Editor’s View: “Online does not have to kill the bricks and mortar star”

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They say video killed the radio star, but that’s not really true anymore, is it?

Yes, when video first came out it caused a disruptive ripple to run throughout the radio industry. Some channels lost listeners, while others didn’t even survive long after, but those who embraced new innovations and inventions in the media arts thrived.

Those companies didn’t have to change their identity or values. They didn’t have to turn their backs and betray everything they were rooted in. They just had to move with the times and find out in an age filled with videos — where do they fit in?

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Those who decided to ride the new wave dominating the consumer market are still leading players in the radio industry today. Take Radio One for example — the word radio is still in its name. It’s still on the radio with just shy of 10 millions listeners a week but it’s also using video, social media and events to boost its business.

When the internet first caused a ripple in the jewellery industry, I can understand why some companies were fearful and disheartened.

“How can consumers buy luxury items off a screen?” I hear you cry. And there is no single answer, every customer is different, but one constant remains. Whether they are willing to depart with cash online or not, the internet will definitely play a part in their shopping experience.

For some it may merely be through social media feeds, while others will spend hours in the evening shopping on the web. Many will use their mobiles to see what’s on offer across different stores, and most will turn to Google to look up a new brand that is mentioned through word of mouth in their friendship circles.

Online does not have to kill the bricks and mortar star. But it can enhance it.

For the digital-focused November issue of Professional Jeweller I sat down with digital-savvy professionals from the UK jewellery industry with backgrounds spanning Amazon and NotOnTheHighStreet.

One thing they kept coming back to was this idea that companies need to find what works for them online. There is no one ‘size fits all’ in an industry which is so diverse. But there is an online tool which can work for you and your business.

Maybe you will have soaring success just building up a really strong Instagram account that completely represents your brand. Perhaps you’re a retailer who focuses on bespoke and you need a website filled with images and testimonials.

Find your digital shoe and run in it.

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One Comment;

  1. Howard Levine said:

    You are obviously completely right Stacey, I couldn’t agree more. The problem is that most retailers are great at bricks and mortar but using the internet is a different skill. Even knowing what there is out there to try is hard for some. A young millennial that spends all their time on line would know straight away but this does not describe most independent jewellery retailers. If you look at a vast selection of the most successful online retailers today – they did not come from a bricks and mortar background.
    I am not being negative but I am just trying to say that help is needed from outside – this could be from suppliers or from service suppliers. No retailer would have a website at all today if they tried to do it themselves (not a good one anyway). Website builders have stepped up and some are experts at jewellery sites. This help will come but retailers have to open to investigate and to listen. When they see something useful they have to get onboard.

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