<We have a special guest blogger today. Paul Haywood joins us from The Haywood Life, a website dedicated to helping jewellers build an online e-commerce business. Paul is here to share his experience with digital technologies to help in building an online jewellery business.>
What Digital Tools Are Most Helpful For Building an Online Jewellery Business?
There are many different elements to building a successful online jewellery business. Fortunately there are many tools available that can help with many of these different elements. In this article I have listed the 10 digital tools which I think are the most beneficial for anyone building their own jewellery website.
I decided not to cover e-commerce software here as I have already written a number of posts on my own website, where I review and compare the main players in the market. I’ve also already written a post discussing what I consider to be the best hosted e-commerce platforms for UK businesses.
PayPal is hugely popular payment options with customers because it is one of the most trusted. For many years it was synonymous with Ebay but has now become one of the world’s largest payment processors. Conversion rates are generally improved when you add PayPal as an option, it is not unusual to see a 50/50 split between PayPal sales and a traditional card payments.
Fees start at 3.4% + 20p transaction fee. You can apply for a fee review when you start selling more that £1500 a month. No monthly contract unless you sign up for PayPal Pro which costs £20 a month.
Talking of traditional card payments. Stripe offers you the opportunity to take credit card payments without the need for long and expensive contracts that you get with the likes of SagePay and WorldPay. The fees are considerably lower than PayPal and start at 1.4% + 20p transaction fee, these are also not too far away from the more traditional processors mentioned above.
Offering your customers the option of paying by card or by PayPal will only benefit your conversion rates.
Jewellery tends to sell at a higher price point that many consumer items and this can be a barrier for some buyers. This is where retail finance comes in very handy but many companies that offer this have quite strict requirements such as £1 million+ turnover. This is where Klarna comes in, the Swedish finance company offer a variety of different payments options that will give your customers flexibility when it comes to how they pay.
Fees vary depending upon what payment options is selected but the cheapest starts at 1.9% + 20p transaction fee.
When you run an online jewellery business, you want to use some tools that just make your life easier. The two tools mentioned below not only make your life easier but also make your business look more professional.
Email – G Suite
Using G Suite makes managing your email a breeze, offering you all the functionality and security of gmail but you get you use an email address linked to your domain. Having an email address that is linked to your domain looks for more professional than having @gmail.com or @outlook.com. With G Suite, you can also create aliases which means you can have multiple different email addresses such as contact@, info@ and returns@.
Not only do you get to host your email with one of the best providers going, you also get access to all the G Suite tools including Google My Business which is great for SEO and Google Drive which gives you online storage. One of the main benefits to me is how easy the mobile app is to use, meaning you get to manage your emails wherever you are.
Telephone Number – Voipfone
Impressions count as with the email address mentioned above and you can now extend this to your businesses telephone number as well. VOIP technology allows you to make and receive phone calls over the internet, rather than having to have a landline installed. With Voipfone you have the option to have a traditional style phone with built in voip technology or you can install an app that turns your smartphone in to a voip phone.
You can choose the type of number that you want for your business, you can opt for local numbers such as 020 and 0121 or nationals number such as 0800 and 0845. An added benefit of having a business telephone number is that you don’t have to give your personal mobile number out.
Email Newsletter Software – MailChimp
Building up an email list is one of the best ways of getting repeat customers for your business and MailChimp is one of the best software solutions for managing your email marketing. The best thing about MailChimp is that it is free to use for up to 2000 subscribers and you can send up to 10,000 emails a month which should be more than enough to get you started. Paid plans start from £9.99 a month for up to 50,000 subscribers and 500,000 emails a month.
The popularity of MailChimp is reflected in how many different web platforms easily integrate with the software.
Blogging Software – WordPress
Blogging is still a great form of marketing and is often overlooked by jewellers. WordPress is one of the best pieces of blogging software and is without doubt the most popular, in fact over 30% of the world’s websites are powered by WordPress. Some ecommerce platforms such as EKM allow you to integrate a WordPress blog within your online store where as others allow you to have one as a sub-domain such as blog.onlinestore.com.
Adding a blog to your online store can be a great marketing tool, by putting out relevant jewellery and business related content, you are offering people more reasons to visit your site. You can then use your blog to link back to your main site, this not only encourages visitors to interact with your site more but also has really good SEO benefits.
Having an amazing website means nothing if no-one can find it! You need to get your online jewellery business site ranking in search engines as they are the biggest drivers of traffic to your site and organic traffic is by far the best converting! So it is worth spending some time on your websites SEO and the following tools are great to get you started.
Google Search Console
An often overlooked tool when it comes to analysing your website SEO, many people think Google Search Console is just for making your sitemap available to google but when used properly it can be a powerful tool. Not only does Search Console inform you of any errors on your site such as 404 errors and mobile usability issues but it can also be used for some basic SEO analysis.
By using the performance section of of Search Console you can see how well your site is ranking, the number of impressions it makes, your click through rate and number of clicks. By using this information, you can start to tweak your content so that it ranks better for search terms that you are making impressions for. You can also see that amount of internal and external links your site has.
Google Keyword Planner
This may seem like an advert for google products, but they are very good. The Google Keyword Planner and search console are both free to use. While search console shows you what you site is currently ranking for, keyword planner shows you the average number of searches a month for certain terms, it also gives you similar search terms that have been used and their search volume.
This can be great for planning how to write product titles, descriptions or give you ideas for new blog content. Using these two tools correctly can really help you improve the ranking of your website.
SEO Checker – Woorank
Woorank is another tool that you can use to check your website, while the majority of the services offered are paid for. They do offer a free web page analysis that looks at some things that you cannot get with any of the google tools. It offers a more in depth analysis of your page and will flag up any errors such as broken links and missing alt tags on images as well as any areas that need to be improved.
The analysis that you get from this site can really help you fix lots of little issues on your site that combined can impact on your SEO and ultimately your page rankings.
These three tools can be really useful in helpful you rank your website properly. As your website grows, you may want to invest in more advanced software such as that offered by ahrefs.com, who have some fantastic posts on all things SEO related.
I hope that the tools and services mentioned on this list help you to build and grow your business. Everything mentioned here except for Klarna I have used previously in my own business. If you would like to learn more about running about an online jewellery business, then please check out my website thehaywoodlife.com.