“The jewelry industry seems poised for a glittering future” according to a recently published report from global consulting giant McKinsey & Company entitled “The Jewelry Industry in 2020.”
McKinsey estimates annual global sales of $168 billion are expected to grow at a healthy clip of 5 to 6 percent each year, totaling $285 billion by 2020. The report noted that “Consumer appetite for jewelry, which was dampened by the global recession, now appears more voracious.”
The industry is also reported to be dynamic and fast moving. “Jewelry players can’t simply do business as usual and expect to thrive; they must be alert and responsive to important trends and developments or else risk being left behind by more agile competitors,” the McKinsey report went on to say.
The dynamic nature of the business is clearly evident in two key trends: The growth of branded jewelry and the massive increases in online jewelry sales. Online jewelry sales are enjoying double-digit sales growth, far outpacing the category as a whole.
What makes for an attractive, engaging and ultimately successful eCommerce presence for a jewelry company?
Create a Distinct Visual Brand
These days it is more important than ever for an online jewelry retailer to establish a clear and distinct visual brand. What does this mean?
Fashion and fine jewelry designers need to start with a great product line, and then work to establish a visual identity that will empower them to stand apart from the competition.
Much of the visual brand presence is represented by photography, and there is a need to create images that consistently underscore your brand. If people see the product line on a website or social media (often on a smart phone) will they be able to quickly recognize and experience the unique attributes of your brand?
The online jewelry market is saturated, and the method for success is to distinguish yourself visually, in a fast and in an engaging way.
Use Consistent High Quality Product Images
In many people’s minds, when it comes to eCommerce it is all about product shots on white.
They think creating these shots is very simple, though it is actually very complex, and many aspects need to be managed with a great attention to detail.
Styling of pieces is important: the arrangement of the product in the frame must be smooth and neat, in order to makes the product look most appealing. When shooting a series of like products, make sure they are styled consistently.
Lighting is especially import for jewelry. It is an intricate process to light the various component parts of jewelry well. Some need “hard” light, while others look much better using “soft” light.
Retouching is also important. It is its own craft, and nearly all images need help: for example delivering consistent color, a clean white background, with strong contrast. In short, a litany of issues need to be managed.
Effective eCommerce usually means employing a large volume of images to keep things fresh and engaging for viewers. A good balance of quality, with a casual appeal, will work best for these eCommerce images.
Smart jewelry companies seek out photographers who have a process and infrastructure in place to deliver consistent, high quality shots. Every time a detail is overlooked, the images and ultimately eCommerce sales will suffer as a result.
Move Fast to Test Emerging Technologies
People are using mobile devices and smart phones more than ever in their daily lives. In an era of short attention spans, and a need for immediate gratification, the appearance of “buy” buttons is revolutionizing the way people can shop online using social media.
Many social media networks, including Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, are now offering a simple two-step “buy” button. This is a revolutionary online shopping development. This emerging technology is ripe for use in jewelry eCommerce.
Using this feature, the social media user can purchase the product in as few as two taps – one on the buy button and a second confirmation tap.
Online merchants also need to work hard to stay visible and relevant by actively managing their “digital storefront” (website, blog, social media) with fresh, engaging and relevant content. They should also be mindful of tracking the data eCommerce produces to help identify what works, and what does not work.
It’s clear that the eCommerce future for jewelry manufacturers and retailers is a bright one, with a mindful approach to the art + science of eCommerce.
Keywords – everyone seems to be talking about them. But what’s the best way to use the art + science of keywords to help build your business?
Keywords are usually thought of as an “index term” to help people and search engines find relevant web content. They can also be the primary gateway to eCommerce or other business engagements.
Let’s take a look at them in a broader way. In this post we’ll look at:
- Using keywords from an artistic / visual branding perspective
- How keywords work, and why you need them
- The different types of keywords
Consider the artistic and creative perspective on keywords. Your brand should have a unique character, and an equally unique aesthetic look and feel.
Here’s a fun marketing exercise:
Pick three keywords to describe the aesthetic character of your brand.
Is your brand fun? Colorful? Intimate? Quirky? Serious? What’s the personality of your brand?
Think in terms of the three words that can immediately describe the way your brand looks and feels. This is a useful exercise – as the key words can lay down a consistent foundation for your images and related marketing content. This process is something an algorithm can’t do for you.
Consider Tiffany, the legendary jewelry brand. If you were to distill the visual character of their brand into three words, they might be elegant, powerful and loving. The company embodies these terms, and they are used as a visual blueprint for every image the company’s creates.
Without using keywords as a road map – you may fall victim to the old adage: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there” and this certainly applies to the visual presentation of your brand and its products.
In terms of the science of key words, a business should create content around relevant topics for their products or services, and these are expressed as keywords, which helps them “rank” well in search engine result listings.
A simple informative video of how search works from Google can help you understand the mechanics.
Why do you need keywords?
- Keywords should be used as the foundation of your website, blog and social media presence. They can also inform offers and e-mails.
- Keywords can help visitors and potential customers understand the purpose of your web page / blog and business.
- When a search engine crawls your web pages to index them – it will parse the keywords on the page to determine the purpose of your pages.
There are two different types of keywords:
Broad Keywords: Are short words or phases that can apply to your own company, as well as every other firm in your industry.
Long-tail Keywords: Tend to be longer words or phrases that are more specific to your company.
When you’re first getting started, you definitely will want to start by targeting long-tail keywords, because these are easier to rank for and they also bring in the most relevant and qualified traffic.
Using a combination of both “art” and “science” driven keywords will help spell success for your eCommerce / online marketing efforts. Be sure to test different keywords to see which yield the best outcomes or results in terms of building site traffic, visitor engagement and eCommerce.
That’s the art + science of keywords in a nutshell.
How do you plan to use keywords to build your business this week?