64FACETS is a fine handcrafted jewelry boutique. Its a family business with several generations of jewelry making experience. My brother and I are part of the current generation that is taking the tradition forward.
We are a 15 craftsmen strong team based in New Delhi, India. We source our raw materials ethically from legitimate sources in India, HongKong, Thailand and Europe. Then we bring them back to our workshop where, magically, we turn those raw material into fine jewelry, the very best that human hands can make.
We recently experimented with making handcrafted jewelry at lower price point. We maintained the same design and production standards, made some intelligent design alterations and viola! We were able to create fine jewelry for as low as INR 15,000 (US$275). We decided that going online was the best way to reach a wider audience.
And we did. Shopify made is so easy to create world class website that within a few weeks, we were able to go live! In Nov '13, we launched our online store - www.64facets.com. We are excited by the attention we are getting now. I meet a lot of new people and its satisfying when they say, "oh, I have seen your website!".
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
The first sale was from one of our existing customers. What was satisfying was that they were able to go online, browse jewelry, make a decision, pay and get it delivered, all online, without any help from us. That's what we aim for. We want to make fine jewelry shopping easy and not a task. Women should be able to buy fine jewelry and get it delivered home whenever and wherever.
We are experimenting with multiple distribution channels to increase exposure and sales. Email, social media and PR being the front runners. Paid search is still not very effective for our category. Affiliate network is also a channel that we are currently exploring.
What the website does is that it opens us up for partnership opportunities worldwide. We are today partners with some of the top e-commerce destinations of the world, specifically for the jewelry category.
Its amazing what a good website can do to your business.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
Shopify takes care of a lot of the back-end of the e-commerce part. The payment gateway integrations are smooth and easy to set up. Logistics is still a challenge in India, but we were able to strike deals with UPS (for international) and some local carriers for domestic shipping. Today, we have the ability of shipping fine jewelry to anyone in the world really fast and free of cost!
We engaged very skilful teams for designing our packaging. We are very proud of it. Its a white handmade box that also works as a multi-purpose jewelry storage box. Its beautiful and gels well with our overall brand positioning.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
It's no more a question whether or not to go online. You just have to. Or you'll lose out. The question really is how. There are options available for setting up the stores (my vote is for Shopify for ease of use and quality of results). I would suggest thinking through about the marketing strategy before launching - try and be as sure as possible about your brand positioning and promise.