Caught exception: Unknown column 'external_user_id' in 'field list' Ramblings After JCK Las Vegas – What’s an E-Commerce Site and Can You Do It for Me?
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Ramblings After JCK Las Vegas – What’s an E-Commerce Site and Can You Do It for Me?

JCK Las Vegas took place without incident, and I, for one, was surprised with the turnout. I was admittedly pessimistic on the number of meaningful conversations we were going to be able to have. I’m glad to be wrong. 

Right off the bat, while we were still setting up, we had a visitor in our booth that came to tell us how much he loved using the VDB app.  He uses it daily to search and source for anything his customers are looking for.  But what else can he do to use his site to make more money?  I asked if he had a website and he said yes.  I asked if it was an ecommerce site and he asked, what’s the difference? 

I googled his company, and yes, he has a website. It was of the typical jewelry industry variety that relied on a template with pictures of his store and his family history proudly written out on the About Us page.  But there was no way for him to sell on online, no diamond search; no ability to check out.  Just a digital catalog of the styles he carries with a note on the bottom to contact the store with any inquiries.   

On top of which, I didn’t see much in terms of marketing elements.  While there were some keywords within his copy, I saw very little done to increase his organic SEO. In my initial google search, I had to type in his company name correctly before I found his site, which meant that unless I was aware of his brand and its name, I would not have been able to find it in a casual search. If I was not able to come up with his store, what are the odds of any potential customers finding him? He was also not on any social media platforms, which could have been another potential lead to his website.  So overall, his website is a collection of images, with no way for a casual shopper to find him, and even if they happened upon his site, the only call to action was to contact his brick and mortar store. 

When I asked how his customers typically find him, his response was less than encouraging.  He primarily sells to his past customers with occasional tourists that stop by his store.  He would like to branch out and expand his market.  The question was how.  

Unfortunately, our visitor would not be the only one to ask this. Throughout the show, we had many visitors, both retailers and wholesalers, lament on how they would like to sell more. On closer inspection, a lot of their websites had no shopping cart, nor the ability to search for inventory.  They had a lot of images that did not benefit SEO and not much content on their sites.  On top of which, most companies did not have a marketing plan on how they would promote and encourage traffic to their site. 

As the conversation wound down, the #1 question that was always asked was:  Can you do it for me? While Virtual Diamond Boutique does offer a lot of selling tools and solutions for the jewelry industry, there is no magic pill for getting more sales.  The trick is to utilize partners that each contribute a piece of what is needed.  

Shopify offers tremendous tools to retailers and is a good starting point to selling online.  VDB offers a variety of plugins for Shopify that allows you to have an interactive search and global inventory from top suppliers all over the world.  If you decide to go with another e-commerce platform, such as Magneto or Woo-Commerce, VDB has plugins for those as well. To learn more about the different solutions VDB has to offer, visit

And lastly, but probably most importantly, you need a marketing plan on how you can establish your brand, promote it globally, and continue coming up with fresh content for your site.  For such a simple question, the answer is for sure complex.  But you need not do it alone, and no one says you can’t have fun with it either.