By Emmanuel Raheb
When running your own business, establishing a solid online presence is vital and building an effective website is the foundation of that success.

Business owners have to make sure their brand is being found by their ever-growing online audience and consider how that will directly affect their sales performance.

2018 Emmanuel Raheb“The Smart Lab” is a new column for National Jeweler, authored by Smart Age Solutions’ Emmanuel Raheb.
Studies show that consumers consider websites to be the main source for product information and brand-related content, even more so than social media and other communication channels, making it your most important marketing tool.

When customers come to your website, you have only a matter of seconds to influence them and get them to what they’re looking for.

The good news is that you can make your website friendly while building or redesigning it just by paying attention to some simple concepts and better industry practices.

Treat It Like Your Store
It always amazes me when I look at the websites for some of the most well-run retail stores.

When I walk in the store, I’m immediately greeted by someone asking if I’d like something to drink. That someone is standing in front of the most beautifully laid out cases of jewelry, perfectly placed in categorical order, with just the right amount of lighting hitting at just the right spots.

When I ask to see an engagement ring, I’m immediately taken to that section, where they have elegantly displayed rings, in perfect order of style and price, making my shopping experience easy and thoughtful.

So I ask: Why in the world don’t you carry that same experience to your site?

UX and Usability
The hot topic on all website-related discussions is UX. UX stands for User Experience, and it’s the kind of thing that draws attention when something goes wrong.

UX defines how your customer will feel when navigating on your website and connecting with your brand, while usability will tell you how easy-to-use your website is.

Are they finding everything they need with few clicks? Is it intuitive? Are the buttons highlighted? Is the entire website user-friendly enough to make them feel comfortable?

The answers to all these questions have to be taken into consideration if you want your website to retain and sell to your customers.

Your user experience is as important as your design, and even more important when considering e-commerce-enabled websites. They have to be well organized, clever and have clear signs on how to make secure purchases.
20180403 Amazon click graphic(Photo credit:

A great example of friction reduction proven to be a major success is Amazon and their one-click purchase feature (pictured here); it’s believed to have contributed $2.4 billion in additional revenue.

Experts believe this is one of the company’s biggest advantages in the online retail space, decreasing cart abandonment and improving sales.

A Friction-Less Experience (Don’t Make Me Think)
When talking about web pages, friction refers to anything that prevents a user from accomplishing a goal and every micro-moment that slows down your user.

Consumers expect to go to a site that almost thinks for them.

The less friction your website has, the easier it will be for your customer to purchase one or more products. In the digital age, people have little time to focus on only one website.

On your website, you have to make sure that your customers’ interests are displayed clearly for them, leaving no room for doubts. Your audience expects you to do all the hard work and offer a user-centered website that they’ll understand immediately.

Having a poorly designed website that your customers don’t understand will repel them, reduce your sales and weaken your brand’s credibility.

It’s not about staying where you are and not affecting your store sales. It’s about losing business to your competitors, and drastically losing the trust of your once-loyal audience.

As we say at Smart Age, “The more friction you remove, the less friction that’s tolerated.”

Emmanuel Raheb is the CEO of Smart Age Solutions, a digital ad agency and coveted Premier Google Partner. With nearly 18 years’ digital marketing and e-commerce experience, Raheb is passionate about helping and strategically growing national jewelry brands and local retailers alike. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.