I have a very strong opinion of what correct setup steps a retail jeweler must go through before they have a successful e-commerce site. It takes a lot of work to put all the pieces in place before you can even launch your site.
But let's assume that you do it all right, and your e-commerce site is launched. Somehow you have to get people to your website and generate sales.
There are two groups of people that could potentially buy from you online:
1. New customers who don't know you yet
2. Existing customers that previously bought from you in-person
Attracting new customers to your e-commerce site requires good search engine optimization (SEO) and a mix of online advertising, but what about those existing customers? How do you get your existing customers to buy online?
Before this question can be answered you first need to look at how you've operated your business previously. Do you have home addresses for your customers? Do you have email addresses? Have you been collecting cell phone numbers?
Each point of contact you've previously acquired is a potential method to notify your existing customers of your newly launched e-commerce website. You need to choose how you notify different people rather than blasting the same message out to everyone through all methods.
Direct mail will be the most expensive, but it's a good way to notify your customers who already respond well to direct mail. Pick and choose your direct mail wisely so you can save money and increase your return.
Email is probably the least expensive to send, but there's also the labor cost to organize it. In this case you should blast an email out to all your customers to announce your e-commerce site. Make sure to offer a "first time purchase" discount of some type, and it should be something more than just free shipping.
Text messaging (SMS) needs to be used very carefully. People may respond badly to SMS unless you initially got approval to send text messages through a text message opt-in. If you choose to use SMS notification then the first message should be something like "Perosi Jewelers announces its new ecom website to existing customers like you. Visit perosijewelers.com. Send STOP to be removed." You need to keep the message under 160 characters and make sure to include the STOP message.
Of each of these methods, don't use more than 2 for any given customers. Direct mail with an email follow-up would be good. Direct mail with a text message would also be good. If you choose to send an email and a text message to the same person, make sure to do it a few days apart so the customer doesn't feel like you are spamming them.
So far the 3 methods of notifying your existing customers rely on pre-existing personal information. But your customers also spend time on social networks too. Do you know which ones they use? It's probably a mixture of the popular ones, and then some not so popular. You spend a bit of time analyzing the stats of your website to figure out how customers find you, or you could just ask them!
Set up an in-store poll that includes a list of social networks. A simple paper with a few check boxes to choose from should work. Customers will fill it out while they are waiting or during their checkout. After a few weeks you should be able to start announcing targeted offers based on visitors from the most popular network selected during your in-store poll.
It's going to be difficult to convince your local customers that they should buy on your website instead of visiting your store. You should always offer free shipping to your existing customers as an incentive and explain that there is no extra cost for them to buy online instead of taking the time to visit in person. This might even be a good sales pitch during busy times of the year.
With all the ideas explained above once thing is sure. Your existing customers won't bother buying from your e-commerce website unless you tell them it exists and give them an incentive to buy online instead of in person.