Jewellery market is expected to reach a total of $272B in sales by 2020 globally. The most active market in jewellery online shopping adoption is undoubtedly India. That’s because of two major reasons:
1. India is the biggest consumer of gold and diamond jewellery in terms of volume at a global level.
2. With high growth penetration of e-commerce, Indian consumers have begun to shop for luxury goods such as jewellery and watches online.
Jewellery eCommerce is as Old as Google and Amazon
BlueNile, a successful US-based online retailer of diamonds and jewellery, started its ecommerce website back in 1999. Only 5 years after the birth of Amazon and one year after Google was founded.
To become successful in ecommerce, Jewellery brand owners and retailers need to have a broader strategy, weaving together both online and offline channels.
Here is the 5-step blueprint to launch your jewellery store online:
1. Identify your positioning and a broader ecommerce strategy
2. Choose the right technology
3. Provide an exceptional shopping experience
4. Develop ecommerce expertise
5. Scale your business with online marketing
Let’s look at each of these steps one by one.
Step 1: Identify your positioning and broaden ecommerce strategy
Simply putting together a loose crafted ecommerce website is not going to be sufficient. The very first step is to discover the reason why you want to go online (apart from luring online consumers). Here are a few questions you may want to ask before taking the first step in ecommerce:
1. Who is your target audience?
Is your target market male, female or both? Are you targeting couples about to be married or working women? The choice of your target market plays a decision role in determining the direction of your ecommerce business.
2. What problem are you going to solve with your ecommerce website?
Once you identify your target market, you need to look at the key pain areas you are trying to solve. Are you going to offer better choices, customization options, better deals or only target premium products to be sold through your online store?
3. How are you going to complement online and offline shopping?
Will you offer free concierge service? Or will you offer shop online and collect offline type of model?
Once you make these strategic decisions and have a strong reason to launch your ecommerce store, the next step is to pick the right technology.
Step 2: Choose the Right Technology
Let’s look at the critical component you need to keep in mind while choosing an ecommerce platform:
1. Reliability & Performance: Your ecommerce platform should be error free and reliable. The page load time of your website should not exceed 4 seconds.
2. Future Readiness: Technology is constantly evolving and new tools and applications are evolving at a rapid pace. Your ecommerce platform should be ready to embrace change and evolve with time.
3. Extendability: Does your ecommerce store accept third party apps? If yes, how easy it is to extend the capabilities of your ecommerce store? However, you should start simple. Do not try to add too many complexities in the very beginning.
4. Flexibility: Your ecommerce platform should be flexible enough to accommodate design innovation, third party tools and integrate verity of Medias.
In absence of the right amount of flexibility, you may soon begin to feel limited.
5. Competent Technical Team: In absence of a competent technical team, you will feel like being stranded in a Boeing Jet without a pilot. Instantly available and knowledge technical team is a very crucial criteria in choosing an ecommerce platform.
“Start simple; do not add too much complexity in the beginning”
Step 3: Provide an Exceptional Shopping Experience
Most jewellers make the mistake of thinking that an ecommerce store as a site with product catalogue. Putting together your product catalogue with photos and description isn’t sufficient. Moreover, trying to do too many things at the same time can also impact your shoppers experience and your sales. Having a cluttered shopping experience with too many things to look at can confuse your shopper and make them leave your website. Here are the five critical components of a great shopping experience:
1. Built around Conversions: At its core the shopping experience of your customers is to do one thing and one thing only - do sales. If your ecommerce website is not build around conversion best practices, you are set to lose visitors with each passing second,
2. Rich in Content: We have seen countless ecommerce website which has product detail page devoid of good “product description” and high quality photos. Since online shoppers cannot touch or try your products, product Photos and description are the corner stone to ensure that product is communicated fully. Product photos and description should allow your prospective buyer to have a nearly accurate understanding of product as they would see it physically.
3. Guidance and Direction: The customer shopping to your store is alone and figuring out things on his own. Visual cues and communicate touchpoint are extremely important to provide a sense of direction and guidance to the online shopper.
• Provide an easy way for your shoppers to reach you
• Provide visual content clues such as steps and guidance text
• Highlight key call to action (CTA) such as Add to Cart, Continue Shopping or Checkout.
4. Emotion Centred: People buy out of emotions. Your ecommerce store should have plenty of buying reasons centred on primary and secondary human emotions.
