jewelry store that couldn’t be bothered to display product images that speak of professionalism, quality, and dedication?
Capturing studio-quality jewelry images is made easy with your GemLightbox. Simply plug the device, place your jewelry inside the lightbox, and capture using your smartphone. See below the results waiting for you:
5. Experience the 360-effect
Sometimes, jewelry images aren’t enough, so you have to supplement it with videos, especially 360-jewelry videos, to give them the feeling of product interactivity; when the product rotates, it’s as if it mimics the sight and touch experience they’ll have in the real world as it would allow them to examine the jewelry pieces from all angles. This explains why 54% of polled shoppers want to see videos from brands, but this is one thing that you might not be able to do if you’re on online marketplaces that do not support 360 videos.
Other than Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), using 360-jewelry videos has many benefits to jewelry retailers. When you show an effort to reduce shoppers’ frustration brought about by the lack of tactile experiences when shopping online; the latter gives it back to you either in tangible or intangible form. For instance, 90% of shoppers admit that videos help them make buying decisions, which corroborates the 30 to 40% increase in conversion rate, as reported by other brands.
With your GemLightbox and its add-on turntable, capturing 360-jewelry videos for your jewelry website only takes seconds. Watch our 360-jewelry videos below.
6. Don’t forget to add a search bar
Have you ever visited a website to look for a particular jewelry piece but the product category page offers little to no help – it’s too unorganized and some pieces are in inappropriate categories? It’s a frustrating experience. But what’s more frustrating is realizing that the website does not have a search bar, so you’re stuck scrolling through hundreds of choices. Not everyone would have time for that. Most probably, shoppers would abandon your site and as a jeweler, you’d end losing potential sales.
If you put yourself in the shoppers’ shoes and it frustrates you; then, it most likely frustrates them too.
Do you know that 30% of web users use the search box when offered one? This figure highlights the functionality of having a search bar and you should not ignore it because it offers numerous benefits that can boost your e-commerce sales. For instance, users who use the search box on e-commerce are highly likely to buy compared to those shoppers who lean towards standard navigation. It is user-friendly and anything that is user-friendly adds up to your advantage as a jeweler and increases your conversion rate.
So, are you ready to tread your path towards a digital jewelry world? What other techniques do you implement to make a user-friendly jewelry website experience for your web visitors? Link your jewelry website and tell us in the comment section below!