Moving your store forward
Lead generation is a critical success factor for any online business, especially when that business is ready to keep expanding and growing. Thankfully, the internet offers specific websites that excel on selling products online in a fast, secure and easy way, which will help your business increase revenue figures and also improve its lead generation efforts.
If you are into the jewelry business, there are some excellent choices for marketing and sales purposes that will put your mark in the internet map and improve your lead generation.
Many Jewelry stores successfully use eBay as a great outlet to show their unique pieces and also get specific lead generation and sales. Millions of buyers come to eBay in search of Jewelry—in all styles, materials, gemstones, and colors and eBay has done an excellent job in classifying the myriad of jewelry that is being offered and ready for purchasing. eBay also provides metrics to analyze purchasing trends and what items are selling more depending on their style and materials.
Etsy is an excellent online marketplace designed exclusively for people selling handmade and vintage items. The site allows people from all over the world to sell their homemade goods, and anyone, from stay at home moms to well-respected gallery artists, can create an account to sell their work. Currently, Etsy has over 400,000 sellers, 7.7 million listed items for sale, and over 7 million customers. In 2010, the site sold more than $300 million worth of goods. Its very important to have an established business plan and have clear and defined goals to have any kind of success on Etsy.
Shopify is another excellent alternative for your online jewelry business. Shopify allows anyone to create their own online shop with all the requirements expected from a modern jewelry store. They guide you from beginning to end in the development and operation of your business venture, from choosing the predesigned template to managing the operational aspects of a successful online jewelry store. They also offer advanced shopping cart systems with sophisticated logistics management.
Alibaba is a chinese online business-to-business marketplace with 50 million users in over 240 countries. One basic difference between the two is that Alibaba only provides an online shopping marketplace where other retailers sell, and does not sell directly to customers. Creating an account and start selling your products it’s really easy and it’s also the perfect opportunity to harvest lead generation and clients in the east, especially China and India, which are the fastest-growing jewelry markets in the world. According to Alibaba’s figures, the China’s largest ecommerce company is giving giant steps in competing with Amazon and eBay’s gross merchandising value.
Online shopping has replaced traditional shopping as the standard way Americans are purchasing their products or services. And an effective website development that wants to have success online should adapt to these new shopping trends. Be it by offering a better navigation, wider options or more security, every online store should first consider customer’s convenience when thinking about their website development.
More so if what they are selling is jewelry. According to the American Jewelry Association, jewelry is a 33bn dollar in revenue industry with over 67,000 registered businesses and an average online spent of 55,000 dollars each year. Also, jewelry is much more than an expensive diamond ring or gold bracelet, it’s a product invested with a lot of sentiment and love for which people care a lot for, and a website development that wants to deal with such precious and expensive objects and consider customer’s convenience should provide higher standards of service and security.
Online shopping advantages
Online shopping offers a wide range of advantages for shoppers that should ultimately be seized by a good website development. Usually, online stores are open 24/7, they offer a complete display of information about their products (photos, price, technical statistics and manufacturer specifications) and also how to guides, newsletters and product reviews.
Also, the customer is presented with better prices and selection because an online store can provide more accessible expenses. But online shoppers also face increasing fraud and security concerns that should be properly addressed by the online store. According to the American Jewelry Association’s annual jewelry report, customers who buy jewelry online worry about the privacy of their personal information, the lack of full cost disclosure or that the item they picked is not what they are getting in the mail.
What to look for in an online jewelry store
-Shopping online might avoid contact with salespeople, but this is a crucial step in a good shopping experience. Be sure to have all your questions properly answered online.
-Always ask or carefully read about the return policies of the online store. Some sites claim a 30-day return policy, but if you read carefully, returns of many items require a “re-stocking” fee. Know what the policy is before you buy. And if a store doesn’t have its Return Policy posted somewhere on the site, click on to the next web site and never look back.
-Make sure your jewelry store uses insured and reliable carriers, that your shipment is indeed insured and that the information of your product is not visible in the shipment. Most of all, make sure your online store is willing to refund any damaged product.
-We recommend buying from sites that provide either AGS or GIA (two of the world’s top labs) diamond certificates. Some online stores offer their own certificates or certificates from other labs.
And while we recommend AGS/GIA certification, we recognize that not all purchases require certification (most preset diamonds do not come with AGS or GIA certification) and some lovely diamonds can be bought without certification. Remember, certification doesn’t change the quality of the diamond (although and AGS or GIA certificate can add to the value), it certifies the specifications of the diamond.
