Should Local Jewelers Sell Online?
by Charles Pobee-Mensah, Director of Digital Marketing
Amazon is getting scary. They’ve disrupted some brick and mortars and decimated others. So when news broke that they might be starting to encroach on the jewelry industry with its own line, the natural reaction is to think about how to protect your business. Could selling online be the way to do it?
If you want to know if selling online is the right way to future-proof your jewelry store, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at what you should consider.
The Retail Jeweler’s Online Advantage
Believe it or not, the physical location of your retail store makes you much more valuable to online shoppers. And trust is chief among them. People trust local jewelers. Jewelers have a stake in the community and are not “faceless” like most of the internet sites they deal with.
See In Store
Another advantage is the option to see items in the store. Shoppers can buy online, and come into the store for repairs. The choice is theirs. That’s a flexibility that Amazon can’t offer, and it’s an advantage for you.
A Phone Call Away
People rarely think about this one. It’s much easier to call your local jeweler with a question than an online retailer. With local businesses, customers expect friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful staff. With online businesses, they expect complex phone systems, lengthy hold times, and poor English. You have an advantage with selling online when people know that they can call and speak to a real human when they need to.
Reasons You Should (and Shouldn’t) Sell Online
Your Market Demand
To start, you should definitely offer e-commerce if your market demands it. For instance, one of our clients has clients who have to drive a long distance to get to the nearest jewelry store. This means that there is an opportunity for them by offering them jewelry by mail instead.
If the people in your market are tech-savvy, have long distances to travel, or simply have a propensity to shop online, then that’s a market demand that you can’t ignore.
Also, selling online is often a good idea if you offer some lower price point jewelry. The lower the price point, the more comfortable people feel buying online instead of coming into the store to purchase.
If, however, you sell mostly high ticket items to a less tech-savvy demographic that lives close by, the chances are that they would prefer to come in and make the purchase face to face.
Despite this, you may feel more comfortable learning how e-commerce works before the world changes around you. Like needing a website, there may come a day when all jewelers need to sell online to stay relevant.
Things To Consider Before You Start
If you’ve determined that selling online is for you, here are the things you should consider before getting started.
Have a Good Website First
By good, I mean that it is easy to use, has lots of good, high-quality pictures of products, good descriptions of items, and your website accurately reflects your inventory. If your website is up to par, convincing people to buy online will be much easier.
Have Policies to Entice Purchases
Will you offer free shipping? Easy returns? Whatever it is, these policies will shape customers expectations. You don’t want them to feel like buying online from you is a risk, so offer policies that will make the process easier for them. Then you can highlight these on your website to put customers’ minds at ease.
Run Advertising to Encourage Online Purchases
Once you start selling online, it’s up to you to make sure that people know it’s available. If your ads emphasis terms like “buy online” then they will consider it from the beginning.
Ready to Sell Online?
Once you’ve thought through everything and you think you’re ready to take this on, there’s nothing left to do but make it happen. You can set up an online component for your website with e-commerce platforms like Woocommerce for WordPress, Shopify, and Squarespace. Armed with a great website and an online store, the threat of Amazon may be the furthest thing from your mind.
Are you looking for an agency that can help you to start selling online? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.