What Makes a Retail Jewelers Website Effective?
GemFind has been building websites for the jewelry industry for over 15 years which is a century in terms of the internet. We have seen websites go from all text websites with gif images and midi music files, to the html5 and responsive sites of today. Over time, we have had to adapt and stay up with latest trends in order to provide our clients with websites that give a good ROI.
With that being said, we are asked every day, “what do i need to do to improve my business online?” We are going to attempt break that down in ourÂ blog over time but here is a starting point.
First and foremost, the most important aspect of a jewelers website is product. The main reason a new customer goes to a jewelers website is to see the product offering.
For current and returning customers it’s either to look up store hours or to look for ideas for new jewelry.
Therefore, regardless of what type of customer you’re trying to reach, product is still the most important aspect. Why is it important? There are multiple reasons. Here are a few of them:
Browsing – Most consumers go online to search for ideas for themselves or for gifts. If they don’t find what interests them on your website, they will most likely go to a competitors website or to a larger online seller such as Tiffany.com or Blue Nile to get ideas. Once they leave your website, you have virtually lost that client. It doesn’t matter how good your information is on your website because nowadays, consumers don’t have the attention span to sit and read through content. Content is necessary however, as it helps with search engine ranking and will help in building consumer confidence once that product is found. As mentioned though, product is first and foremost important.
Engaging – When you have products on your website, it allows for your website visitors to be engaged. Engaging with visitors is very important because it’s what creates conversions. A conversion means the visitor converts to a buying customer. Studies have shown that the longer a visitors stays on a website, the more likely they will convert. The goal should be to engage clients with good product and/or engaging tools so they will either A) Pick up the phone and call the store B) Request More Info on a specific product via an inquiry form C) Schedule an Appointment using an appointment scheduler on the website.
Sharing – Having product on a website is not only for the one visitor that is browsing on your site, it’s for their friends and family as well. If a visitor likes a product, they may want to get confirmation from their friends and family. If you have product on your website, that opens up the ability to allow your web visitors to share on social sites (which we will cover next), or send to a friend via email, or print out a page and show it to someone.
Visibility – Having product content allows for more visibility of your website on search engines.
Now we know that products are important to have on a website, that now brings up the question: what type of products should I show? A short answer is product that reflects what you have in your store. There is nothing more disappointing for a potential customer to go into a store and find a completely different type of product offering at the store than online (unless obviously stated on the website that it is only web products). What makes most sense is if you can’t show what you physically have in store, show products that are similar and in the same price range. If someone finds a $50 bracelet on your website, only to find your target market in store is geared towards luxury customers, you just wasted your time and their time. On the other side of the coin, if you show high end products on your website even though you focus more on discounted jewelry, it is just going to turn people away and give a bad taste in their mouth.
Another option is integrating your website with your point of sale system. Lastly, there is the old fashioned way of loading products on your website manually. We will dive deeper into each of these topics on the weeks to come so stay tuned and be sure to check outÂ our blogÂ section.
This section shouldn’t require much explanation these days because all you need to do is look at the behavior of the public to understand that everyone is on their mobile devices almost ALL THE TIME. In fact, Google recognizes the significance of this fact. Google is checking your site and isÂ taking action by downranking sites that are non-responsive or mobile friendly. You can see how Google views your site by using their Mobile-Friendly test.
Since mobile devices have become so prominent, it is just natural that shopping via mobile devices was a natural progression. If you have a form of analytics installed on your website, I suggest you take a look at what type of device your visitors are browsing on. You will most likely be surprised that over 60% of traffic is now coming from either a phone or tablet.
It is now more important than ever to make sure you are catering to this audience. Mobile devices are most prominent in the under 40 age group but it is swiftly sweeping across all age demographics. Besides, under 40 is the target bridal audience, which is the driving force for the majority of jewelry businesses.
So what is the solution? Responsiveness. In the past, websites used to be only built for desktops. In the last few years, businesses have adapted to the mobile trend by building “Mobile Websites” or “M-dot” sites which would be a completely separate website from their traditional desktop website. The issue with mobile websites is they typically do not have all of the same info, they compete for search engine ranking and the designs are rudimentary.
“Responsiveness means that one website is built for all devices so when you are on a tablet or a phone, it is the same experience as the desktop version. The only difference is menu’s convert to drop-downs and images stack in order to adapt to the different sizes.”
Additionally, it is not only important for standard responsive functionality but it is also important to design the website to be “finger friendly”. By finger friendly, we mean that websites used to be built for browsing with a mouse. Nowadays, not only phones and tablets are touch screen, computer monitors and laptops are now coming out with touch screen devices.
How do you accommodate for touch screens? Use more real estate of the website by making the site full width. By taking up more real estate, it allows for using more “white space” so text and images aren’t too close together, allowing for easier browsing with fingers.
Full width websites are also known as “fluid” which means images and text are coded using % as opposed to set pixels. This allows images and text to reduce and expand with whatever screen you are using.
Call to Actions
One of the most forgotten about aspects that we see on jewelers websites are call to actions. Items such as text that says “Call Now to Speak to a Representative (with ph# listed)”, or “Request More Info” forms can make a big difference with conversions. When a customer is browsing for product, making it as easy as possible to get in touch with your company is very important because once a customer is connected with a live person, salesmanship takes over at that point and that is what the purpose of your website should be, to get leads.
Other examples of Call to Actions: Call For Price (with a request form), Schedule an Appointment (with a form), Live Chat, Email Us.
Everything online is now about becoming viral. Wouldn’t it be nice if your own products can become viral? If you have good images of your product and have social sharing options, it’s possible.
If a customer is looking for confirmation about a specific product or they’re just excited about a product, make it easy for them to be able to share with their friends because not only does that mean they are seeing that product, but their whole friend list on Facebook or other social channels might see it.
Design & Staying up with Latest Trends
The design of your website is a very important aspect of your online presence because it is a representative of your store. If your website is out of date, the impression is that your physical store is out of date as well.
Just as important as design is staying up with the latest web trends. As technology evolves, so should your website. As we mentioned above, Responsiveness is detrimental to your business but 2 years ago, it wasn’t even on the radar. It is important to stay up to date with the latest trends so you are not losing out on potential business.
The latest web 2.0 design trends cater to today’s buyer. Today’s buyer has very minimal attention span. If you take a look at the newest designs coming out from web industry leaders, you will notice that the trend is that information is immediate and what is most important to customers is the most prominent. Additionally, home pages are becoming longer because “click through’s” are needing to be minimal. People want to find what they’re looking for and not have to jump around to too many pages to get to their destination. Some websites are now even becoming one page only. For some good examples, read our post onÂ 5 Amazing Jewelry Websites That Will Make You Want a Redesign.
How do you stay up to date with latest trends? Follow industry websites, bloggers and web designers or hire a professional company that specializes in technology and has a track record for being on the cutting edge.Â Also, check out our blog post on Website Trends for 2017.
These are just a few of the important aspects for making your website effective. Each of these items are fundamental, no matter what type of business model you have.
If you would like to go into more detail for your business, please call us for a consultation at 800-373-4373, email us at Info@GemFind.com, or leave your contact detailsÂ hereÂ for us to get back to you.
Since 1999, GemFind has successfully united the jewelry industry as the leading comprehensive technology solution provider in the digital marketing age. From complete e-commerce and custom-designed websites to POS integration, digital marketing, and responsive online marketing tools, GemFind offers complete solutions for jewelry manufacturers, diamond dealers, designers, and retailers.