Jewelry on the Web - Part 1

The Insider, Volume II

Strategies For Selling Jewelry Online

We got into e-commerce very early. I purchased our URL, www.celticjewelry.com in 1996, because reflectiveimages.com was taken. Back then, people were dot-coming business names, not product names. At that time, there were just a few of us and we were working out of our home. We were strictly selling to the trade.

I would dread the month of December. I thought, all the jewelry business’ are having their best quarter of the year and we’re dying on the vine. This has to change.

I could not survive in today’s market without our websites. Our company employs eleven people. The sites generate close to fifty percent of our business. E-commerce has been driving the growth of our company for years.

We added a shopping cart to our site that year in 1998. Many e-commerce sites did not, because there was still this information superhighway vision of the net. I read an article in Wired Magazine that prophetically said, not having a shopping cart was commerce-interuptus.

The dot-com boom and bust came and went. We kept working on our site, developing it. In 2000, I hired the person who manages the site today. His wages are based on commission, which gives him a strong incentive to really take the project on. He was not well paid back then, but today he is better paid than anyone in our company. I’m psyched about that! His success is my success. Today, our site is top ranked on google for our most important key words.

We have had from time to time some concern by our retailers about our website. I say to them that we have a gallery and we mark up almost all our pieces between 2.3 and 2.5 times over our wholesale, depending upon the item. We never try to undercut the stores that sell our work nationally. We have a jewelry store ourselves and understand the difficulties. I will give our retailers the mailing list of our retail customers in their area, as well as coop advertising, exchange privileges and help them as much as I can for thirty inches of case space. I do not want to compete with them but I do want access to the national market—the 98% of the country where someone cannot walk into a nearby store and find our product.

Even recently, articles in trade magazines minimized the effect of the internet on the jewelry business. They argued that customers needed to touch and hold the pieces. They had to be educated by certified gemologists in their purchase.

Yet ultimately, these articles are misleading. They allow people to justify their business plans and not treat e-commerce seriously. It would not surprise me to see e-commerce take thirty percent or more of the jewelry market as the tech-savvy generations gain wealth. Young people today are wired and have an entirely different relationship to technology.

Unless you have unlimited resources, if you have waited to get on line until the last year or two, or have not kept your site up to date, you are going to have really play catch up to garner the true potential of the internet.

I would never say that even a simple website is valueless. You can always use it as a tool for your current customer base. But unless you have unlimited resources, it might be too expensive at this point to really grow a solid internet based business quickly.

To get noticed, you have to be on the first or second page with good key words. There are two ways to do this. You can pay for it through the pay-per-click venues. You see the advertised or sponsored companies at the top of a search. You click on their site and a fee is charged to their credit card. It is expensive to do this that it can cut your margins. You can even end up loosing money.

The second method is through “organic” rankings. These are the companies that are at the top of the page because they have earned it. To get here for major sites you have to know what you are doing or get good advice.

Our New Site

We launched www.artisanweddingrings.com in 2005. In building the site, we consulted with a leading search engine optimization and marketing company. We hired them for eight months. It costs us about a thousand dollars a month. For this, they provided some text writing which basically sucked—I had to redo it. They also wrote some code and gave us some key words, which we had already figured out.

At the time, we had an existing website selling wedding rings. We modified it and sales dropped off fifty percent during the process, putting our company into somewhat of a crisis. Yet, hiring these guys turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

We already had a deep and broad knowledge of website development before we worked with them. They advised us on strategies which enabled us to build a site based on the latest design and approaches. While another company with limited technical and marketing experience on line would have certainly upgraded to their $6000 a month program—they have a very high retention rate– we got everything we needed to do it ourselves. We were poised to run with them and get a huge amount done when most people come to them who can barely crawl. By the third quarter, the site had picked up and grown over the previous year.

The artisan site does not get as much traffic as our celticjewelry.com site—only about a thousand visits a day, but it is an example of a new site that is doing very well.

We pay for traffic by buying keywords, but much of the traffic is driven from other websites which link to us. Google would not even rank the site for over a year, but recently they did rank it and the site came up on the third page and quickly moved to the second. I think we could be on the first page by the end of this year for the key words, “wedding rings.”

The person who helped to develop our site recently quit his company. He is excellent and if you want to contact him, email me at reflective@cybermesa.com.

