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How to Make Your Website the Cornerstone of Your Business

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So, you’ve finally invested in your future and developed a fantastic website with full e-commerce capability. It’s a pretty little beast, web responsive, beautiful product images, wish lists, opt-in forms and so on. Yet, what has it done for your business? Probably not much if consumers don’t find it. You’ve bought the Ferrari, but you have to maintain the thing, put gas in it and trot it out so people can see it — or else why’d you buy a Ferrari? So you have one more thing to build: a plan.

If it helps, think of your website like your brick-and-mortar store. Some stores have the luxury of built-in foot traffic based on their location, while others may be more of a destination. And regardless of your location, strategic marketing helps to increase foot traffic and thus, sales. Your website is no different! In fact, it’s more difficult to drive quality traffic to your website because everyone is competing for the same space. This is where digital marketing comes into play. It drives traffic to your website where people can shop you and either buy online or visit your store.

But not all digital marketing is the same. Just like that business card size ad in the back of a magazine versus a full-page, inside front cover ad, there are options when it comes to digital marketing. Unless you know the difference, you’re stuck with the “business card size ad.” That’s where a lot of jewelers live and don’t even know it.

Some jewelers even do their digital marketing themselves. Good luck with that, because the truth is digital is much more sophisticated than most even understand. I’m in the jewelry industry and even though I’m not a retailer, I know about diamonds — the four Cs. So I should be able to buy diamonds for your store, right? Do you see how we are sharing a laugh together right now? OK, enough with that soapbox; this is why you need to build the plan.

You might be surprised by how many retailers spitball their marketing, and digital marketing in particular. This could be because they don’t understand it, don’t really believe in it, or simply don’t know how to budget for it. Usually they try it here and there and then write it off as not working. Well, there are many factors that go into that statement and, truth be told, most are doing it wrong. First things first: build a plan. Building that plan includes setting and sticking to a marketing budget and, if you want to succeed online, embracing the many digital marketing opportunities out there.

“You might be surprised by how many retailers spitball their marketing, and digital marketing in particular.”

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Most retailers today dedicate 25 percent to 60 percent of their overall marketing dollars to online initiatives. (Overall marketing budgets are 6 percent to 8 percent of gross sales.)

Establish KPIs and measure conversions. Most retailers don’t do these things and, as a result, are left in the same stagnant rotation.

Find an experienced partner who can articulate a multi-layered approach to digital marketing — not just someone who talks about paying for clicks. What do they believe? What’s their strategy? Believe me, there is a difference.

Finally, remember that the aim is a complementary marketing mix. There is still a need for traditional media, but it helps to compare cost versus reach. It’s also helpful to rethink traditional media and how it can drive people to your online space. There are also numerous types of digital media such as paid search (PPC), social advertising, SEO, geo-marketing, retargeting, digital display and text-based marketing (SMS). You most likely can’t do them all and do them well, so you’ll need to select the types of media that complement your plan and objectives. Again, it’s about reach. If you don’t have an adequate budget for a particular type of digital media, you’re basically spending money on the “business card size ad.” Let’s be honest, that rarely works.

I challenge you to get serious about what you do online. Build a plan, put the right team in place and watch what happens in the next year. Times are rapidly changing. Jewelers will either adapt or slowly become irrelevant. Want to make 2018 great? Build a plan. Build it!


Fruchtman Marketing is a full-service agency that specializes in the jewelry industry and works with many of the country’s finest jewelry retailers, manufacturers, designers and trade groups. The company has presented seminars at the most prominent trade shows, including JCK Las Vegas, IJO and The Centurion Jewelry Show, and contributes to top industry publications. Visit the jewelry marketing experts at fruchtman.com

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Wilkerson Testimonials

When It’s Time for Something New, Call Wilkerson

Fifty-four years is a long time to stay in one place. So, when Cindy Skatell-Dacus, owner of Skatell’s Custom Jewelers in Greenville, SC decided to move on to life’s next adventure, she called Wilkerson. “I’d seen their ads in the trade magazines for years,’ she says, before hiring them to run her store’s GOB sale. It was such a great experience, Skatell-Dacus says it didn’t even seem like a sale was taking place. Does she have some advice for others thinking of a liquidation or GOB sale? Three words, she says: “Wilkerson. Wilkerson. Wilkerson.”

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Eileen McClelland

2019 Big Survey: 10 Times When Jewelry Store Employees Left the Job in Dramatic Fashion

Results of the 2019 Big Survey have been rolling in. Here’s a sample.

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WE ASKED SURVEY respondents to share the most epic ways they’d seen someone quit or be fired. Dealing with employees on their way out can be touchy. Sometimes these unfortunate encounters even culminate in award-winning dramatic performances. Read on for the most memorable ways employees have parted ways with jewelry stores:

Top 10 Countdown

The award for best dramatic performance goes to the employees who:

10. Screamed at the top of their lungs, “I QUIT”

9. Showed up in pajamas, had a breakdown, then quit and walked out.

8. Threw rings at the boss while asking for a raise, then quit.

7. Threw a crystal piece through a showcase shelf.

6. Hit the jeweler in the head with a bag of bananas.

5. Threw his key at me.

4. Came in wielding a pipe wrench screaming that we were liars.

3. Ran out of the shop, arms raised in the air, saying “he’s trying to kill me.”

2. Got drunk at a charity event we were sponsoring, hit on one of the ladies and pulled her skirt up. Police were called.

