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Articles from EDUCATION / TRAINING (185 Articles)

Social media website Facebook is an avenue jewellers are increasingly using
Social media website Facebook is an avenue jewellers are increasingly using

Jewellers without websites are missing a trick

Only 36 per cent of Australian retailers own a website, according to a recent MYOB survey, showing that there is still a long way to go before the industry can take full advantage of the power of the internet.
MYOB general manager Julian Smith said the survey showed a direct correlation between a business’s web usage and its profitability, and those who have not harnessed the internet could be missing out on additional revenue streams.

“52 per cent of those with websites predicted higher revenue in the future while only 43 per cent of those without websites predicted higher revenue.”

Business marketing consultant Sigrid de Kaste said websites are an important marketing tool and could help jewellers target a specific online segment that could in turn complement sales in their stores.

She believes jewellers in particular are lagging behind in this area because they are not well informed about the potential benefits of being online.

“There is a fear amongst jewellers because of their general lack of knowledge about what the internet does and does not do,” she said.

“There are numerous media reports and they instil fear when they report about scamming incidents or loss of goods inflicted on scrupulous online buyers,” she said. “If you analyse the actual negative reporting, you’d be surprised to find that they represent a minute portion of the overriding benefits for jewellers.”

Conversely, the MYOB survey found that business owners in the retail and hospitality category were most likely to use social media.

22 per cent in this category use sites such as Facebook, YouTube, MySpace or Twitter to advocate their businesses, while 13 per cent use online newsletters or blogs to promote their businesses.

De Kaste said social media can be hugely beneficial for building relationships with customers. “Social media creates a direct relationship which many of these jewellers don’t have offline,” she said, adding that this would then aid sales. “Social media does not only sell the product, it sells the jeweller as being reliable and trustworthy. It fuels people referrals and it is a very powerful way to drive traffic directly to the shop front.”

Across the Tasman, internet take-up is greater, with 48 per cent of Kiwi retailers owning a website according to the survey.

Smith attributed this to the size of the local market. “Kiwi retailers have to think more creatively about how to market their products because New Zealand is a little market and they have to work a lot harder to find markets outside New Zealand,” he said.

Kiwi retailers topped Australian retailers in every other category as well. 38 per cent of them use e-commerce, 8 per cent higher than their Australian counterparts, and 43 per cent of them use the web as a means of advertising compared with 30 per cent of Australian retailers.

Smith attributed the poor website figures in Australia partly to age, saying business owners above the age of 40 were less likely to have grasped the significance of being online.

“The key to using technology is to use it as a tool to work smarter and not harder. The young Australian retailers are doing well in that aspect as they are more experienced about general business trends and know how to use the internet to make their businesses more profitable.”

The MYOB Business Monitor is a nationwide survey of small to medium-sized Australian and New Zealander business owners .

More reading:
Online retail evolution

Vital Diamonds International

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