Jewelers don’t need to have a full-blown e-commerce site to make an impact online, says luxury sales consultant Kathleen Cutler.
WHEN IT COMES TO DIGITIZATION AND TECHNOLOGY, WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO HAVE AT THE BASIC LEVEL?
Just a few small elements of digitization, when done correctly, can have a huge impact.
Having a website and social media presence that can act as a calling card is key. You’ll want to include some brand storytelling, showcase pieces that you have available and make sure there’s a system in place form browsers to book an appointment and chat with staff.
Building trust and connection is essential – you don’t need to have every detail of full e-commerce functionality covered. Most online sales will involve at least some form of communication, whether the final sale is concluded through the website, over the phone or in-person.
HOW CAN JEWELERS BALANCE AND FUZE TECHNOLOGY AND PERSONALIZATION IN THEIR BUSINESS?
Most successful e-commerce jewelry stores have someone whose entire job is to chat with customers – and not just to answer their questions, but to sell just as you would do in person. Promote your best salesperson to handle your web inquiries and see what happens!
You can handle so many more chat conversations than in-person conversations, but the same rules of selling will still apply.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO HAVE AN UP-TO-DATE WEBSITE WITH PURCHASING OPTIONS?
While making sure your site is up to date is important, it’s more important to make sure that you have
someone there to answer questions with a sales flair.
A robust website with every spec on every piece you sell won’t be enough to add seven figures to your
website sales, especially if you’re relying solely on your “buy now” button.
Having a pre-sale strategy and proactively reaching out to your best clients, even before you put something on the website if you think it is something they might be interested in, is way more important than making sure it is online.
HOW CAN COMPANIES BETTER EXPLOIT SOCIAL MEDIA IN ORDER TO LEVERAGE SALES?
To make sales via social media, it’s essential to understand that posts are really just the start of the conversation. Getting into someone’s DMs and continuing a conversation with sales flair is the real goal. While staying brief and direct, the aim is to add context in your conversations just like you would while
selling in person. If a client asks, “How much are these earrings?” The response shouldn’t simply be a dollar amount, which is what jewelers so often share.
The conversation is far more likely to lead to a sale if the response includes a little sales flair and an artist’s touch. For example, the salesperson could say: “Thank you for your interest and kind words! These take approximately 500 hours to create by hand and the emeralds are some of the finest I’ve seen in my 30-year career. They are $45,000. Would you like to see a photo of them worn in the sunlight?”
DO CUSTOMERS EXPECT DIGITIZATION IN THE JEWELRY INDUSTRY, OR ARE THEY MORE OLD FASHIONED IN THEIR VIEWS?
When selling physical products, especially in an industry that is so old-school, there will always be a
physical element to the sales process.
We help our clients develop handwritten card and gifting programs, as well as encourage them to develop ‘on-memo’ or ‘pick-box’ programs for their best collectors, so they can feel the jewels in their hands instead of always just looking at photos of them.
That being said, we’ve helped our clients develop email and messaging templates that work really well
with affluent collectors also.
Learning to text, DM and email with clients is key to working with the most affluent, who have more
money than they do time, as they won’t always be available to come into the store. This is especially the
case among the next generation of buyers, who are so technologically savvy.
HOW CAN DIGITIZATION AND TECHNOLOGY MAKE BUSINESS EASIER FOR JEWELERS TODAY?
Technology offers jewelers an opportunity to work with multiple customers at once and at scale. You can receive orders when your store is physically closed. You can pre-schedule social media and email marketing to reach your clients and audience while you are away. You can keep all your clients’ birthdays and anniversaries in a piece of software rather than having to remember them in your head (or having to transfer that information into a new calendar every year).
HOW CAN MODERATE DIGITIZATION AFFECT SALES?
It doesn’t take expensive and complicated technology to make an impact. We’ve seen jewelers sell $100,000- plus to one client once they started proactively emailing with them. And it doesn’t have to take long; we’ve also seen one jeweler add $3 million to their sales in one year from digitization.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO BRANDS THAT FAIL TO INNOVATE?
It’s important to remember that innovation is something that clients are looking for. It’s right up there with exquisite jewels and outstanding service. If clients can’t find what they’re looking for with you, they start looking elsewhere.
ANY OTHER TIPS OR ADVICE?
It can be intimidating to get started, but it can also be so much fun! Start with where you’re at, commit to showing up for your clients and remember that it’s all about connection in the end.
Check out kathleencutler.com
Image: Kathleen Cutler