Many companies believe simply that “if you build it, they will come.”
Websites are built, products are offered, and a heavy marketing campaign is used to drive the business. A fairly hefty budget is allocated to marketing, with no understanding of all the other factors necessary for the business to actually succeed in closing sales and then keeping the clients satisfied, and returning for more. In fact, there is so much more necessary than just marketing a brand or a site.
For an existing B2C e-commerce website, then, seeing sales decline, and customer complaints and returns multiply, may not be recognized as a red flag until it’s too late to recover. In this client’s case, fortunately, the owners were paying attention well enough to understand they needed help beyond their own expertise, quickly and in force.
Hill & Co. was asked to step in to rescue the business. Our team immediately determined that the quality of the products had declined, as suppliers failed to maintain standards that had been set early on. Previously, all orders had been drop-shipped, leaving this company no control over what their customers received. There had never been a Quality Control department at all. One of our first steps was to set up this critical area, define the Standard Operating Procedures, train the staff on how to test, assay and examine products before they could be shipped to the consumer. We also intervened in the drop-ship chain, to make sure poor quality would no longer be an issue.
From there, we determined that there were many important jewelry categories either missing altogether, or over- or under-represented in their offerings. Additionally, their supplier base was woefully inadequate, and some were simply not capable of providing the quality product necessary, and in the right timeframe, to meet customer expectations. With our extensive network of experts and deep industry experience, we were able to construct a cohesive, thoughtful product line and connect the client with the right manufacturers to ensure quality and value all throughout the mix. We taught their team how to sample products, to make sure the initial items were to specifications and met all criteria before releasing new items out to their end consumers.
As we proved that our assistance could drive a much more successful business, the client also shared their desire to elevate their offering to more of a fine rather than fashion jeweler. New and more interesting designs were not the only challenge here. Gemstones and materials needed to be layered in, and the staff educated about the nature of each element of the new jewelry, how to evaluate and test these, and how to push back at suppliers who might also need more training. The website needed a big upgrade to educate the consumer and discuss quality levels and treatments as well. In all of these areas, the deep experience and knowledge base of the Hill and Co. team meant the client could do a complete upgrade, quickly and seamlessly.
Currently, just into the second quarter of the revamp, the client is already seeing substantial improvement in sales, consumer satisfaction, a drastically reduced return rate, and increased profitability. Their average retail sale has increased 250% + and they are expecting further exponential results as the season continues.