Custom Search

In Brief: Retail Jewelry Website Demystifications

Matthew A Perosi, COE

Jewelry Website Myths:

- Once you put up your website, you never need to worry about it again.
- Putting up a website will allow you to sell to the world.
- Retail jewelry stores need websites to sell products online.

Jewelry Website Truths:

- You need a website.
- All adult users of the Internet use some kind of search engine to find store locations, services and products they are interested in.
- In the past few years Google has tested and virtually perfected the service Google Local, which is designed to bring local customers together with local markets.
- Managing online inventory is as time consuming process as initially entering inventory into your POS in the store.
- Instore Magazine reports (America, Online in January 2007) that people research online, find the products they want, then go to a local store to purchase it. This allows customers to save time by researching online than door to door trips to local stores.

Pitfalls of Most Jewelry Website Solutions:

- Having your own large online product catalogs would put you in competition with mega online jewelry sites like Blue Nile, Amazon, Fortunoff and every other hack auction site that undermines your customer service.
- Just like every other venture you attempt in business, without a significantly large advertising budget your website will not be successful. Sites like Blue Nile have spent a lot of money on marketing to make themselves a household name in jewelry. And they don't even have a brick and mortar store!
- It is counter productive to open an eCommerce only store and tell your current customers to buy from it. You have unwittingly told your customer, someone for whom you've spent a lot of money to get into your store originally, to shop online and not visit your store any more.
- Online sales to your current customers will dehumanize the shopping experience, diminish your customer service and you are losing the personal customer service that allows you to cater to the needs of your repeat customers while giving you opportunities for add-on or up-sells.
- Some vendors provide automated websites that you can "brand" as your own. They limit you to only the products they load in. These systems are an overly expensive, template process sold to many stores and create a competitive environment online that does not target your local market.
- Remember, customers search online locally before coming into the store. Your online product catalog should only show items you actually have in your store.
- One of the most unexpected pitfalls is the need to hire someone to maintain your website information and online inventory.

What are most other industries doing?

- Concentrating on LOCAL ADVERTISING only!
- Finding new ways to service LOCAL CUSTOMERS through the Internet.
- Extending REAL customer service online with features that make sense for their industry.

* Costco 1 hour photo stores allow you to upload digital photos direct from your camera and pick up real printed photos within an hour.
* Esurance now allows you to track your auto repairs online.
* CVS allows you to reorder your prescriptions online.

What should a jewelry store be doing?

- Concentrating on LOCAL ADVERTISING only!
- Finding new ways to service LOCAL CUSTOMERS through the Internet.
- Extending REAL customer service online with features that make sense for YOUR industry.

* When a customer is on your website, offer customers to see the item in the store, in person, before making the purchase.
* Allow customers to see their layaway status reports online including a photo of the items, and allow them to make a payment on the layaway.
* Notify customers of special in-store events and allow them to register for those events.
* Provide special on-line only opportunities.
* Deliver online purchases IN PERSON to local customers.
* Maintain a bridal registry including publishing of a local engagement listings designed as a community announcement.
* Allow customers to change their personal records like phone numbers and addresses.
* Wish lists that wives set up in the store can be made available online so their husbands can review and make purchases without ever coming into the store.
* Make repair status available online.
* Make appraisal status available online.
* Make special order status available online.
* With the permission of the customer, provide cell phone text messaging notifications for any "status" record.
* Allow customers to check the balance of their gift cards online.
* Online gift card registration so lost or stolen cards can be voided and replaced.

- The fact is that you need to create an online destination for your store based around the service you already provide.
- By extending your current customer service online you are simply adding a slightly higher level of customer service that all your employees can easily use without needing to hire someone.
- Notice that nothing listed above says anything about SELLING online. It's all about local customer service. This is called "eBusiness" rather than "eCommerce". eCommerce is so 2001.

What can do for you?

- is jewelry website specialist and eBusiness solution provider. Everything listed above is what we provide, as well as eCommerce.
- Instore Magazine reported that "from scratch" programming of generalized eBusiness tools will cost anyone $50,000 or more. But we monitor trends in your industry and create customer service tools you can actually use.
- We design your website for your specific store. We make it match your store rather than a template you pick. We have "starting" templates if you would rather have your site created faster, but we will always modify it to fit you.
- When we present you with our final website, it will be complete and operational.
- If you want to start small, we will start you with a simple static sites so you can at least be listed in Google Local.
- Pricing starts at about $2,000 and can be as much as $25,000 depending on the eBusiness service you would like.
- You own your website. If ever you part with us you can take your entire website and have it hosted with another company.

Really successful websites are always evolving, and need constant marketing.

- Typical companies only offer you eCommerce "solutions" to sell online and get listed in search engines.
- It takes a lot of manpower to maintain website marketing. If you do not have the personnel to do it on your own, we can do it for you.
- We can provide constant search engine optimization, ranking, submission.
- We also provide more advanced internet marketing aide like managing of banner placements, hyperlink exchanges, manual search engine listings, managing Google AdWords, affiliate programs, Blogging and account management.

About Matthew A Perosi:

- Matthew founded Psi Prime, Inc. in 1994 at the beginning of the Internet Age and has since built more than 500 unique websites, more than 200 of them for the jewelry industry. He has a degree in Computer Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and holds several additional technology certifications.
- He has served on the board of directors of several companies:
* Accunet, Inc., an ISP in Pennsylvania
* First Summit Securities, Inc. a brokerage firm in New Jersey
* American Debtworks, Inc., a debt collections company in Pennsylvania
- Matthew has been interviewed by Instore Magazine several times regarding Internet topics, and has directly contributed to several articles.
- To find out more about by Psi Prime, Inc. and Matthew Perosi you can visit