REVEALED: How do jewellers envisage multichannel retail evolving?

It’s more important than ever for jewellers to offer consumers a seamless experience online and in-store, but what does the future look like?

During a panel at International Jewellery London, titled ‘Jewellery Retail 2028: Reimagining the Future’, four trade experts were asked to share insights into what they are doing to success on today’s high street, and what can be done to future-proof.

When asked how they envisage multichannel retail evolving, Dinny Hall, founder of the namesake brand, said she believes traditional retail techniques will remain at the core, but jewellers need to continue to sell in an engaging way – and that’s what may change in the future.

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She shared on the panel: “Stores are defnitely here to stay but they will obviously evolve. I think that traditional retail techniques will remain – great service that transfers a passion and desire for our products. We just need to continue to make sure that we are selling people what they want in the most exciting way possible.”

“I also think that technology will develop, helping us to bring bespoke jewellery designs to life in a ‘virtual reality way’ outside of the computer – a sort of blending of creative artistry with technology would be great and very exciting both for us and the customers,” added the jewellery designer turned retailer.

Independent jewellery store owner, Ashley Pugh of W Bruford in Eastbourne, predicted that locations will become even more key.

He explained at IJL: “I think high street retailers will continue to do well in attractive market towns where there is a good mix of independent shops, food markets, cafes and restaurants, but elsewhere people will still prefer to shop safely and conveniently in the dry at shopping malls, especially when they can combine shopping with a trip to a restaurant or the cinema.

“I think people are becoming time poor for shopping but not for socialising – just look at the popularity and growth of the café society these days. So retailers will need to not only remain relevant – in terms of what their customers want to buy – but also locate themselves much more carefully in the future. It’s so difficult to predict but one thing is sure, after 35 years in retail I’m still learning and always will be.”

Clogau brand development manager, Sonia Menezes, said jewellers looking to stay relevant in the future will need to continue to evolve, adapt, and strengthen the omnichannel retail experience.

“I think retailers will need to become more efficient and focused on their customer journeys,” commented Menezes. “They need to make sure that all their channels and customer touch points are working hard and in harmony with one another.”

Innovare Design founder and creative director, Lloyd Blakey, concluded on the subject: “The pace of change in retail is dramatic and no-one can predict the future accurately. When I first started designing stores there were no mobile phones, no Internet and no social media. Today we are tasked with creating ‘Instagrammable’ moments for clients; we work with online retailers who are moving into physical stores; we embrace new technology to attract the consumer. Of course, new and exciting ways to engage with products and brands will continue to evolve but at the end of the day you are transacting with an individual customer – designers and retailers should never lose sight of that.”

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