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The Insider, Volume II

Strategies For Selling Jewelry Online

We got into e-commerce very early. I purchased our URL, www.celticjewelry.com in 1996, because reflectiveimages.com was taken. Back then, people were dot-coming business names, not product names. At that time, there were just a few of us and we were working out of our home. We were strictly selling to the trade.

I would dread the month of December. I thought, all the jewelry business’ are having their best quarter of the year and we’re dying on the vine. This has to change.

I could not survive in today’s market without our websites. Our company employs eleven people. The sites generate close to fifty percent of our business. E-commerce has been driving the growth of our company for years.

We added a shopping cart to our site that year in 1998. Many e-commerce sites did not, because there was still this information superhighway vision of the net. I read an article in Wired Magazine that prophetically said, not having a shopping cart was commerce-interuptus.

The dot-com boom and bust came and went. We kept working on our site, developing it. In 2000, I hired the person who manages the site today. His wages are based on commission, which gives him a strong incentive to really take the project on. He was not well paid back then, but today he is better paid than anyone in our company. I’m psyched about that! His success is my success. Today, our site is top ranked on google for our most important key words.

We have had from time to time some concern by our retailers about our website. I say to them that we have a gallery and we mark up almost all our pieces between 2.3 and 2.5 times over our wholesale, depending upon the item. We never try to undercut the stores that sell our work nationally. We have a jewelry store ourselves and understand the difficulties. I will give our retailers the mailing list of our retail customers in their area, as well as coop advertising, exchange privileges and help them as much as I can for thirty inches of case space. I do not want to compete with them but I do want access to the national market—the 98% of the country where someone cannot walk into a nearby store and find our product.

Even recently, articles in trade magazines minimized the effect of the internet on the jewelry business. They argued that customers needed to touch and hold the pieces. They had to be educated by certified gemologists in their purchase.

Yet ultimately, these articles are misleading. They allow people to justify their business plans and not treat e-commerce seriously. It would not surprise me to see e-commerce take thirty percent or more of the jewelry market as the tech-savvy generations gain wealth. Young people today are wired and have an entirely different relationship to technology.

Unless you have unlimited resources, if you have waited to get on line until the last year or two, or have not kept your site up to date, you are going to have really play catch up to garner the true potential of the internet.

I would never say that even a simple website is valueless. You can always use it as a tool for your current customer base. But unless you have unlimited resources, it might be too expensive at this point to really grow a solid internet based business quickly.

To get noticed, you have to be on the first or second page with good key words. There are two ways to do this. You can pay for it through the pay-per-click venues. You see the advertised or sponsored companies at the top of a search. You click on their site and a fee is charged to their credit card. It is expensive to do this that it can cut your margins. You can even end up loosing money.

The second method is through “organic” rankings. These are the companies that are at the top of the page because they have earned it. To get here for major sites you have to know what you are doing or get good advice.

Our New Site

We launched www.artisanweddingrings.com in 2005. In building the site, we consulted with a leading search engine optimization and marketing company. We hired them for eight months. It costs us about a thousand dollars a month. For this, they provided some text writing which basically sucked—I had to redo it. They also wrote some code and gave us some key words, which we had already figured out.

At the time, we had an existing website selling wedding rings. We modified it and sales dropped off fifty percent during the process, putting our company into somewhat of a crisis. Yet, hiring these guys turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

We already had a deep and broad knowledge of website development before we worked with them. They advised us on strategies which enabled us to build a site based on the latest design and approaches. While another company with limited technical and marketing experience on line would have certainly upgraded to their $6000 a month program—they have a very high retention rate– we got everything we needed to do it ourselves. We were poised to run with them and get a huge amount done when most people come to them who can barely crawl. By the third quarter, the site had picked up and grown over the previous year.

The artisan site does not get as much traffic as our celticjewelry.com site—only about a thousand visits a day, but it is an example of a new site that is doing very well.

We pay for traffic by buying keywords, but much of the traffic is driven from other websites which link to us. Google would not even rank the site for over a year, but recently they did rank it and the site came up on the third page and quickly moved to the second. I think we could be on the first page by the end of this year for the key words, “wedding rings.”

