View the full article.
INDUSTRY OPINION: Conquering ecommerce on a tight budget.
Following the launch of her new ecommerce website, British designer maker Fiona DeMarco speaks exclusively to Retail Jeweller about her experience of digitally connecting with the jewellery world.
"Even more people are increasingly shopping online. I needed an ecommerce site in which the consumer is able to purchase online rather than a bricks and mortar store and to reach a wider audience (worldwide) for consumers across the globe.
"The ecommerce website allows my jewellery collections to be accessible globally and offer the consumer a wider choice which is not available in the same way anywhere else.
"This is a chance to tell my story, introduce and showcase my jewellery. It needed to be user-friendly and easy to navigate, providing customers with detailed product information. The site needed to fit in with the look / design of my brand image in order to connect with my customers.
"Due to my budget I needed to have a template website where I could add in the details myself such as shop, product images, about, blog etc. After much research, I came across Shopify (an ecommerce shopping cart template) and chose a user-friendly platform / theme which is designed to be accessible on any computer, laptop, iPad, tablet and smartphone. As more of us seem to have our heads glued to a screen on the go (mobile), this was my chance to let people visit my shop and let them know which outlets I sell at.
"If you had asked me ten years ago about selling my jewellery online, I would have been a bit apprehensive or hesitant regarding a customer purchasing an expensive item such as a necklace. This is why I felt it important to show each piece on a model. It allows potential customers to see how the piece is worn, to show how the piece lies / falls on the body and to show the proportion of size and scale. It is hard to visualise an item of jewellery from a two-dimensional image laid flat. A piece of jewellery is totally transformed when it is worn.
"Due to my limited budget I did everything myself. From designing my logo, photographing each item, modelling, adding page information, descriptions and content and most importantly - making the jewellery!
"Social media has changed the way in which we share information. People love to share their influences, what they've been doing and what they've bought. So, it was important to have social media, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Social media provides me with the opportunity to share news such as press articles, news and forthcoming shows and exhibitions. It allows me to tell a visual story.
"The increasing demands of modern living means that consumers are searching for anything which makes their life easier and more convenient. I think it would be great to introduce an app which allows people to try on any piece of jewellery from the comfort of their own home.
"My future plans are to continually update and add new content, alongside introducing new designs and collections. I have plans to push the boundaries with more big and bold designs, introducing precious and semi-precious stones and to listen and learn from my customers.
"I will continue to sell physically at selected shows and exhibitions, as I feel it important to meet the client face-to-face and receive their feedback. I was given the opportunity to exhibit at this years Goldsmiths' Fair, which was a wonderful opportunity to re-connect with new and existing clients.
"Sadly my husband passed away last year after a brave courageous and long battle with pancreatic cancer. Hence, have been out of touch with the jewellery world and not able to work to my full capacity for the last five years. I'm sad that my husband is not here to witness the website, but I know he'll be proud of my achievement.
"The website is my opportunity to showcase my brand, give people the choice of purchasing British contemporary designer jewellery and to capture an online audience from across a broad spectrum as my pieces have an accessible price point and offer a mix of classic (timeless) and contemporary (fashionable) collections."