Professional Jeweller sat down with digital-savvy members of the UK jewellery industry to discuss how trade professionals can boost business and brand awareness online.
While the full conversation will be published in the November Issue of Professional Jeweller, here are five top tips which came out of the conversations:
Do not spread yourself too thinly
When it comes to harnessing the power of the digital-age to bolster business, it can be easy to get carried away and distracted by everything online has to offer. But, it is important to focus and not spread yourself too thinly. If you do not have the time and resources – do not try and juggle everything. Instead, commit to using a few platforms effectively. Founder of Glitzbox, Tamsin Ivy, says: “Businesses are spreading themselves too thinly by trying to be in every aspect and every online platform, but it should be about focusing and being quality in where you are rather than trying to do everything. It is does get distracting, but there are so many directions you can go that you can end up not moving forward in any.” Find out what works for you, and invest in that. For example, do not worry about sending out seven tweets a day if you have hardly any followers, instead if you have a large following on Instagram, spend time making that the best it can be.
Remember to tell your story
Take a moment to step back from your online platform and ask yourself this – am I telling my brand story? You may be doing a good job at communicating what you stock, or sharing eye-catching sales offers, but are consumers leaving your platforms with an understanding of who you are and what you do? Facets PR digital communications manager, Rose Swingler, shares: “The most important thing we always say to all of our brands no matter how they are going about marketing themselves is to make sure you have your brand story online. We spend a lot of time saying, ‘If someone were to come and see you, what would you say about the product and how would you translate that?’ Jewellery is an emotional purchase, it is something you buy because you like it and it is going to make you feel a bit special. It’s not the same as buying a jumper, there is something different about buying jewellery even if it is demi-fine or fashion jewellery, so we always say pull everything back, get your branding right and your story right.”
Make the journey seamless
“It all comes down to understanding the user journey because this is really important, but it is already quite complex and it will become more complex,” shares Banneya London founder, Nimesh Thakrar. “It’s not like you discover a brand and go on the website and buy it. You see a brand, then you might see it again, then you look it up on Instagram, then you pass through a couple of different accounts, then you might see a pop-up, then you might want to meet the designer and feel the product, and then the actual transaction could occur in store or online, so do you attribute that sale to online or offline? It’s all jumbled up now.” With this in mind, brands and retailers need to make sure the customer journey is seamless. If they are using several portals to get to an end purchase, the best way to stand out if to be consistent in your branding, customer service, and customer experience. Think about how you can translate your brand values in store and online.
Hone in on hashtags
A hashtag is not just something “the kids” are putting at the end of social media posts for fun, it is an exercise which, if done right, can boost business through driving digital engagement and helping with SEO. Lily Flo Jewellery founder, Diana Sherling, shares: “Honing in hashtags has helped me evolve my brand. It’s about honing which communities of of which hashtags that I think my brand is associated with and relevant for. So this whole ‘Made in London’ for example, I have had brands like Things from London, a new organisation who promote things happening in London, approach me, and they have introduced me to other brands, other platforms and other designers, just by hashtags. Also ethical and eco fashion. Some of my best stockists are luxury fashion and they have all found me through certain hashtags. So that has been surprising, and far more influential than I would have ever imagined. You can actually build a business through hashtags.” The key? Make sure your hashtags are relevant to your target audience.
One size does not fit all
Last but not least, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to trying to boost business and build brand awareness online. It’s important to be aware of new trends and what others in the industry are doing, but ultimately, it’s down to each individual business to find out what will work best for them. “Work out what is working for you,” explains Rose Swingler from Facets PR. “Keep your consumer and what they want from you at the heart of everything and just say, ‘This is our mix, we are not going to sell from a website because it doesn’t work for us, so we are going to make our Instagram shoppable, or do this or do that. It’s literally about finding out what works for you and not getting sidetracked by everything else that is going on. If something is working for you — work on that and refine it and develop it.”