The person who helped to develop our site recently quit his company. He is excellent and if you want to contact him, email me at reflective@cybermesa.com.

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The Insider, Volume II

Strategies For Selling Jewelry Online

We got into e-commerce very early. I purchased our URL, www.celticjewelry.com in 1996, because reflectiveimages.com was taken. Back then, people were dot-coming business names, not product names. At that time, there were just a few of us and we were working out of our home. We were strictly selling to the trade.

I would dread the month of December. I thought, all the jewelry business’ are having their best quarter of the year and we’re dying on the vine. This has to change.

I could not survive in today’s market without our websites. Our company employs eleven people. The sites generate close to fifty percent of our business. E-commerce has been driving the growth of our company for years.

We added a shopping cart to our site that year in 1998. Many e-commerce sites did not, because there was still this information superhighway vision of the net. I read an article in Wired Magazine that prophetically said, not having a shopping cart was commerce-interuptus.

The dot-com boom and bust came and went. We kept working on our site, developing it. In 2000, I hired the person who manages the site today. His wages are based on commission, which gives him a strong incentive to really take the project on. He was not well paid back then, but today he is better paid than anyone in our company. I’m psyched about that! His success is my success. Today, our site is top ranked on google for our most important key words.

We have had from time to time some concern by our retailers about our website. I say to them that we have a gallery and we mark up almost all our pieces between 2.3 and 2.5 times over our wholesale, depending upon the item. We never try to undercut the stores that sell our work nationally. We have a jewelry store ourselves and understand the difficulties. I will give our retailers the mailing list of our retail customers in their area, as well as coop advertising, exchange privileges and help them as much as I can for thirty inches of case space. I do not want to compete with them but I do want access to the national market—the 98% of the country where someone cannot walk into a nearby store and find our product.

Even recently, articles in trade magazines minimized the effect of the internet on the jewelry business. They argued that customers needed to touch and hold the pieces. They had to be educated by certified gemologists in their purchase.

Yet ultimately, these articles are misleading. They allow people to justify their business plans and not treat e-commerce seriously. It would not surprise me to see e-commerce take thirty percent or more of the jewelry market as the tech-savvy generations gain wealth. Young people today are wired and have an entirely different relationship to technology.

Unless you have unlimited resources, if you have waited to get on line until the last year or two, or have not kept your site up to date, you are going to have really play catch up to garner the true potential of the internet.

I would never say that even a simple website is valueless. You can always use it as a tool for your current customer base. But unless you have unlimited resources, it might be too expensive at this point to really grow a solid internet based business quickly.

To get noticed, you have to be on the first or second page with good key words. There are two ways to do this. You can pay for it through the pay-per-click venues. You see the advertised or sponsored companies at the top of a search. You click on their site and a fee is charged to their credit card. It is expensive to do this that it can cut your margins. You can even end up loosing money.

The second method is through “organic” rankings. These are the companies that are at the top of the page because they have earned it. To get here for major sites you have to know what you are doing or get good advice.

Our New Site

We launched www.artisanweddingrings.com in 2005. In building the site, we consulted with a leading search engine optimization and marketing company. We hired them for eight months. It costs us about a thousand dollars a month. For this, they provided some text writing which basically sucked—I had to redo it. They also wrote some code and gave us some key words, which we had already figured out.

At the time, we had an existing website selling wedding rings. We modified it and sales dropped off fifty percent during the process, putting our company into somewhat of a crisis. Yet, hiring these guys turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

We already had a deep and broad knowledge of website development before we worked with them. They advised us on strategies which enabled us to build a site based on the latest design and approaches. While another company with limited technical and marketing experience on line would have certainly upgraded to their $6000 a month program—they have a very high retention rate– we got everything we needed to do it ourselves. We were poised to run with them and get a huge amount done when most people come to them who can barely crawl. By the third quarter, the site had picked up and grown over the previous year.

The artisan site does not get as much traffic as our celticjewelry.com site—only about a thousand visits a day, but it is an example of a new site that is doing very well.

We pay for traffic by buying keywords, but much of the traffic is driven from other websites which link to us. Google would not even rank the site for over a year, but recently they did rank it and the site came up on the third page and quickly moved to the second. I think we could be on the first page by the end of this year for the key words, “wedding rings.”

