In my role as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Stuller, I’m exposed to thousands of customer websites each year. Time and time again, I’m amazed by what jewelers are able to accomplish through their individual websites and unique digital experiences. Top-selling superheroes are able to garner significant online sales while identifying and generating new customers via digital avenues, then drive them straight to their physical storefronts.
So, I thought it’d be interesting to create a series of blog posts over the coming months to point out a few specific Stuller customers that I think are offering an amazing digital experience.
KABANG! Behold your newest superpower:
Forge Your Digital Experience
Experience is everything — from your store’s appearance to how you personally greet and consult with your customers each day. Even the way you wrap that special purchase your customer just made for his bride-to-be evokes a particular experience.
As the digital world grows rapidly around us, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and all of the other apps individuals download are booming. It’s safe to assume almost every customer uses their smartphone daily to connect with their family, friends, AND their favorite stores and brands. You’ve likely also heard about millennials and how they’re BIG users of technology. Oh— and most of them love jewelry and are getting married at this time in their lives, too.
If you’ve already established your brand and are trying to provide your customers with a unique experience to reflect your brand with a physical storefront, by-appointment-only location, or through another face-to-face type of business, then I suggest you extend that experience into the digital space as well.
Decide Your Digital Starting Point
1. Social Media (Introductory)
Creating a digital experience for your brand doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create a website. I’ve seen countless successful jewelry brands leverage social media like Facebook and Instagram as an outlet and go-to location for their customers (and prospects). Social media allows you to express what your brand is all about. Try posting images of your jewelry stores, unique product designs, updates, current promotions, and even pictures of your customers and in-store pets. All of these things can help support and communicate the brand image and experience you aim to convey. Find more social media help here.
2. Sell Online (Intermediate)
If you want to go further by trying to sell online, start by creating a digital storefront using websites like Etsy. Amazon also launched Amazon Handmade as an outlet for artisans to sell their wares to over 250 million people— that’s a HUGE audience and customer base to work with. These are great places to get your feet wet with online sales and help to expose your brand to folks who visit these sorts of sites every day seeking that unique, one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry.
3. Website (Experienced)
If you want to go all out, strive to build your own individual online presence with a personalized domain (example: www.yourstorenamehere.com). However, keep in mind the increase in time and effort this will require on your part. You must be cognizant of the involvement associated with creating and maintaining your own website, which can become significant.
There are many ways to approach this. You can create what I might call a branding website where you leverage content like pictures and text to convey your brand, products, and service offerings. Or, if you want to sell your jewelry online, you can create an e-commerce website. In this instance, the goal is to present the individual items you are selling and provide potential customers with the ability to purchase them online.
Start With a BANG!
Ramping up your digital efforts can be difficult. Whether you’re creating a Facebook page, establishing an Etsy presence, or creating your own website using WordPress, sometimes it just takes a little inspiration.
So, I’ll leave you with a list of ten concepts to consider as you contemplate your next digital direction—
1. Image is Everything
The perfect picture is the most effective mechanism for capturing someone’s attention. Make sure the first image visitors see in your digital experience is interesting, clear, and reflective of the brand you want to convey.
2. Simplicity is King
You may have heard of the KISS Principle – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Consumers are busy these days. They want things to be easy. So try to strive for simplicity in everything you do online. Don’t use too much text. Make things easy to read.
3. Consumers are Social
Don’t overlook the power of social media. Start with Facebook. Lots of traffic means more potential customers. Remember #1 on my list? Expand to Pinterest and Instagram if you have the time. These are VERY image-oriented platforms.
4. Keep it Fresh
Consumers are always looking for something NEW. If you want visitors returning to your digital experience, make sure you add new content on a regular basis.
5. Seek Help
Not everyone is an expert in all things digital. Don’t let that stop you. I mentioned millennials earlier. They are very good at social media and digital things. Look for part-time help from a local high school or college student to help maintain your social presence.
6. Feature Yourself
Show pictures of yourself and your employees. Consumers are always interested in who is behind the scenes of your brand.
7. Tell Your Story
Don’t forget to tell your personal story and how you became a jeweler. What is your inspiration? Where do you come from? What drives you every day?
8. Test it Out
It’s always a good idea to have your employees, friends, or trusted customers try out your digital experience before you present it to the world. Let them call out your errors and pain points. Capture their feedback and use it to enhance your digital experience.
9. Let Your Customers Sell You
Reviews are huge. Strive to capture and leverage as many customer reviews as you can. You should leverage review platforms like Yelp. Be sure to urge all satisfied customers to provide their positive feedback. Then, make sure to feature them on your Facebook page and/or your website.
10. Video 101
Video can go a long way. Don’t worry— it doesn’t have to be produced in a studio with high production value. In fact, rougher video can actually have a greater appeal. It’s raw and relatable. Don’t be afraid to shoot video on your iPhone. Try interviewing a satisfied customer. Do a simple walkthrough of your store or present product in your case. Post it on Facebook and see what happens. Bonus points for going live on Facebook or Instagram.
That’s all for now! I’ll come back next time with a couple examples of customers that are doing some killer things online. Stay tuned! In the meantime, read more about Kevin Metz, CMO here.