Recently I have noticed a number of our customers, and indeed many other retailers across the UK and Ireland currently have or are looking to develop a jewellery retail website. It maybe an additional sales channel for existing bricks & mortar businesses or as a first foray into the retail world for start ups’.
With more and more people gaining access to the internet and feeling secure shopping online, there is a growing trend for consumers to shop online.
We have been running the marjo wholesale jewellery website for around 5 years now, and it has taken alot of time, energy and money to get it where it is today. This is relative to the design, structure, and marketing of the website so we have alot of experience to pass on. So here we go…
1. Design & Appearance
Firstly, your website must be pleasing to the eye and not over do it on the background images, and colours.
Keep it simple and stylish if you are selling traditional jewellery, and maybe splash out a little if you are selling more funky or original jewellery. Here are some examples of good silver jewellery websites that fit this description:
Once you have the look completed, you need to work on the photographs.
These must be impecable. Do not skimp on the photos - I repeat - DO NOT SKIMP ON THE PHOTOS.
You are going to be expecting people to part with their hard earned cash without actually seeing the goods in person, so this is your only chance to impress them and convince them to do so.
Whether you choose plain backgrounds or decorative backdrops, make the quality excellent, and plentiful. Feel free to have as many angles as possible for each product.
Carrying on from the photographs; make sure you also have lots of information on each product because people will most likely not call and ask for the weight, height, or length of the jewellery. And, even if they did you would get sick and tired of answering those questions every day, especially if your site is getting alot of interest.
Secondly, make sure there is alot of information about yourselves on the site. Some websites I have seen do not even include there phone number or address. Now, there may be individual reasons for this but I think that it shows you can be contacted if necessary, and only goes towards helping with the trust issue people have when they first go on a website. You could be anyone, any where in the world to them remember.
3. Structure & Functionality
Websites look differnet according to the differnet browser software people are using, so your site must work on multiple browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. Around 75% of people use Internet Explorer but this is a decreasing number, so don’t alienate visitors with a site that only caters for the IE users.
Don’t get carried away with the latest gadget like clocks, weather reports, flashy menu’s and trails for the mouse pointer etc. These things all seem interesting now, but in a few months they will look out dated and old fashioned. Be content with a nicley functioning site that is easy to navigate, and simple to understand. Remember the people you are selling to are not always as young, and internet savvy as you or your developer may be.
Marketing is a tricky and ever evolving science, and is too broad a subject to go in to alot of detail here, but I can offer some advice to get you started.
If you are a high street retailer, you are probably used to people seeing your shop and walking in if you are selling what they are looking for. But, unfortunatley the web does not work lilke that. The high streets of the web are search engines, and you must be listed here for people to find you.
Search engine spiders will crawl your site if the know you exist, so you first have to submit your details to them. This is free and here are the main places to go:
Once the search engines know you exist you must opimise your site. This means including in your site all the relevant things that you wish to be listed for, such as - silver jewellery, costume jewellery, etc.
So for example if i want to be listed in google when someone searches for “jewellery” I would include the following in my pages:
Every page has a URL and this is how people and search engines find your pages - it is like a street name and then door number for your house. It identifies a particular page on your site. You want to try and get keywords in those - eg. look at the URL of this page:
Doesn’t that tell you alot about what is on the page already! Search engines will read this and find that helpful when creating their listings.
All your pages are individual, so give them a unique title:
“Silver Jewellery from designers all over the world”
This will also let the search engines know what is on the page. Similar to URL’s.
Same as the title but allows a little more room for extra information. In the picture below you can see how these three things can show up in a search engine.
Now, you will need some relevent content throughout your pages such as text and pictures and you are off to a good start.
It is extremely important once you are listed in the search engines, to get other sites to link to you.
For example if a website links to you, the search engines look at it as a vote of confidence in you from them, and they will take you more seriously.
It works like friends in the playground. If you have no friends it is unlikely people will want to be around you, but if you have lot’s of friends then everyone assumes you must be a good person, and will want to also be your friend.
This is a very primitive explanation of what happens, because there are actually very complex algorithums that rate the value and relevancy of your links but it will not take you long to look in more detail if you wish. Here are some good sites that could help you on your marketing journey:
Good luck if you are planning a new site, and feel free to post any questions or comments you have underneath this post.
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