How do I Bring Customers to My Online Jewellery Store?
I am from NYC. I am opening my online jewelry business soon, God willing. Do you have any suggestions for me as a new business owner, how can I get people to see my jewelry line and keep them coming back for more?
Salma K. Khan
Congratulations on your soon-to-open online business! Thank you for sending me the link to your Facebook Business Page: I see you already have over 500 people following you there so you're already doing something right! There is no magic bullet that will ensure success with your business, but I can help you brainstorm a few ideas.
Some things (like attending networking meetings or buying advertising) will cost money. Other things (like networking online, running an eBay store, or going to meetings) will cost you time. Ultimately, you must decide which (if any) of the following ideas are worth doing based on your own circumstances, resources, and interests.
Ideas for Promoting Online Jewellery Business
- connect with other jewellery businesses and fashion (clothing) businesses on Facebook and in real life; organize a coffee meeting; suggest a group craft sale; form strategic alliances where everyone cross-promotes each others' products and/or businesses.
- create strategic alliances with local boutiques in your area: get your jewellery into their stores! Attach a tag (listing your website and email) to each piece.
- as part of your strategic alliances with local business owners, offer to host a trunk party at someone's store. Make it a special event starting at the end of regular store hours. Split efforts and costs for advertising and promoting it; offer wine, cheese, and special discounts; and be guest speakers at the event: she can speak on how to find the perfect outfit the complements body type (or bring an image consultant on board to speak about it) and you can talk about how to accessorize. Give tips on figuring out what works well and what clashes
- join networking business organizations like Busines Networking International (BNI) or the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW) where you can give and receive business referrals to help build your client base.
- search for blogs online that talk about jewellery, fashion, image, making your own crafts/artwork, etc. and join in the conversation. Guest blog on fashion and jewellery sites.
- host a give-away and post it on various places online to promote it (ie, Mombloggers Club, twitter, etc).
- create a newsletter and ask people to sign up to it, so you can send direct emails to people when you have news, new products, events, etc. that you want them to know about.
- if you have time, get involved in craft fairs in your city so people can see your products in person, then make sure you give them your biz card with your website listed.
- get out and network face-to-face with business woman. Wear your own products so people can see them, and when they comment on them, this can be a selling opportunity for you.
- summer festivals are also a great place to get out there and sell your jewellery. Once people meet you face-to-face, they'll remember you and be more likely to buy from you online.
- host a couple of home jewellery parties. While you want to focus on your online store, this is one way to start getting your name (and website) out there and making sure people see your product line. You can also purchase table space at business trade shows and many networking events where you can display your products.
- offer rewards for referrals. It can be in the form of points they can collect and redeem for products on your site, or a special jewellery piece (maybe a different one featured each month to keep them coming back), or even a credit (ie. the referrer receives $5 credit for every $50 or $100 worth of purchases her referals make in their first orders) but only give out the reward if their referral actually purchases something.
- think outside the box for marketing. Can you get your products into Stardoll.com? I don't know the costs, but real-life brands like Baby Phat have their products in the Stardoll Shopping Plaza. In this online game marketed to teens and tweens, people can go shopping and "buy" jewellery, makeup and clothes to dress up their avatar. (It's imaginary shopping for a cartoon version of themselves; just like "buying" a house in Sims doesn't really get you a house, and buying a sword in World of Warcraft doesn't get you a real sword.) If someone sees one of your products in the game and really likes it, she may decide to search for it in your online store to buy it for real. On the other hand, she may not.
- send photos of some of your jewellery to the women's magazines that routinely showcase products. You'll need to do some research at the library. Once you find the magazines you want to approach, you'll find the contact information (along with the names of editors and/or publishers) in the masthead, usually located near the front of the magazine. For your first approach, you can contact them by phone or email. If by email, include digital photos.
- most importantly: if you want customers to come back, give them an excellent customer service experience. Ship their orders promptly; include a letter that says 'Thank you!' so they know how much you appreciate them. You can even do something unexpected, like write the Thank You on a greeting card; or give them an extra 'something' as a surprise (a small gift? A lovely bag that holds the jewellery? A pretty bookmarker with a note inviting them to bookmark your online site? Maybe even a special bead and each time they buy something, they get another bead with their order so they can collect the beads and 'make their own' bangle at home.) If they have a complaint, welcome it as feedback to help you figure out how to better meet your clients' needs. If they have a compliment, ask them if you can republish their comments online as part of your testimonials.
Perhaps readers have ideas as well they can add to this list, in the comments section below.
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