How to Achieve Digital Success (Without Compromising Your Brand)

In today’s fast-paced, digital world, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your online presence is strong.

We get it: in a world dominated by smart devices and free two-day shipping, it’s easy to feel like we don’t really see one another anymore. When was the last time you spoke on the phone to the millennial in your family? (and we’re not just talking text). When was the last time you purchased a household item without doing a price check on Amazon first? If you can’t relate, you’re one of the few.

For jewelers that have maintained a brick-and-mortar presence for generations, the idea of going digital can be daunting. “We’ve been in business 150 years,” they’ll say. “We never had a website or social media before. Why do we need it now?”

Those questions are valid. Why showcase or sell your jewelry online when you have it all in-store? Why interact with your customers on social media when you can do it face-to-face? Start by realizing that entering the digital realm does not mean you have to sacrifice your identity as a brick-and-mortar family jeweler. Nor does it mean your customer service and personal touch will suffer. There are ways to do both—and reap the benefits of online and offline success.

A recent issue of JCK Magazine featured The Ultimate How-To Guide to Digital Success. I encourage you to read it and apply its tips to your process of digital onboarding. While you do so, remember to remain human (no bots here!) by building a strong connection with your customers—including the potential ones on the other side of the world.

Your Website
JCK’s guide points out that even if customers plan to visit your brick-and-mortar store, they may want to conduct some research online first. This is becoming more common, which makes using your website to showcase what you have to offer more important than ever. You may believe you’re more likely to make a sale in person—and that may be true—but you can still benefit from reaching a wider audience with smart SEO and great photos. So, while your regular customers continue to visit your store for your latest offerings, imagine developing relationships with customers across the country who need what you have to sell! The more you showcase on your website, the higher you’ll rank, and the more likely you’ll be to reach customers eager to buy from you.

Continue reading the guide for advice on digital advertising options, paid social promotion, and email.

Get Social
Speaking of social media, self-proclaimed “old-school” jewelers express feeling frustrated and intimidated by the idea of joining Instagram or Facebook, given their reputation for attracting younger customers. Worse, the alphabet soup of youthful lingo on social media can be confusing. (FOMO? OOTD? TBT?)

Yes, social media can be daunting. And reading the rules and strategies is apt to double your anxiety. But it doesn’t have to be scary, and you don’t have to be a jewelry industry influencer. You just have to be authentic, share what you know, and express what you have to offer. Social media opens up an entire world, no matter where you’re located. (This is where that souped-up website comes in handy). Even better, JCK has your back. We’ll help you know exactly what to do when you create your shiny new social accounts. Read more here.

Yes, social media can be intimidating. And when you read all of the rules and strategies that go along with it, doubly, even triply, so. But it doesn’t have to be scary, and you don’t have to be a jewelry industry influencer, by any means. You just have to be authentic, share what you know, and express what you have to offer. The social media world opens up and entire new world no matter where you’re located (this is where that supped-up website comes in handy). And don’t worry, JCK has your back with exactly what to do when you create your new, shiny social accounts. Read more here.

E-Commerce
If I’ve convinced you to give your store’s website the star treatment, e-commerce should be easy, right? If you’re already displaying some (or all, you stock star!) of your inventory on your website, making it available for purchase is the logical—and fruitful—next step. This can be off-putting for retailers who want to offer the customer experience because e-commerce involves no in-person (or even over-the-phone) sales process. Anyone, anywhere, any time can simply click “purchase” and be done.

But think of it this way: crafting the best possible website is in itself a sales process. You’re convincing online shoppers to purchase from you based on your layout, product photos, text, and more. Sales pages can be just as infused with personality as your store. And, though you won’t make the sale face-to-face, you can find ways to continue the relationship—and make it personable. Start by sending a handwritten thank-you note to every customer who buys from you online. Consider following up with them via e-mail at some point down the road. You can also include your new customer in email lists and birthday and anniversary specials you offer to your regular, in-store customers. After all, your cyber shoppers deserve the same great treatment your in-store customers get. Read JCK’s guide for tips on how to make your e-commerce site shine.

It’s easy to fall down the proverbial rabbit hole looking for advice on perfecting your digital presence, but the best place to start is simply at the beginning. Don’t be afraid to jump in feet (or head!) first and start crafting the best possible version of your store online. And don’t worry. You won’t sacrifice your mom-and-pop status. You’ll just sharpen your competitive edge.

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