Editor’s View: “Younger customers will not shop in a store with no online presence”

The November issue of Professional Jeweller is always a fun one for me to write because I love exploring all things digital.

Interestingly I am wrote this edition whilst on a ‘posting-fast’. Obviously I am kept the industry up-to-date on the Professional Jeweller social media channels, but I have took a month sabbatical from uploading anything to my personal Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Like most things, it’s always good to take time out to stop and reflect. When you think about it, technology has the ability to enrich and connect, but it can also be really disruptive — as the jewellery industry knows all too well.

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On a personal level, I love that I can FaceTime my friends who have just moved back to New Zealand and talk to them as if they were in the room with me. Back in the day, when I was living in America, the connection was so terrible, it was hard to stay in touch with loved ones. But technology has changed that for the better.

On the flip side, social media has made it all too easy to feel like you are ‘in touch’ and connected, when really we are not. Just because you scroll through someone’s post with next to no thought on your morning commute, it doesn’t mean you are building a relationship.

Additionally, I can see how self-service tills may enrich some people’s lives, but no matter what I do there’s always an issue, and I have to wait even longer to see a human than I would have if I queued up to use a normal till.

Yes there are many pros and cons to technology, and I am sure many of you could write a pretty detailed list, but one thing’s for sure — the digital revolution has only just got started. So we can moan about the ‘good old days’, but they are not coming back. People will continue to use new technology to make their lives easier, and this will impact business.

But everyone has a choice. You can embrace it, and see how you can make it work for you and your company, or you can shy away from it and get left behind.

Omnichannel retail is more important than ever for jewellery companies selling direct to consumer – whether a retailer or a brand – and the time is near when the weak will be separated from the strong. The majority of millennials and the younger generation will not shop in a store with no online presence. They just won’t. They don’t want to walk into a place they are not familiar with when they can shop in a store they’ve built a relationship with online. It’s not about where the final purchase takes places, it’s about recognising online is part of the customer journey.

So in the November issue, which should reach you all this week, I hope you find some tips and helpful insights into how to bolster business online. From advice on social media, to honest truths from industry giants, we’ve put together a selection of features to help the trade get digitally savvy.

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