E-commerce case study: Posh Jewelry
Posh Jewelry is a successful jewellery store in Kelowna, British Columbia, that had a unique online sales opportunity. Posh is one of only two authorized online resellers of popular Pandora jewelry in Canada.
But Kate Morgan, the owner of Posh Jewelry, had been unsuccessful in taking advantage of this online opportunity, despite making significant investments in an e‑commerce website and several Internet marketing campaigns.
Kate had made a common error. She’d acted tactically and not strategically when it came to her online presence. Each piece of Posh’s digital presence had been added in isolation from the others. And unlike her successful bricks‑and‑mortar store, the customer experience hadn’t been carefully considered in the creation of those elements.
Tackling the challenge
Kate faced two main challenges in making her digital presence a success. First, she needed customers looking for Pandora jewellery in Canada to find her website. Then, she needed them to make a purchase. Unfortunately, the money she’d spent attracting customers to her online store had been wasted because the site hadn’t been properly set up to get customers to make a purchase.
Kate also wanted to learn more about online marketing. She wanted to understand how online activities provide a good return on investment, so she could make better decisions in the future.
With the help of BDC Advisory Services, Kate changed her approach from tactical to strategic. She steadily improved her online presence through a series of small, manageable steps.
Kate decided not to rebuild her website from scratch, but instead made strategic “renovations” to the existing site to make it more customer focused. It was relaunched in September 2013. The same month, she started an advertising campaign, using Google AdWords to increase visits to the site.
Kate also used Google Analytics to help her understand the results of her digital activities.
The following results reflect data collected from the website from October 1, 2013 to April 1, 2014 compared to the same period the year before.
Result No. 1: Converting visitors to customers
Kate has seen a change in the behaviour of her online customers. They are staying “in” the store longer—41% more time spent on the site, on average, with customers visiting 26% more pages, on average. As well, fewer visitors leave as soon as they enter.
But the most encouraging change has been in buying behaviour. Online sales at Posh Jewelry are up 232% year over year! Clearly, the site is doing a better job of converting visitors to customers.
Result No. 2: Getting found
And her Internet marketing efforts have been effective. The total number of visitors to the site year over year has increased by 32%. And the number of new visitors—meaning visitors who had never been to her online store—also increased by 32%.
Result No. 3: Making sense of it all
Through strategic planning and coaching, Kate now understands the bigger picture.
She has learned that most online activities should be focused on either driving or converting customers. Now, she knows the right questions to ask. Does this activity help me get the attention of new customers? Does it help me to convert website visitors into customers? If it does neither, why am I doing it?
She has also learned that in the digital world, there are many wonderful free tools such as Google Analytics to help you understand how well your activities are doing. Armed with this information, you can make better decisions about how to allocate your scarce online marketing dollars.
Where does Kate go from here?
Kate and Posh Jewelry have just begun their online journey.
She has taken her first successful steps. The next stage will be to reinvest some of the new earnings from her digital activities to continue to improve her online store. She will be working to increase the number of customers and the dollar value of each shopping cart.
Kate will also be launching different online marketing initiatives to increase the number of well-qualified prospective customers visiting her e-commerce store.
To see more growth online, Kate will have to continue to act strategically, focusing on the customer experience at her website—just like she does in her successful brick-and-mortar store.
To learn more about online marketing, download your free copy of BDC’s guide Boost Your Sales with Online Marketing: A guide for entrepreneurs.