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If you are interested in establishing or expanding a jewelry eCommerce business, the timing could not be better. The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently altered the nature of shopping. According to an article in the New York Times, jewelry sales increased during the pandemic. Considering this, starting an eCommerce jewelry business is a smart move since it is a safe and effective way to reach customers.

The benefits of online shopping go beyond just convenience and that’s why eCommerce is important for businesses. It gives people the opportunity to discover brands they wouldn’t have otherwise come across. Here are a few steps that can help you for starting an eCommerce jewelry business from scratch:

1. Identify your Niche

When you sell jewelry online, you can reach customers all over the world with your brand. This wide market means that there is an opportunity for all retailers to attract so many loyal and engaged customers. In addition to this growth potential, there is also a lot of competition. Making your brand discoverable is a challenge no matter the type of jewelry as customers have unlimited options to choose from! Considering the crowded market, your first step should be to determine your niche, for instance, whether you want to sell fashion jewelry, body jewelry, handmade jewelry, plated jewelry, vintage jewelry, or classic gold jewelry.

2. eCommerce Business Strategy

When it comes to jewelry, there are multiple micro-niches, for instance, there is gold, imitation, antiques, and many other kinds of jewelry. As a business owner, you need to figure out what is the best product, offering the best ROI. Once you have done that, you will have to forecast the demand for your product through online tools such as Google Trends to see what keywords people are searching for on a regular basis on Google Search. Keyword Tool Dominator (KTB) can help you get data on demand for jewelry country-wise.

There are various strategies that can you then accordingly think of, for example:

  • Operations Strategy: 

Defining an operations strategy means determining how an organization will produce and deliver the jewelry. Each step a company takes in the process of manufacturing or delivering jewelry, and every decision regarding these operations is part of the operations strategy.

  • IT Strategy

A comprehensive IT strategy outlines the use of technology to meet business objectives. The use of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and big data, requires a lot of reliable data to be effective. Analyzing, collecting, and processing data are all part of an IT strategy. IT strategy also outlines the types of software it will use, payment gateway integration, etc.

  • HR Strategy

People-centric HR strategies are a roadmap for solving the company’s biggest challenges. An HR strategy is a company’s overall plan to manage its human capital and to align it with its business objectives. All major HR functions, such as hiring, performance appraisal, development, and compensation, are guided by the Human Resource strategy.

  • Branding Strategy

The e-commerce branding strategies for your jewelry business include the logo, brand colors, brand story, packaging, tagline, photography guidelines & all the other ways to highlight the brand image and credibility.

3. eCommerce Business Plan

If you’re wondering about starting your jewelry business, you require a great business plan to achieve your goals smoothly with little fuss. An online business venture has marketing as one of the most fundamental recurring expenses. In the absence of marketing, it is extremely unlikely that an e-commerce brand will succeed online. The owner of a business must first prepare a business plan so that marketing strategies, investment plans, and other plans can be clearly explained.

You should include your executive summary, market research, information about the kind of jewelry you’ll sell along with your detailed financial plan and the money you will invest in setting up the online store. To put it simply, an effective jewelry business plan should include potential revenue, projected sales (next 3 years), margins, operating costs, return on investment, tax implications, gross and net profits, and break-even sales.

4. UI/UX Design & Website Development

Online success involves more than just putting up a website. You need to understand how your customers interact with your website and what drives them to take action. It is imperative that you understand the principles of UI and UX design if you hope to convert more visitors into sales. For instance, Photograph your jewelry in a way that shows its beauty clearly and visibly. Your jewelry description should be clear, well-written, and keyword-rich. Be sure to include visible terms of delivery and your return policy. Afterall. It takes a lot more to “just put up a website” when it comes to running an online business.

If you are designing a website for your jewelry business, give attention to the eCommerce customer journey map, website features, browsing features, navigation features, eCommerce order management process flow, shopping cart features, catalog management, eCommerce payment system, cross-selling features, and much more.

5. Standard Operations Procedures

Several factors contribute to the success of a jewelry business, but the Standard Operations and Procedures of the organization are the most significant. You can use SOPs to manage various aspects of the jewelry business like:

  • Inventory Control

In the jewelry business, there are numerous pieces of jewelry, stones, and other valuable items. To minimize the possibility of misplacing any of these items, all the employees should adhere to the SOPs when taking care of the inventory. You can mention guidelines in the SOPs for inventory control, for example, whenever any new stock comes in, the details should be stored carefully along with the double-check of the inventory by the concerned person in charge.

