Even if your jewelry business started by your grandfather, on a small bench in the backyard, with a simple pen and paper… Can you rely on your brain capacity and free time in today’s world of speed and data?
If the answer is NO for you, let’s define how to introduce the right software into your jewelry business.
Why implement the eCommerce management software?
Managing jewelry effectively is crucial for your business growth, success and survival. Every business starts with the first item in the inventory. Some businesses make it to 20 items, others to 200… As the business grows, so does the number of the items in the inventory.
Managing 20-200 items can be done manually. With that, having 1,000 jewelry pieces in the inventory means that the right management software is crucial. Any operation at this the stage involves a lot of data, requires sharp focus to avoid mistakes, and takes a huge amount of time.
The right software comes to solve several pains and goals:
- Increased control over business processes and better decisions. Having all the data organized allows taking out guessing from the daily operation.
- Time and money saving. Process automation can save upto 80% of the routine work, freeing up time and resources for more intelligent work.
- Scaling and revenue growth. Handling the growing product catalog, getting multiple products online, managing incoming orders, shipments and purchasing are impossible without automation.
- Keeping up with the technology. As the world and the jewelry industry is changing fast and fundamentally, your business should be able, too.
Not every software is equally effective. So what defines the right software to help your business grow, and not pull it back?
What makes the jewelry business unique? What are the main characteristics of jewelry business which should be answered by the management software? What are the key expectations from the effective software?
1. Non-standard products – Jewelry items are unique. Softwares, working with a pre-defined catalog (based on existing products from other sellers or manufacturers) as a prototype for creating your items(templating) will be ineffective for jewelry and gemstones.
2. Jewelry product tree – Jewelry items are highly configurable, and have multiple variations. These might be the ring sizes, metals and gemstone combinations, or other variables. To handle such inventory effectively, the software must have the proper understanding of the jewelry product tree and 3 types of jewelry products:
- Loose gemstones or diamonds
- Jewelry items – combination of jewelry design (model) with materials (such as gemstones and metals)
- Jewelry sets – products built by combining some other jewelry items.
3. Virtual products catalog – The proper jewelry management software should be capable of automatically creating all the combinations of the available designs with different materials. This allows to correctly set up and grow your online catalog, as a combination of real products and virtual products.
4. Dynamic product structure – No jewelry businesses are the same. Handling jewelry inventory effectively requires a high level of flexibility. Unlike selling standard products (such as cell phones or laptops), selling jewelry implies adjustment to the product structure.
- Add/edit/remove product fields. As your business changes, so does the products’ information.
- All the data should be stored in the right format, and be available for you, allowing you to effectively re-using for your eCommerce.
5. Integrated Data processing – such as copying specific data from one field into another, from one product to another, or simply editing the required information in bulk is important as it will save a lot of time and mistakes on moving the information to external data processors (such as Excel)
- Generate product titles, descriptions and other data
- Calculate multiple price levels
- Quickly copy and complete the missing data
- Manage the data according to each sales channel individually
6. Images and video handling abilities – jewelry and gemstones are a visual and emotional product, which makes the quality of photography critical. Taking into account that selling jewelry online means selling the images of the jewelry, the matter of a robust media management can’t be overestimated.
- Multiple images upload from online and offline sources
- Videos support, optimization for web
- Separate handling of promotional images and certificates
- Integrated images management (like retouch or watermarking)
Should a business adopt several systems, each one specialized for specific business tasks? Or have all the functionality in the all-in-one system? The first approach allows you to pick the most professional and comprehensive solution to each one of business needs. The latter makes work more simplified and integrated.
In the jewelry industry, a more “old-schooled” industry, traditionally lacking the IT specialists, adopting each new software is a challenge. It requires quite a long time, technology skills, and not necessarily can be effectively integrated with other existing software solutions. Therefore, the solution offering a-to-z solution is more relevant.
Business-level application should cover the main parts of business operation:
- Product Information Management (PIM) – multiple prices, titles generation, data enrichment etc
- Suppliers – purchasing, inventory orders
- Stock management – multiple warehouses, stock selection logic, replenishment, alerting, planning
- Clients Relation Management (CRM) – to handle your existing clients base
- Orders – Invoicing, fulfillment, shipping carriers integration
- Multiple sales channels – including external marketplaces (such as Amazon, Etsy, eBay), branded website creation and more
- Traffic channels (Google Shopping, Facebook store) integrations – get adjusted feeds to upload your items into online product comparison engines
- Email and Social marketing tools – the most accessible, affordable and effective tools for working with existing clients
- Covering the paperwork – invoicing , creating and printing documentation, barcodes
- Statistics and analytics (BI) – your key to the right business expansion
Selling jewelry online means using more than one sales channel. This means, jewelry software should be able to connect to multiple sales channels. to map your jewelry data who is the marketplace or other sales Channel requirements. As an example the 14 karat gold should be posted correctly to your sales channels – eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Shopify store, Google Shopping and so on. This ability to map product specification for Marketplace needs is important for the product SEO on the marketplace.
