SPONSORED CONTENT How to Set Up Your Jewelry Store Website to Sell Online Oftentimes, jewelry store owners will simply set up a website just to have some sort of online presence that they can direct customers to, but these days simply having a website is not enough. The truth is that there is much more going on behind the scenes in the minds’ of your visitors, and it has everything to do with their perception of your jewelry store. What Makes an Effective Website? When someone visits your jewelry store website, whether you want it to happen or not, an impression is made. In just seconds, your website sends a message. Is it a trustworthy, credible place to do business? As a customer, is my order secure? Can I go through the checkout process easily or are there technical hiccups along the way? With the rise of certain e-commerce technologies and shopping carts, jewelry store owners now have more choices than ever when it comes to accepting orders and processing transactions online. For example, many jewelry store websites are built on the Shopify or WooCommerce platforms because of their features that make selling online easier than ever. For example, the Shopify platform makes it easy for jewelry store website owners to upload their products and even includes emails that can be sent out when the user abandons their shopping cart, which is key in capturing more sales. It also ties in well to social media sites like Facebook and Instagram for added ease of promotion. By far, of all the jewelry store websites we’ve developed, Shopify remains the most popular platform to use and is always at the forefront of technological advances. The Pitfalls of Proprietary Platforms However it’s also important to know that these features don’t come without a cost. Shopify takes a percentage of each transaction. To help sidestep this issue, many jewelry store websites are built on proprietary platforms (such as those made by a web development company). The problem is, if the company ever goes out of business, or you decide to renovate your website, you likely won’t be able to use the same system unless you have that same company redo the work. Beyond that, most website designers and developers are not in the business of maintaining proprietary platforms. It’s just something that was customized specifically for you, and with the pace at which technology moves, it’s entirely possible that your proprietary platform could be quickly outdated, leaving your website in the dust and you, as a jewelry store owner, struggling to catch up. Merchandising Jewelry On Your Website In addition to walling off your jewelry store website from technology, proprietary platforms also don’t let you take advantage of the latest technology for displaying your products. Online, merchandising is just as important (if not more-so) than in brick-and-mortar stores, That’s why it’s a smart idea to work with existing technology so that when things like 3D modeling or Augmented Reality displays of your products become available through your chosen platform, you can take advantage of them right away. At the heart of the merchandising process, good product photos can make or break your sales. Fortunately, today’s smartphones take excellent photos and you can easily use an iPhone11 or Google Pixel to take photos that are comparable to those taken with high end digital camera equipment. Combining high quality photographs with a technology like Gem Lightbox makes it easy to showcase your products in a virtual environment from all sides, making it easy for the user to see the exquisite quality and style of your jewelry from every angle. Simply having the technology to showcase and display your products in a unique way is not enough to guarantee sales. You also have to make it as easy and as seamless as possible for the user to browse and interact with your website. For that, we bring you the “User Experience”. The Optimal User Experience So how can you tailor your jewelry store website to provide a seamless, engaging and user-friendly experience? First and foremost, it’s a good idea to have dedicated pages for each service you offer. Not only is this good for search engine optimization, but it also makes it easier to organize your site and help your visitors find what they’re looking for more readily. Oftentimes, jewelry store website owners will put multiple services on one page. Not only does this make it difficult for Google to rank and prioritize your pages, but it also makes for a cumbersome process for your online shoppers to find precisely what they’re looking for. You can help make this process even more crystal-clear to search engines by having your homepage mention one service that you want to highlight above the others. This will further lend credibility and value to what you have to offer. Beyond these steps, implementing landing pages, or pages dedicated to a specific product, can help further grow and reinforce your Google ranking as well as make it easier for users to find your products and services. Having landing pages is also a smart way to “futureproof” your pages in Google, since soon the search behemoth will be rolling out a major update that emphasizes the user experience, and those sites that prioritize a seamless, engaging user experience will be ranked higher than those who do not. Having landing pages done this way isn’t just good for the search engines, but it also helps lead users along the “Buyer’s Journey”. Considering that 90% of shoppers are in the “Research and Consideration” phase of buying, having specific pages dedicated to your best selling products can help make their decision process easier and give them greater guidance. Enhancing the User Experience Keep in mind that the creation of landing pages is just one of the many ways in which you can enhance the user experience. Concentrating on things like your page speed (load time), the mobile responsiveness of your pages, as well as how well you walk users through the ordering process are all facets of the customer journey and all lend themselves to improving your brand awareness, credibility and much more. In short, only good can come from making these changes to your website. User Experience Checklist It can be difficult to remember all of the things that a good jewelry store website should contain within it to help improve the user experience, so to help simplify the process, we’ve made a quick checklist: Financing options, including PayPal Pay-in-4, Afterpay, Klarna, Affirm, etc.) Protect against fraud with GemFind’s partner, ClearSale Customer reviews Multiple channels of communication and calls-to-action, including: Live chat Click to call Text us (compatible with any texting service) The ability to book an appointment (such as through Calendly or Zoom) Inquiry form on the product page so that the user can ask about that specific product Email form A checkout process that is free of distractions (optimizing your checkout to take out any information that isn’t needed — like making the user enter in their shipping address versus pulling it from their preferred payment method, like PayPal). If you think this won’t have much of an affect, consider that according to the Baymard Institute, optimizing the checkout process can increase checkout rates by as much as 35%. The use of heat maps – See where the user is clicking and hovering. Where is their attention going? Steps Toward Consistent and Measurable Improvement The most important thing to keep in mind is that as you’re setting up your jewelry store website to sell jewelry online, it’s not a “once and done” thing. It’s an ongoing process of looking at the data that your website is gathering from your visitors: where are they coming from? Where are they going? Are they finding what they’re looking for? Why or why not? What can you do to help them? As more and more users come to your pages, you’ll start to gain valuable insights that are specifically for your audience and their needs. As your online jewelry store continues to grow and you start promoting it through different channels, you’ll see how well your efforts (and your hard work in setting up your site the right way!) will pay off in terms of conversions and sales. If you need help setting up your jewelry store website or you want to redo an existing website, reach out to the experts at GemFind Digital Solutions. With over 20 years of online marketing and design experience specifically for the jewelry industry, we can provide specific insights that your average web design company or marketing firm cannot. To that end, we have also developed insightful tools that help jewelry store website owners engage their users on an even greater level, including complete marketing services that put your jewelry store front-of-mind with your customers. Contact us today to learn more!