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Interactive Marketing for Jewelry Websites

If you sell jewelry online . . .

Look at your website and ask yourself: Am I bombarding my customers with choices?

You might be. Many online marketers believe that there's a direct relationship between their chances of making a sale and the number of products they offer.

Having a wealth and variety of products is fine. It's wonderful. Expecting your customers to choose among them all at once? Not so much.

If your main pages are full of thumbnail pictures that link to larger ones, two things may be working against you:

1) People can't see your beautiful jewelry until and unless they click to the next page. And if they can't see the jewelry, are they going to click? Probably not.

2) Your visitor and prospective buyer is being inundated with too many choices at one time. That usually leads to making no choice.

Consider these navigation strategies instead:

Carry the "old-fashioned" brick and mortar storefront approach into the online retail arena. Ask your customers "How may we help you?" Literally. Have those words, or something similar, written on the page.

Below that statement, offer several possible answers that will cover the bases such as:
  • I want something in a particular birthstone
  • I'm looking for a necklace
  • I'd like to see your bracelets
  • I'm interested in the jewelry in one of the pictures on this page
  • Not sure what I'm looking for - show me different things
Create a link for each of the possible answers from your customer. Each link should take them to whatever fits what they're looking for.

If your customer is looking for a piece of jewelry with a particular birthstone, take them to a page where you inquire as to what birthstone they're looking for.

As before, ask it conversationally. In other words, don't say "Please select from the following birthstones". Would you say that to a customer? Instead, just ask them, "Which birthstone are you looking for?" Then, have links for each of the birthstones.

Going forward, if they click on emerald, show them emerald bracelets, necklaces, etc. Voila! A truly interactive site that starts a conversation with your customer.

As for the other options you've given your customer . . .

One of the choices is that they're interested in the jewelry they see on that page.

So, how many pictures do you use on your main page? As many as you can that feature images large enough to show detail. If you're skilled at composition, think about arranging several together.

Do yourself a big favor and work to show all the key elements - photographs and what you ask your customer with their choice of answers included - above the fold. In the world of websites, "above the fold" translates to what can be shown without having to scroll.

Scrolling is an action that a visitor only makes if they want to go further. So, do everything you can to make sure they do. Or that they don't have to scroll at all. That's convenient for your customer and offers a more positive shopping experience from a visual standpoint. After all, you are selling jewelry.

Once your customer makes his or her initial choice, stay with the less is more approach for each individual page.

If your customer asked to see what you have with the sapphire birthstone, don't show them everything at once. Keeping with the above the fold, show plenty of detail method, show three or four pieces at once. Just make sure you have very visible, prominent "next" and "previous" links so they can browse as they please.

Also, keep the same layout from page to page as they're browsing through the jewelry. Keep it simple for you and your customer. Don't make them hunt for the link in a different place from one page to the other. Look and click. Simple.

As you're creating your page, keep an eye on loading time. Have others test it using different computers and browsers. The last thing you want is to chase away customers because a page takes too long to load.

Think of what you're trying to simulate: a "real world" shopping experience. People enjoy looking at jewelry a piece at a time, looking at the detail.

And in the real world, shoppers don't have to search for links to take them where they want to go. Have a prominent line that reads something like..."To place any piece of jewelry in your shopping bag, just click on its picture."

Don't let your customer feel stranded or confused. And try to anticipate their questions.

Be descriptive with each piece of jewelry. If it's a vintage amethyst bracelet, say so in the text. Another advantage to offering details is possible website traffic from search engines. That's traffic to your online storefront that doesn't cost a penny.

If someone conducts an online search for "vintage amethyst bracelet", your description can help you place higher in the search.

The more descriptive the better. "Rose quartz bracelet" is good. "Handmade rose quartz bracelet" is better.

A specific and descriptive page title can also help people find you. That's the wording that appears in the bar at the top of your web browser's window. Each page should have a different title - concise, detailed, and attractive from a marketing standpoint.

The page title is not just what your visitor sees while they're on the page. It's what a prospective customer sees when they're deciding whether or not to visit your site.

One last pearl of wisdom . . .

If you can't afford a photographer, become an expert yourself. The do-it-yourself approach is probably the wisest and most practical if you're constantly adding new pieces.

Choose backgrounds carefully so that every detail of every piece is evident. (Remember: real world shopping experience.) Keep the focus on the jewelry itself. The background is a supporting player.

And always remember . . . presentation is everything.

Differentiate Yourself
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How to Define a Niche
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