What a fantastic weekend at the JCK Las Vegas show! We gathered many new questions and got a lot of new information to report to you over the coming weeks.
Many jewelers are asking if it's important to have a product catalog on your website, and we'd like to report on some things we heard, and tell you our opinion.
If you have an online product catalog, you have the choice to sell through full e-commerce, or just show products. Our opinion is it better to not activate e-commerce unless you are ready for the extra expense of PCI compliance security, and as long as you realize that you won't have tons of online sales unless you also have a marketing budget. Also, you need a staff that can handle online orders.
On the other hand, with e-commerce you can track your ROI from the first click all the way through the sale, assuming there is a sale.
You see, most of the people looking at your website will still be from your local area rather than from hundreds of miles away. Those locals would rather come into your store and see the jewelry in person before they make the final purchase.
Although, to contradict that idea, we did talk to one jeweler on Sunday who had a surprising online sale to a local customer. The customer simply said he didn't have time to get to the store in person. This may be the new trend for the Millennial Generation.
The agreed upon consensus from everyone we spoke to, and other JCK speakers, is that all jewelry stores need to have their full catalog of available merchandise online now. The next generation of jewelry buyers is here, and they want to shop your entire inventory at their convenience.
We heard one story on Saturday of how proud a jeweler was when they launched their new website. Their elation was quickly deflated when they found out their customers were not at all impressed of the fancy features on the new website. But rather, their customer had the attitude of "What's so impressive? This is what we expect you to be doing."
The Millennial Generation, your new wave of bridal customers, truly expect you to be tech savvy. They want to see your entire product catalog online. If they are looking for peridot earrings, but you only show sapphire earrings online they will simply assume you don't carry what they want and move on.
So, somehow, some way, you need to figure out your new plan of website attack. It's June 5, 2012 as we send this out to you. If your entire inventory is not online yet there's still time to get it up there before the 2012 holiday season. It's not going to be easy, and it's a lot of work unless you have a quick upload routine, but you simply must do it.
So our final word for today is... GO, get it done. Call your website person and find out what it will take.