Merrick, NY--In this series of e-commerce articles, we’re presenting smart advice from industry experts on growing your online presence and including e-commerce in your online offerings. In the first installment, The Centurion spoke with Shane O’Neill of Fruchtman Marketing on the Importance Building a Plan. More smart advice from O’Neill here in a related article.
This week, we’re pleased to offer you some smart insights from Jennifer Shaheen of Technology Therapy. She’s talking about selling and shopping. (Image at left shows Shaheen speaking at the 25 In 5 e-commerce conference; click here for details on the 2017 conference.) Read on! —CS
Step Up and Sell: Digital Marketing Requires More. Frequently stores ask me, “what steps do we need to take to become more competitive online?” It’s a great question and one every store should be asking. It’s very, very important to understand that digital spaces like Instagram, Facebook, and even Google are not designed for mass market experiences. You can certainly use your website and social media to generate wide-spread brand recognition and appeal, but when it comes to being success and driving the actual shopping process—where your customers discover, research, and make purchases—the desirable approach is the same intimate, high-touch, extremely individualized service your team provides in the physical store.
Understand That Relationship Building Begins Online. When we talk about social selling, the emphasis shouldn’t be on processing your credit card through Facebook or Instagram. Instead, take advantage of the opportunity social media interaction provides to develop a real, meaningful relationship with your customer.
Let’s say a man reaches out to you regarding an engagement ring. Click on his profile! Take a moment to see who he is and what’s important to him, based on the posts he’s chosen to publicly share. Being able to say to this man, “Oh, I see the picture of you and your partner together; so cute!” helps establish a bond and makes that individual shopper become more comfortable with the idea of visiting your store.
The expectations of the digital age mean you do have to work harder than ever before to make a sale, but on the flip side you now have easy access to a depth of individual information previous jewelry retailers could only dream of! That said, today’s shoppers expect instant, real time responses to their emails, Messenger and Instagram outreach. Make sure you have systems in place to provide it!
Be Real. Images are the most important communication tool you have available to you. Product images provided by designer brands are okay, but for best results, you need pictures of real people wearing your real products in real settings. People want to see how long the earring is on the ear, how the necklace rests on the neckline, and the intricacies of the new watch that has arrived.
The jewelry industry has a terrible tendency to treat their merchandise—truly amazing beautiful jewelry—as if it were an ordinary commodity. It’s important to remember that we’re selling a lifestyle! Use images to highlight how desirable the jewelry is: backgrounds, models, and accessories have to be authentic and appealing.
Empower Your Team to Embrace Mobile Selling. The leading luxury brands—with a great example being Nordstrom--have moved aggressively into mobile selling. Empowering sales associates to text customers, both in response to inquiries and proactively to let them know about looks they’ll love and savings opportunities they won’t want to miss out on, strengthens customer relationships while boosting sales. What may appear to be a cutting edge or even frightening strategy now will rapidly become business as usual as mobile selling becomes more mainstream. You want to train your team to be effective on this plat