5. Mobile Ready: With 41% ecommerce transactions happening over mobile, you cannot ignore mobile shopping. At the very basic level, your ecommerce store should be responsive - meaning it will resize to any screen size without degrading the functionality and usability of your website.
Step 4: Develop Ecommerce Expertise
Let’s accept the reality. You are new to ecommerce space and there is a learning curve involved. There are nuances of ecommerce that you will gradually master and so you need to keep building your ecommerce expertise gradually.
1. Get Early Feedback: Run small marketing campaigns oriented towards sending your existing customers to shop online. This will not only provide you early feedback but it will also enable you to understand online shopping behaviours of your customers. Once your ecommerce store is launched and your first marketing campaign is complete, collect feedback and find out how overall experience of your customers was in shopping online.
2. Provide exceptional customer service: Since your ecommerce site is in its early stages, providing exceptional customer service is crucial. It instils a sense of confidence and allows them to spread word of mouth. Here are three important aspects of providing exceptional customer service:
• Speed of Delivery: If you can deliver your products to shoppers in the next business day or within 3 days at the most, they consider it as a great experience.
• Handling Returns, Exchange and Refunds: Having clearly defined and clearly communicated customer service policies will ensure that you handle refunds, exchange and returns swiftly.
• Packaging: A great packaging ensures that the goods are safe, offers a great firsthand experience.
3. Build an ecommerce team: Dedicate at least one full-time person to your ecommerce endeavour with a goal to build an ecommerce team over a period of time. Your eCommerce team should be able to:
• Answer to customers questions online or on phone
• Upload product catalogue and manage online inventory
• Launch marketing campaigns
• Process new orders, refunds, returns and exchanges
Step 5: Scale Your Business with Online Marketing
For most business owners, promoting business online is quite a challenge. Moreover, this sort of organized and “real-time” marketing is perceived as difficult and unpredictable.
The truth is online media is still a media and all rules of traditional media apply here too. However, in an online setting your marketing can be much more systematic, organized and predictable - thanks to the automation technologies at our disposal.
“Instead of learning the latest social media trick or how to run a paid Google Campaign, you could invest your time in building your overall marketing strategy”
Here the five key components you need to keep in mind while developing a marketing strategy for your ecommerce business:
1. Internal marketing: A vast majority of store owners invest most of their time and energy on on getting new customers. They rarely focus on selling to their existing customers. In reality, it is much easier to sell to your existing customers. Your existing customers are your gold mine. Hence you should leverage your existing customers to build up initial traction to your website and start selling to them.
- Make a list of customers you have acquired from other sales channels (retail store, selling on marketplace etc.)
- Plan a marketing campaign to bring them to your website
- Lunch a referral camping to encourage word of mouth. Referrals is a cost effective and powerful way to expand your customer base.
2. Diversify Traffic Sources: Instead of relying on one or two channels such as SEO or Google PPC, always make it a point to diversity your traffic sources. Mix and match both online and offline traffic sources so that you can take maximum advantage of all types of media.
3. Leverage Email marketing: According to a recent survey, email marketing delivers over 2000% Return on Investment. It is probably the least experience and most powerful ways to sell to your existing customers and subscribers. Set aside at least one day every month to plan your email marketing strategy and how you can fully leverage it and integrate with your marketing campaigns.
4. Measure & Improve: According to Tom Peters, the famous management guru “Anything that gets measured gets improved”. If you don’t know your numbers, you aren’t playing any game.
Here are 5 key marketing metrics you can measure:
• Visitors: How many people visited your website and where did they come from?
• Engagement: What did they do after visiting your site? How many seconds did the stop is your website?
• Conversions: How many visitors bought something from you and actually finished the checkout. How many dropped off at shopping cart page. How many didn’t buy anything but subscribed to receive your updates.
• Return on Investment (ROI): ROI is the ration of money spent in marketing and the revenue earned. It essential means “how much money did each rupee spent in brought back to your business?”
• Average order value: The monthly size of each order in monetary terms. One of your marketing goals should be to increase average order value.
Is jewellery e-commerce about to become mainstream?
In the near future, most offline businesses will have their ecommerce presence because more and more consumers are shopping online. Though Jewellery has lagged behind in the ecommerce growth story, it is now finally catching up.
Jewellery e-commerce shows strong signs growth and it is here to stay and shine bright.