Christmas Eve is 6 months from today and we want your website to be ready. We know you are already planning your holiday ads and looking at potential styles for your holiday inventory, and you should be planning your website right now, too.
All week we've been reviewing holiday shopping data published by Google at http://www.google.com/think/insights. We're giving you the more relevant data for retail jewelry stores with ideas of what to do with it.
Mobile phones with 4G technology are more widely available this year. Most (if not all) smartphone plans now require some type of data plan with internet browsing. Google says the mobile market each holiday season since 2008 has risen 300% due to faster cell phone speeds. Is it possible to still have 300% mobile usage growth again this year? We're certainly expecting it, and you need to be prepared.
But exactly what should your mobile website do? To answer that questions let's look at the data Google gave us in January 2011.
Google says that mobile usage drove and diverted online and in store purchases. Here's how:
48% of users researched products on their smartphones then drove to the store to buy it.
45% of users researched products on their smartphones then went to their computer to buy it.
30% of users were looking at a product on their smartphone and simply bought the product through their phone.
18% of users first found the item on a mobile website, then went to look at it in person in a store but then went back to their computer to make the purchase online.
14% of users first found the item on a mobile website, then went to look at it in person in a store but then purchased it on a mobile website.
12% of users first found the item in a store but then decided to buy it through a mobile website instead.
Our feeling is that consumers who bought the item online (mobile or PC) after seeing it in a store either found a better price or were given some other compelling online offer.
Of all the holiday smartphone users surveyed, 80% of them said they used their phone to shop or research while they were in a store.
What is it, though, that will entice users to use your mobile website? How can you grab that business away from your local competitors?
Here are some ideas we've collected based on our findings and what Google provided:
1. Prices - Customers want to see the prices.
2. Reviews - Give your customers the ability to post a review for all the world to see.
3. Tons of Product information - You really need at least 400 beautiful, elegant, dazzling, brilliant, and radiant words to say about each product. The product reviews count toward the 400 words, but please don't rely on them.
4. Availability - This is not only if it is in stock, but also the sizes that are available, or how long it would take to order or resize.
5. Video - Short video reviews or demos uploaded to YouTube and embedded on your mobile/pc website.
Part of Google's research showed that 8% of holiday mobile users were shopping for jewelry and 10% were looking for watches. These are low numbers, but we feel they are low because so many jewelry stores are way behind with technology.
For comparison, the high winners in Google reports were Entertainment Items at 23% and Electronics at 22%.
This concludes our review of Google's Think Insights data as it could apply directly to retail jeweler stores and jewelry websites. Six months from today we're going to want to know how you used these ideas.
Go out and find yourself a good jewelry website programmer or jewelry website designer that can implement these ideas. If you don't find one, then check out our sister company Sapphire Collaborative (www.sapphirecollaborative.com).