Diana Sherling is part of Professional Jeweller's Digital Roundtable
Professional Jeweller Digital Roundtable Panel
November 23, 2017
'How can the jewellery industry bolster business online'
Professional Jeweller editor Stacey Hailes sat down with digital-savvy members of the UK trade to discuss how companies can use online tools and channels to boost sales and build brand awareness…
On the Panel:
Diana Sherling (DS), founder, Lily Flo Jewellery
How can brands and retailers build trust online? DS: Consumers are knowledgeable about what attributes make a brand. For example the influencers are my press and they take all the photos themselves and it is in their style. That is my trust from a style point of view. Then there’s the application, so from a photography point of view, that is a massive thing, it needs to be accurate for the product. So I use styled photography that consumers can see themselves in. And then there’s being at shows and events, and being part of the communities that are relevant for your brand. So that adds more trust for consumers and perspective stockists. They want to see that I am relevant and in the right places, and aspire to be in the right places.
DS: It is all about the convenience as well and the whole sort of topic of convenience and shopping, and how revolutionised Click and Collect has become, who would have thought Click and Collect would be streets ahead? The whole point of online shopping is you don’t have to get out, but it’s convenient if they are out. And then Amazon are now at the stations because it’s convenient for people. I’ve had a lot of people saying they would like, for example, some nice tourmaline earrings but they’re not sure which ones they want so they ask to borrow them. If I was a shop I would say come in and see it, but if they couldn’t because they don’t live near the store, they still want to see it before they buy it, so how can you do that when you are remote? So there are various ways that I am going to be introducing such as paying a deposit, and using a courier. And actually that’s what’s really powerful about Etsy. See I started on Etsy, and what people love is the interaction and the fact it is personal, so most of my stuff is custom ordered. In that process you are polite, you are open, you give as many different personalisation options, you provide many different courier options, so you put convenience at the front.
Industry experts debate the importance of different digital platforms
In some ways would you say social media can be even more important than a website?
DS: Instagram has actually helped me make my business, because I can curate how my business evolves faster on Instagram. So I want to be very fashion-led, and that helps me evolve then my website. So I can test things on Instagram and see if they are resonating. For example, I have been following Paris Fashion Week and saying there’s winter florals, I’ve got a floral collection, and seeing how people respond.
DS: The whole asking questions as a theory, ‘What do you think about A and B?’, the reality is no one really responds. Somebody has written a theory that the whole idea of social media is that it is conversational, but it’s not really being conversational anymore, it’s about being inspirational.
DS: The other thing that is really important for Instagram, which has helped me to evolve the brand, is honing hashtags. It is honing which communities out of which hashtags that I think my brand is associated with and relevant for and needs to be associated with. So this whole ‘Made in London’ for example, I have had brands like Things from London, a new organisation who promote things happening in London, approach me, and they have introduced me to other brands, other platforms and other designers, just by hashtags. Also ethical and eco fashion. Some of my best stockists are luxury fashion and they have all found me through certain hashtags. So that has been surprising, and far more influential than I would have ever imagined. You can actually build a business through hashtags.
Lily Flo founder, Diana Sherling, has had great success with boosting business on Instagram.
DS: For me, Instagram has been the most incredible learning journey out of everything. Not only from the content that I am curating and putting on there, but also the networking. This is possible partly through hashtags and partly through the imagery. And then stories and adding video to it as well. My bloggers and influencers have come to me from the stuff that I have done which is I think the right way round from a brand story point of view. But also I have had a lot of new stockists see me through honing out hastags, so that hashtag has a journey that then massively helps define my brand, and also helps me for search and SEO.