Mailing lists benefits are well known to any marketing consultant or online business owner who wants an informed and nurtured clientele and a successful internet company. But more often than not, some mailing list clients eventually lose interest in your email communication and stop opening your mails and engaging in any sort of conversation with you. That is why a good marketing consultant will always recommend re-engagement campaigns to bring back those customers.
It’s true that every single mailing list has clients that quickly fade away from your marketing radar. But when the number of dis-engaged clients starts to grow and you are not really getting any substantial benefits from your mailing efforts, themarketing consultant suggestion becomes crucial.
“Email subscribers stop engaging for a number of reasons: message volume, frequency, irrelevancy, etc. But many companies fail to adjust their programs to re-engage these subscribers,” says John Donovan, a New York-based marketing consultant.
“First thing you have to do is locate inactive recipients, and start planning the best ways to reach out to them. Remember that if the re-engagement effort fails, you will have to do some list cleansing”, says Donovan.
Once you have identified the inactive recipients, your re-engagement campaign begins. The goal of the campaign is to WIN BACK and those recipients. Some effective win-back mails include:
- Connect and join us in social media
- One time promotions
- Download new FREE material or a receive a newsletter
The timing and number of emails depends on each campaign
“Send two messages that attempt to re-engage and a final message that notifies the recipient that they will be unsubscribed. Have those messages be fairly close to each other: how close depends on how frequently you normally send messages,” explains Donovan.
-If you email frequently, consider sending back-to-back messages (e.g. two weeks apart). If you email less frequently, let a bit more time pass between the two mailings
-Sending a final, third message in which you notify the recipient that they have been unsubscribed. This message contains a final option to subscribe again.
Finally, there are some frequently used phrases and messages to include in your first e-mails:
- It’s been a while!”
- Let’s catch up
- We haven’t heard from you. Let’s make up.
And then go right ahead and make the promotion. Remember to test different subject lines and the messages.
“The second re-engagement message will once again remind the recipient of all the great content, offers, news, etc. that you provide in your email communication, and then indicate that – unless you hear from them – you will stop emailing them.
The third re-engagement message is actually an unsubscribed notification. However, it represents a final opportunity for you to try to convince them to come back by subscribing again.”, concludes Donovan.
“It started as a hobby. I love jewelry, and I also love making it. I always thought about having my own online jewelry store, so I ended up calling a local PR company who helped me with my marketing strategy”. Corrine Anestopolous tells the story of how she managed to create her own online jewelry business and make it successful. “You need a good marketing strategy and going in with a bang”.
“I started the company in Toronto in 2004 but it was just a hobby. I didn’t have any serious marketing strategy or plan but I always thought that there was a lack in the marketplace for the types of pieces that I thought were cool and edgy and not so girly. So that was my beginning.”
A successful marketing strategy starts with a vision
It all starts with a vision. Something of value that you can add to your industry and to the world. But if you really want that vision to come alive your business needs to rest on a solid cornerstone. And that cornerstone should include a very clear marketing strategy.
Her studio has an antique vibe to it and it’s very carefully designed, much like her jewelry. Her pieces “marry vintage inspiration with metals, charms and natural stones to create versatile pieces that tell a story.” She says her style is “modern nostalgia”, which means incorporating vintage jewelry materials with modern stuff to create the kind of old-meets-new feel she wants to express.
“I also love to travel so I pick up pieces from every place that I go. I have inspiring pieces from Israel, China, Colombia, the U.S, and love to find new materials and play with them. Jewelry is my life and I include it in everything I do.”
And the right execution follows
But Anestopolous wanted to go all the way with her business. “I think that if you want to really make it in the business you need people to know you. A big part of my strategy was to have professional assistance that helped me with SEO, design and an ecommerce platform that would make it easier for online buyers to purchase my products.”
When the first orders started coming I just didn’t believe it. I created my mailing list which helped me interact with my clients better and find new ones. I also learned to read analysis charts and figures and found out that one of the reasons my sales were going up was because it was easy for my clients to browse my site, find what they wanted and then buy it.
There are always countless aspects to consider when opening a successful online business, and this is where a solid and realistic marketing strategy comes in handy. “It’s totally necessary, like the script in a movie. I don’t think director can film a movie without it. I would say that is my first advice to anyone out there trying to start their own business: always have a clear strategy with defined goals.