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Kathleen Cutler

How to Change Your Website From a Soulless Catalog Into a Place People Want to Buy From

Hint: Don’t scrimp on photoshoots.




lady in photoshoot wearing earrings and necklace

FOR THE PAST nine years, I’ve gotten to sit behind the scenes of dozens of jewelry brands and read through their email communications with clients. My goal is to help retailers like you sell more jewelry through modern channels: with words, chat, and images.

The No. 1 most frequently asked question I see from clients in dozens of emails each day is: “Do you have a photo of this piece being worn?”

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See, when you have just your pieces photographed for the web alone on a white background, it’s like your website is nothing more than a parts catalog. But think about how clothing catalogs show how the latest fashions look on a human body.

So how can you be better prepared and make more sales?

Schedule photo shoots at least quarterly, so you can capture lifestyle images of your jewelry being worn. And here’s a tip: You don’t have to hire models, just use your store staff, hire a hair and makeup person, and have a photographer come in for a few hours. The bonus: You’ll not only get hundreds of photos, but you’ll also build trust with the people who shop with you as they recognize the faces on your website as real people they see in your store.

Need an even quicker version of this?


When you get a new style into your store, grab a staff member, find some good lighting and shoot a short video of them talking about the the piece or collection. Post it to your Instagram Stories, share it with your colleagues and post it on your website.

In this omnichannel environment, it is so important to make sure that your website works just as hard as your sales staff when it comes to selling jewelry. I recently had a client who sold two engagement rings to people who had already been in the shop that day. They had been working with the sales staff in-store and then went home and completed the engagement ring purchase online. If you aren’t consistently updating your website with new photos and pieces, you are missing out on the No. 1 question I see asked behind the scenes.

Then, you’ll be ready when a client asks, “How does this look on?”

How can you commit to turning your website from a soulless catalog into a place where people feel welcome?

Kathleen Cutler, profit expert for high-end jewelry brands, focuses on helping jewelers understand how to convince younger, affluent audiences to buy, combining modern tech with retro-style relationship building. Kathleen has a degree from GIA and has coached 100-plus jewelers. Reach her at [email protected]



Wilkerson Testimonials | Zadok Master Jewelers

Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

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