“Jewellery industry needs digital shake up,” states new retail report

Research into 34 jewellery retailers with more than one store reveals the industry still has a long way to go to take advantage of the digital revolution.

Just yesterday it was revealed that while January posted the lowest footfall in five years, online saw a 14% surge in sales year-on-year.

While bricks and mortar still has a dominant place in jewellery retail, digital platforms do offer advantages that can bolster, rather than disrupt, businesses, and even encourage consumers to come into store.

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In a new report released by RetailStore, which complied data from jewellers including F Hinds, Beaverbrooks, Swarovski and Links of London, found that many jewellery retailers are missing a few footfall driving tricks.

In jewellery retail, the customer experience of trying on items, asking questions, and seeing the product in detail (in person) are all essential steps in the buying journey, but a smart use of digital tools can augment the customer experience and bridge the gap between online and in-store.

For example, Click and collect,’ where a customer pays online and collects in-store; and ‘click and reserve,’ when a customer reserves item(s) online and pays instore, have been growing in popularity in general retail. In jewellery retail, using either or both of these methods can help drive footfall to store. RetailStore’s research found that 70% of jewellers offer click and collect from their websites, including Links of London, Chisholm Hunter, and H.Samuel, but a much smaller amount, 23%, of jewellery retailers offer a ‘reserve and collect’ service including, F.Hinds, Green + Benz, and Lunn’s.

Four retailers offer both options including Green + Benz, Lunn’s, Swarovski, and Windsor Bishop. Only three retailers offer same day collection from store including, F.Hinds, Robert Gatward, and Tiffany & Co.

Those using this service are able to let their consumers enjoy an omni channel experience and bridge the gap between browsing, and maybe evening purchasing online, and setting foot into store and engaging with staff.

The RetailStore shares: “Last year, PwC research found that whilst 15 shops closed on the high street each week, the number of jewellers operating on Britain’s high streets was actually on the rise.

“The jewellery sector is thriving, but many jewellers are still lagging behind general retail when it comes to connecting online and in-store services. Jewellers digitising in-store services right now will be worth more than their weight in gold.”

Professional Jeweller subscribers can download the Cybertill Jewellery Market Research Report 2018 here.

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