And the No. 1 best dramatic performance goes to:

1. The employee who hired a marching band to quit.

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted in September and October and attracted responses from more than 800 North American jewelers. Look out for all the results in the November issue of INSTORE.

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Wow Your Customers with This Video Messaging App

Jewelers can make online experiences feel a lot more like in-person experiences.

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DO YOU REMEMBER the last time a business did something unexpected for you? Something you truly appreciated? Of course, you do. Those are the moments that imprint themselves on our memories. For me, it was with a video messaging app called Bonjoro.

My Wow Moment

When I signed up for their free trial, I expected to get a video message from them. That’s what they do. And they told me I would. What I didn’t expect was to get a video answer about a tech issue I was having minutes after I emailed them about it. That blew me away.

In the jewelry industry, we pride ourselves on our in-store service and fret about our online marketing. Gone are the glory days with greater foot traffic. Now everyone wants to kick the tires online before they commit to coming in. But what if you could bring your amazing customer service to customers before they ever stepped foot in the store?

Bonjoro to the Rescue

That’s exactly what Bonjoro allows you to do. Bonjoro is an easy to use video to email messaging app for businesses. They make recording and emailing a personalized video to customers almost effortless. And you can even send these videos when they’ll have the biggest impact, like right after they fill out a contact form on your site.

Imagine a prospective customer visits your site. They fill out a contact form with some details about the type of engagement ring they’re looking for. After they press submit, someone on your sales team gets a notification. Once they have a free minute, they pull out their phone and record and send a video in less time than it would take them to respond to the email.

“Hi, Jim! I know exactly the style that you’re looking for, and we have some great options for you. You can see a few of them in the case behind me, but I have a few more that I’d like to pull out and show you. You mentioned that you have a lunch break at noon. Why don’t you stop by tomorrow, and I’ll have them all ready for you? In the meantime, there’s a link to our website’s engagement ring gallery in this window. If you see anything else you like, you can write me a quick message, and I’ll be sure to add it. See you soon!”

An Experience Like No Other

This is an experience most jewelers aren’t going to offer. The enthusiasm and confidence communicated in a video are hard to match in an email response. And the customer has likely never received a response like this from a jewelry store. Just the thought that someone took the time to personally address them with a video will make them more likely to stop in. Plus, they already feel like they know you.

Almost Face-to-Face

Bonjoro is a way to send quick, personalized videos to customers. They’re meant to be mixed into the daily routine and workflow of your sales team. This isn’t the time for high-quality video production or perfect angles. This is much more personal and organic than that.

People online aren’t used to being addressed personally by video. It gives them a personal touch that usually only happens in the store. When you use Bonjoro, the most important thing is to press the record button and talk to the customer like they’re right there in front of you. What a wonderful way to wow your customers!

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Commentary: The Business

Customer Fired for Cause

Her phone manners left something to be desired.

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Laurelle Giesbrecht of French’s Jewellery says her daughter Heidi, now 15, is not afraid to answer the phone despite what happened and calls it “a learning experience.”

WHILE VISITING A great friend and store owner, Laurelle Giesbrecht of French’s Jewellery in Alberta, Canada, we were commiserating over coffee. I have always loved hearing her stories about community involvement or win/win sales interactions. This time, she had a real doozy.

A customer had recently purchased a $300 ring for her daughter and had sent her back to the store for a free sizing. The young girl had decided it was not going to be on her third finger but the much larger first. That meant the ring needed to be sized from 5 to 10. For this, there would be a charge. The girl left the ring.

Laurelle’s daughter, Heidi, was answering phones as her mom finished closing the store. It was the last call before locking up. Heidi asked how she could re-direct the caller and then, holding the phone to her chest, asked her mom if she wanted to take the call. Mom assured her she was doing fine. It brought a smile to her face when she heard her daughter tell the caller that she would pass the message along to their HR manager.

But later at home, the true story emerged. The call had been from the original purchaser of the size 5 ring, and using a long string of vulgarities, she had demanded a full refund. The next day, typically affable Laurelle left a message requesting a return call. When the return call came, Laurelle informed the customer that the swearing she had done over the phone had been directed at her 13-year-old daughter. She added that she would not allow that treatment of any of her staff. After informing the customer that she would process a full refund, she asked for her mailing address so she could mail it. Laurelle calmly informed the customer that she was not to come back to her store.

But the story was not over. The customer ignored the request to not return to the store and instead brought a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a neatly written card. She wanted to personally deliver them to the 13-year-old child who had listened so intently to her vulgar language. This customer knew that the depth of her apology could only be appreciated by a face-to-face meeting between an embarrassed adult and precocious child!

If there are lessons here, they are written between the lines.

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