What should I be doing?
Written by Daniel Sirois, CPO & Co-Founder
It’s no secret that mobile phone technology, self-checkout kiosks, social media, A.I. and e-commerce have completely revolutionized the way humans now interact with their favorite brands on a daily basis. You can buy a coffee from an app on your phone and have it brought by a third party driver to your doorstep. I’ve always found it fascinating how different businesses have adapted to the decade-long changing consumer market and how the digital adaptations may differ from industry to industry. I have several friends who run restaurants, and the amount of change they’ve had to endure over the past 18 months alone has been an awe-inspiring lesson in adapt or die. However, many of the changes they’ve made in technologies were already happening not too long before the pandemic, and I would argue that those who were most prepared digitally were not only not affected as much, but in many cases actually saw a big uptick in business due to their preparedness. The old adage comes to mind: Being “successful” is nothing more than being the most prepared at the most opportune times.
Over the last 15 years, a good portion of our customers have expressed the idea that jewelers specifically would never need to service their customers in a digital way, citing that the personal touch, human interaction, and white-glove service was a driving reason why customers came in and came back. Save the penny-pinchers, and price-shoppers, for the heartless online sellers they would say… and 15 years ago, they were absolutely correct.
All purchases from cookies to cars are made, at least in-part, for emotional reasons. Much of my education was spent studying the reasons why consumers bought certain goods and services over another, and how to position a brand in such a way that consumers saw their product as the solution to fulfilling their own emotional needs. Today’s consumer does not buy what they “need”, they buy what they “want” and moreover, instead of that want being an in-person, one-on-one, white-glove service, they now want free shipping, instant gratification and touchless delivery. Selling jewelry is different indeed, but it’s not so different that it’s devoid of the emotional aspect; in fact it’s arguably the quintessential good to be purchased emotionally! Buying jewelry is a celebration of a life moment, and for someone to trust you with the facilitation of preserving that life-moment, jewelers position themselves in such a way that the consumer feels the empathy, sense of trust, security and care.
So then the million dollar question- how do jewelry retailers specifically fulfill their customers' collective emotional needs in a digital world and maintain their position of trust, security and white-glove service? For me the answer is to get prepared to change your marketing strategy from billboards and magazines to Google, Instagram, and everything digital. If you are already selling online, get even more prepared because the guy next to you is likely thinking the same thing. Get set up with online fraud protection, online financing options at checkout, and get your website ready to receive people coming from the various online worlds they may be coming from. Landing pages on your website are the online equivalent of sales people in your store; they are the digital kiosk at Starbucks. Every person who walks in doesn’t get the same exact pitch, or the same exact menu. If they’re coming in because of a particular event, a piece of marketing, or whatever – your sales people have been trained to steer those customers into making more specific purchases that you know they’ll leave satisfied with. Design your website to operate the same way.
Jewelry stores in today’s market need to position their brand where their customers are commonly fulfilling emotional needs already. And today, people are fulfilling those needs on Instagram (and other digital apps), Googling things, bouncing around to different websites, checking their email, making purchases online and digitally tracking their order to their doorstep. Maintain your brand's sense of trust through secure and easy online shopping. Maintain your brand's sense of empathy and care by having a landing page or area of your site dedicated to those customers with whom you empathize. And lastly, give them the same white-glove service by offering free & easy pickup, free shipping, and even a local delivery option. To align your business with today’s shopper, you do not need to change the reasons why customers shop with you. It’s as easy as applying the same old rules to the new variables, letting you deliver the most value by simply adapting to their way of shopping.