Most probably, your jewelry catalog exists in some data sources, such as Excel, ERP, Rapnet, GIA or other jewelry related channels. Having the inventory system synchronized with such sources of information can save a lot of time, and allow you to quickly migrate to next level Inventory management.
Some examples of integrations to expect
- Wide and relevant list of Integrations
- Effective data mapping (for SEO and optimization)
- Jewelry/diamond-specific integrations (diamonds systems, diamond ERP etc)
- Gold prices feed integration
- Products import / export auto-scheduling
- Features-full API
There is no “best-for-everyone” system. Your business management software should grow with your business. Beginners’ tools are different from the ones for huge brands, and for the experienced jewelry e-tailers. The dynamic jewelry software will be flexible to answer your needs at every stage:
- From basic to advanced – the software should be relevant to your existing stage of operation, but not be limited to it.
- Flexible packages – add / remove modules on-the-go, when they become relevant
- Plan forward – consider what will your jewelry business need in 1, 2 and 3 years, and check the platform relevancy for this.
Combining B2B and B2C
The current business reality is blurring the borders between the B2C and B2B world. Unlike 20 years ago, when the jewelers were clearly divided between the wholesalers and retailers, more and more companies tend to combine the both worlds nowadays .
Your jewelry eCommerce management system has to provide answers to both B2C and the B2B needs. How is this reached?
- Tools to work with existing clients – registered area, multiple price levels, custom catalogs, exclusive items etc
- Product data feeds – make the jewelry catalog accessible to multiple distributors
- Dropshipping solutions and API integrations – for more technical cooperation
Does a jeweler have to manage servers, proxies, firewalls and all other technical stuff related to the software? Obviously not. Therefore, the software’s usability is defined by its “cloudness”.
Modern systems offer web-based access, practically from any place, and from any computer. First, this brings independence from a user’s location. Second, online systems offer 99,9% stability, scaling, backups, security, and IT team support. All this is not something a jewelry business should take care by himself.
One should avoid from management systems, installed on a specific computer in the office. First, such an installation limits the access to the system while you’re on the go. Second, it makes your data more vulnerable, depending on the hardware and software of one specific computer. Third, the installed version of the software is much more difficult to maintain, and develops slowly. And of course, how will you be sure you can upgrade your server/software for better performance, if you’re not an IT engineer?
- Make sure the system is “cloud-based”.
- Inquiry about the system architecture, backups methodology – just in a few words.
- Inquiry about the existing Incident Management Plan? Things happen, does your technical team know what to do in case of emergency?
Relevancy & Regular Updates
Online and eCommerce technology changes by 100% every 3 years. Things you’re doing today technologically, will be obsolete in 3 years. A website, a software – every component has to evolve. Your jewelry management software is not an exclusion.
- How often does the software update? Expect at least once in a month.
- The software “roadmap” – make sure the software you are relaying on plans to expand in the same direction as you
- How is the software developed? The in-house R&D team is the key to the software growth
Jewelry management software is not all about features. An important aspect of selecting the right software is checking its history, mileage in the market, proven success. Pay attention to the existing clients base, their existing operation. Finding businesses similar to yours use the software means it was well adjusted to your use case.
- Check reviews on independent sources (Capterra, GetApp etc)
- Make sure the system has a “mileage” in the market
- What is the profile of the company’s long-time clients?
- Speak to existing clients
- Check if service providers in other fields (logistics, insurance, marketing, production management etc) are aware of the software
Support and Adoption
The adoption stage of the extensive management software is crucial. It requires your dedication, and right support by the software creator. Check for the offered support level, ease-of-use and clarity of the system. While some modern, properly built systems will require only days or weeks of implementation, others are bulky, and the adoption process can take months.
- Learn about the on-boarding process
- Check the provided support channels (phone, screensharing, chat, ticketing system)
- What timezones are covered by the support
- Make sure there is a developed self-service center (solutions center, learning videos etc)
Conclusion or “How To Start”
The right jewelry software can give a solid foundation for your business. When adopting it, pay most attention to the “match” specifically to your business needs.
- Create a roadmap of your business growing in the next years. Define main work processes.
- Involve your team – they are going to use the system!
- Consult with the software company’s sales team. They have an unique experience working with hundreds of jewelry and diamond sellers, and will give you a valuable input.
- Don’t rush, but set a reasonable time frame for selecting the software. 2-4 weeks can make sense, but waiting for months will bring no help but only delay the important move of your company.
- Most interesting: You will never know for sure if the software is right for you, before you start using it. Have to jump in!