In the world of e-commerce there are those that dabble with selling online to supplement their income, those who hope to make a living from it, and those that are actually making a living from it. The success and failure rates of e-commerce websites are tied to an infinite number of variable ranging from merchandising the right product, marketing, website design, pricing, and following the rules of the game that the search engines set forth.
Large e-tailer websites like Amazon, and even BlueNile, spend a lot of time and money fine tuning all those factors mentioned above, but they also use more advanced website techniques to have add-ons and up-sell directly on their website.
Mastering the in-person sales techniques of add-on sales and up selling in your jewelry store can be one of the more difficult parts of owning a retail store. These techniques are explained over and over again at many jewelry trade shows and yet it seems like many jewelers are not up-selling or attempting add-on sales in their stores.
Even if you don't employ these sales techniques in-person, with a little extra programming and preparation you can set your website up with these features.
When it comes to e-commerce, you would not use the phrase "up-sell" online. From the customer's point of view they don't want to be up-sold, but they might be interested in a slightly better item if you present it to them. Online we call this a "similar item."
When someone is looking at a pair of 0.5 ctw diamond earrings on your website you could present a list of "similar items" which includes the same style earrings but in 0.75 ctw. Another example of this may include a 1.0 ctw eternity ring as a list of similar items on the product detail page for a 0.75 ctw eternity ring.
Even though your website probably allows for advanced search functionality for a user to find these items on their own, they might not even consider that those products are available, and they won't go looking. Additionally, someone might find an item in your product catalog because they searched Google for "diamond stud earrings." In that situation your product detail page is unexpectedly functioning as a landing page. In those few short seconds while a Google visitor glances at those 0.5 ctw earrings they might actually be more interested in the 0.75 ctw earrings that appear in that list of similar items. They would have bounced off your website if it weren't for the similar items.
Setting up similar items on your website is not an easy task. First you need website software that allows this functionality. Most website content management systems do not have this feature by default. This feature is available in the Magento Enterprise version, it's available as an add-on for Joomla and WordPress, and it is a standard feature in the Junior CMS.
Once you have the software set up you will have to analyze all the products in your catalog to figure out which items could be a similar match to other items. This process will probably take weeks, maybe even months. But the good news is that those similar items will start to appear online if you do a few items every day.
The e-commerce phrase we use for add-on sales is "related items." An item is said to be related if it will match the current jewelry items someone is looking at. An easy example would be a full suite of jewelry. You might sell an entire matching set of earrings, necklace, pendant, bracelet, and even the ring. Think of how popular gemstone jewelry is and how designers are using the same gemstone settings restyled into a matching suite. They are displayed side by side in jewelry ads all the time.
Setting up related items might be easier than setting up the similar items since you can start with matching earrings to bracelets and necklaces. Those matching earrings and that necklace will appear as "related items" on the product detail page for the bracelet.
As I said, these features are more advanced e-commerce techniques, and they will take extra time to set up on your website. Once implemented, these two techniques should increase your average sale, improve visitor engagement on your website, and lower your website's bounce rate.