Retail Therapy: Net Worth

What’s your best advice for creating and maintaining an effective e-commerce site?

“Do your homework, find good partners, and have realistic expectations. Research the developers, get references and referrals, and ask lots of questions, especially about service after the site is launched. Get the best design and copywriting you can afford—it’s your showroom to thousands of potential customers who are highly digitally discerning. Investigate other sites to determine what functions you want for your site and to assess user-friendliness. Your website is a living, breathing thing. It needs constant attention, which is why I advocate for a full-time staffer to be devoted to its care and maintenance.”
Jennifer Gandia, co-owner, Greenwich St. Jewelers, New York City, greenwichjewelers.com

“We live by the philosophy ‘Keep it simple, stupid.’ There’s always room for improvement, but you want to keep everything as simple as possible. It’s not only frustrating for the consumer when things are too complex online—it’s also frustrating for the retailer. And you want to get them into the store, so we’re always looking at ways to do that online—including being very quick with all responses online and on social media. Also, find someone whose good eye you trust to work on the website. That’s extremely important.”
Greg Rozina, executive vice president, Brooks Collection, Oxford, Miss., brookscollectionoxford.com

“Think like a consumer! You need to capture attention and do it quick. Shoppers have so many options these days, and if your platform is boring and unattractive, you don’t stand a chance. Pick photos that pop. It’s also critical to make it simple for shoppers to engage with you directly about an item so they can make an informed purchase. Be sure your site mirrors who you are in your stores.”
Gregg C. Kelly, vice president, Northeastern Fine Jewelry, Schenectady, N.Y., nefj.com

“Our e-commerce site is an extension of our retail store. We’ve been able to create tailored content on our site that is specific to our clientele through newsletters to preferred clients that integrate our customer relationship management program. And the [high-quality] original photography of our one-of-a-kind pieces has led to higher conversion and click-through rates than ever.”
Chance Carpenter, goldsmith apprentice, Big Island Jewelers, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, bigislandjewelers.com