  • Supply Chain Efficiency

Jewelry businesses must follow a supply chain consisting of planning, procurement, sourcing, inventory optimization, warehouse management, and logistic distribution. For this, SOPs must be set in place in order to have control over the supply chain. By managing SOPs, a company is able to avoid wastage of any kind of resources and create a smooth working environment.

  • People Management

There will be a great deal of difficulty for a company if the right person cannot be found at the right time to perform its duty. In order to ensure everyone associated with the company is aware of their role, SOPs are absolutely necessary for the jewelry business.

  • Safety and Security

SOP guidelines and protocol have a direct impact on the working of the business model, be it online or offline. The jewelry business has a greater risk of theft and robberies. So, if you are planning to take the omnichannel approach and run an offline jewelry store as well, you can prevent any kind of miss happening by having well-documented SOPs. The document can list specific processes for the display of the jewelry and all other activities related to the safety and security of the jewelry.

Hence, it is always important to standardize procedures with the help of SOPs, as this is very much beneficial for the jewelry business.

6. Build your Integration Ecosystem.

Jewelry businesses require several pieces of software to run effectively. Here are some of the factors to take into consideration:

  1. Paying through a payment processor is a safe and secure way to conduct online transactions. Examples of payment processors are Stripe, PayPal, and Square. It is important that you choose a digital payment system that is compatible with the region in which you plan to conduct business. Payment processors should also provide built-in security and fraud prevention systems so that buyers’ data is protected.
  2. You can maintain a real-time picture of your jewelry business operations with order management and fulfillment software. You can directly see how much jewelry stock you have in your warehouse and whether you are fulfilling orders efficiently at any given time. Your order management system can also help you provide updates to your customers and anticipate when you need more inventory.
  3. Marketing automation programs include email marketing, social media, loyalty program software, and personalization. A CRM stores all of your customer data so that your marketing activities can be connected to buying patterns.
  4. Address verification software helps make checkout easier, particularly during shipping and fulfillment. When an order is placed, your website will need to collect personal information for shipping and delivery. Businesses and shoppers can be protected against these issues by utilizing address verification software that verifies shipping details in real-time.
  5. Besides the above, in order to execute a successful customer service strategy, you can use a variety of tools like live chat software or chatbot, messaging centers, and knowledge hubs having answers to frequently asked questions.

7. Inventory Management

It is vital to your business to manage jewelry inventory effectively because you can minimize holding costs by knowing when to replenish them and when to buy materials for manufacturing them. If items are not replenished when necessary or if overstocking occurs, the company can lose revenue due to unmet sales targets and unsatisfied customers.

If you are selling online, it can be overwhelming, especially if you receive many inquiries and sales as you may end up overselling your jewelry. Hence managing your inventory properly is critical. By synchronizing your inventory across all of your online and offline channels and monitoring your stock levels in real-time, you will reduce the possibility of disappointed buyers.

8. Online Marketing

Keeping up with the fast-paced world of marketing and remaining relevant to your audience is vital. To drive sales and build awareness, jewelry companies should create a marketing strategy that has a high impact. You need to spend money on marketing regularly as well as offering good jewelry. The marketing solutions you choose must support your revenue goals.

You can increase sales by establishing a social media presence, creating loyalty incentives, optimizing your website, and with paid advertising. Testimonials and product reviews are also crucial components of your jewelry marketing. Through the use of digital marketing, you can build awareness about your brand and re-engage existing customers as well.

9. The Pre-launch Strategy

Using a small budget and a few customers, you should test out the software that has been implemented for your jewelry business and then conduct a pre-launch to see if there’s any scope of improvement.

10. The Launch Day

The above steps can be implemented by a jewelry business startup to launch its own brand! Selling jewelry online is a balance between technology, marketing strategy, and human operations. In addition to implementing the steps outlined above, you may also use eCommerce consulting services like YRC to start an online jewelry business. With the right technologies and process automation, you can ensure that customers are delighted with their experience with your brand.

About YRC Consultants

Wondering what percent of jewelry sales are online or how to start an eCommerce jewelry business? YRC is an experienced management consulting firm that offers consulting expertise and knowledge in the jewelry industry. Our in-house eCommerce business consultant can assist with every aspect of an eCommerce jewelry business and can improve your chances of succeeding in the online competitive market.

Few Video links for reference, related to above topic:

 

 

 

PROCESS AUTOMATION

The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

IT INTEGRATION

Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

 

At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

UI & UX DESIGNING

This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

BRANDING

Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

CRITICAL PATHWAY

Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

MARKET RESEARCH

Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.