The person who helped to develop our site recently quit his company. He is excellent and if you want to contact him, email me at reflective@cybermesa.com.

Start uga_shutdown Start uga_in_feed Ending uga_in_feed: Start uga_track_user Start uga_get_option: ignore_users uga_options: array ( 'internal_domains' => 'www.circlemanifesto.com,circlemanifesto.com', 'account_id' => 'UA-8534005-1', 'enable_tracker' => true, 'track_adm_pages' => true, 'ignore_users' => true, 'max_user_level' => '8', 'footer_hooked' => false, 'filter_content' => true, 'filter_comments' => true, 'filter_comment_authors' => true, 'track_ext_links' => true, 'prefix_ext_links' => '/outgoing/', 'track_files' => true, 'prefix_file_links' => '/downloads/', 'track_extensions' => 'gif,jpg,jpeg,bmp,png,pdf,mp3,wav,phps,zip,gz,tar,rar,jar,exe,pps,ppt,xls,doc', 'track_mail_links' => true, 'prefix_mail_links' => '/mailto/', 'debug' => true, 'check_updates' => true, 'version_sent' => '1.6.0', 'advanced_config' => true, ) Ending uga_get_option: ignore_users (1) Start uga_get_option: max_user_level uga_options: array ( 'internal_domains' => 'www.circlemanifesto.com,circlemanifesto.com', 'account_id' => 'UA-8534005-1', 'enable_tracker' => true, 'track_adm_pages' => true, 'ignore_users' => true, 'max_user_level' => '8', 'footer_hooked' => false, 'filter_content' => true, 'filter_comments' => true, 'filter_comment_authors' => true, 'track_ext_links' => true, 'prefix_ext_links' => '/outgoing/', 'track_files' => true, 'prefix_file_links' => '/downloads/', 'track_extensions' => 'gif,jpg,jpeg,bmp,png,pdf,mp3,wav,phps,zip,gz,tar,rar,jar,exe,pps,ppt,xls,doc', 'track_mail_links' => true, 'prefix_mail_links' => '/mailto/', 'debug' => true, 'check_updates' => true, 'version_sent' => '1.6.0', 'advanced_config' => true, ) Ending uga_get_option: max_user_level (8) Tracking user with level Ending uga_track_user: 1 Footer hook was not executed, but header hook did Start uga_get_option: footer_hooked uga_options: array ( 'internal_domains' => 'www.circlemanifesto.com,circlemanifesto.com', 'account_id' => 'UA-8534005-1', 'enable_tracker' => true, 'track_adm_pages' => true, 'ignore_users' => true, 'max_user_level' => '8', 'footer_hooked' => false, 'filter_content' => true, 'filter_comments' => true, 'filter_comment_authors' => true, 'track_ext_links' => true, 'prefix_ext_links' => '/outgoing/', 'track_files' => true, 'prefix_file_links' => '/downloads/', 'track_extensions' => 'gif,jpg,jpeg,bmp,png,pdf,mp3,wav,phps,zip,gz,tar,rar,jar,exe,pps,ppt,xls,doc', 'track_mail_links' => true, 'prefix_mail_links' => '/mailto/', 'debug' => true, 'check_updates' => true, 'version_sent' => '1.6.0', 'advanced_config' => true, ) Ending uga_get_option: footer_hooked () Start uga_get_option: debug uga_options: array ( 'internal_domains' => 'www.circlemanifesto.com,circlemanifesto.com', 'account_id' => 'UA-8534005-1', 'enable_tracker' => true, 'track_adm_pages' => true, 'ignore_users' => true, 'max_user_level' => '8', 'footer_hooked' => false, 'filter_content' => true, 'filter_comments' => true, 'filter_comment_authors' => true, 'track_ext_links' => true, 'prefix_ext_links' => '/outgoing/', 'track_files' => true, 'prefix_file_links' => '/downloads/', 'track_extensions' => 'gif,jpg,jpeg,bmp,png,pdf,mp3,wav,phps,zip,gz,tar,rar,jar,exe,pps,ppt,xls,doc', 'track_mail_links' => true, 'prefix_mail_links' => '/mailto/', 'debug' => true, 'check_updates' => true, 'version_sent' => '1.6.0', 'advanced_config' => true, ) Ending uga_get_option: debug (1) -->