REVEALED: How can jewellers sparkle during the festive shopping season?

It ‘tis the season for jewellery retailers to give the end of the year their best shot, and capitalise on the fact almost everybody is looking for something special to buy.

Forget anything negative that’s happened over the last 11 months, and focus on the present.

The big rush may be coming later, but that’s ok. The key is to use the month wisely, and not stand still.

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Jewellers with an online presence have all the tools they need to reach people at home, and encourage them to come into store.

Businesses need to post promotions on social media, engage with followers, tease exclusive products, and show the world they are a destination boutique customers can’t afford to miss this Christmas.

In store, jewellery retailers need to make sure they are holding the right stock. If people are coming into town later this year, there’s little time to be ordering in stock, so use the start of the month (if you have not done so already) wisely and analyse your data to predict which products are likely to be bestsellers.

Make the store stand out as well and use quiet moments to train staff so that when someone does walk through the door everyone is equipped to provide the very best service, close every sale, and, where possible, upsell and increase average transaction values.

STANDING OUT
This Christmas Professional Jeweller has noticed an increase in companies going the extra mile to stand out.

From launching exclusive advent calendars, which keep a company in the consumer’s mind during the Christmas countdown, to putting on entertaining events, creating interactive catalogues, and finding innovative ways to offer exclusive deals, 2018 is all about thinking outside the box and making a bold business statement.

People shop in the same way they scroll through social media — they will keep going until something jumps out at them. So how is your business going to jump out this Christmas?

Company of Master Jewellers chief executive officer, Terry Boot, recommends: “Against a backdrop of stiff online competition, it’s crucial that businesses put in the extra yards to boost business more so than ever this Christmas. There are many things that can be done, from making sure all promotions are clearly visible early on to holding events and competitions. But crucially, it’s about offering the in-store experience and a welcoming atmosphere that your shoppers should be craving.

“An evening event that coincides with late night shopping can offer a warm and inviting environment and be the catalyst that turns a window shopper into footfall through your doors, and then to a converted customer. Try recreating the traditional Christmas market feel in your store, and invite passers-by in for a free glass of mulled wine, or a hot chocolate, perhaps. And, if you are to hold such an event, speak to your local press and ‘what’s on’ pages to widen that potential capture. At CMJ we offer support for such events and supplier promotional material to both assist events and dress your store.”

Events are an excellent way to pull in punters. Firstly, retailers can use digital services to promote events and encourage consumers to ‘come on in’, and secondly, it makes an experience out of shopping that the internet simply cannot replicate.

Alice Rivers-Cripps, the owner of innovative jewellery retailer, Post Totty Designs, shares her plans, small and large, with Professional Jeweller: “We will be running late night shopping evenings, with mince pies and mulled wine for our loyal customers, plus running our popular ring making and wreath making classes in our London and Brighton stores.”

She adds: “Alongside that we will be doing gift wrap in stores, a special ’throw the dice’ for The Rocking Horse charity to get 10% off your order, dressing as elves and working incredibly hard to get everyone’s orders out in time for Christmas.”

Some may be reading this and wondering how a wreath class can help bolster sales, but it really can.

Not only does it create Instagram moments, and a memorable experience, it also provides the opportunity for retailers to spend quality time with their customers and get to know them on a more personal level.

COLLABORATION
Jewellery retailers don’t have to work alone to go above and beyond. Why not use this time to collaborate with the local community?

Houlden chief executive officer, Helen Haddow, suggests: “For jewellery retailers, Christmas is all about turning presence into presents! The more presence you have, the better you’re likely to do. Why not look at identifying other businesses who are targeting the same kind of customer as you, but not directly competing, and explore the opportunity for a mutually beneficial joining of forces.

“For example, a jewellery business could team up with a local florist to create a clever cross-marketing campaign. The florist could assist in creating a beautifully festive retail environment within your store, or a gift with purchase bouquet for your customers in exchange for a discount offer or competition prize that is exclusive to their clients? With mutual branding present, both companies will not only increase exposure but also show customers that they are supportive of local businesses, and for both businesses it provides an effective way to attract new customers, to showcase their existing offering and ultimately increase sales.”

Jonathan David Jewellers in Cardiff worked with a local professional florist to dress its window frames with garlands, lighting and decorations which complement the store, while Thomas Sabo teamed up with Lindt chocolate to offer a branded advent calendar.

SOCIAL MEDIA PROMOTION
The importance of social media can’t be stressed enough. Millennials and Gen Z are constantly on their phones, so businesses need to be visible on their screens during the most lucrative time of the year.

At a basic levels, small businesses can use the likes of Facebook and Instagram for free marketing, while digitally-savvy companies can explore opportunities to sell through social channels.

“Christmas is by far the most significant seasonal event for jewellery purchasing so all jewellery retail businesses must try and capitalise on the event as much as possible,” shares Mintel retail analyst, Chana Baram. “Most have already planned what gifts to buy before going out to store so it is important to capture this consumer as soon as possible via targeted online and social media marketing, particularly when it comes to advertising smaller brands.”

She expands: “Platforms such as Instagram give consumers access to a brand or retailer, regardless of its size. This has helped retailers without huge marketing budgets to get the name of new brands out there. Additionally, giving the option to purchase certain items over social media makes it easier for consumers to impulse purchase and makes the whole shopping experience more convenient, particularly for male shoppers who might need more inspiration when buying jewellery for a female friend or partner.”

A rule to remember is that online is an extension of a retailer’s store. With this in mind, campaigns, images, and even tone of voice should be coherent.

If possible, pick a theme and central message, and run with this through the entire festive period. That could be using a Christmas colour in all images, or including a hashtag in each post. The more you use something, in store and online, the more it will be remembered.

Rox Jewellers managing director, Kyron Keogh, shares: “Christmas really is the most wonderful time of year at Rox — it’s our busiest period with people planning festive proposals as well as looking for the perfect presents. With that in mind it’s important for us to offer customers a service that captures the sparkle of the season as well as the unforgettable purchase they’re about to make. A key part of that is our approach to getting clients in store and we do that through exclusive shopping events as well as through our digital marketing campaigns. Social media plays a key role in driving footfall and this year will link in with our exciting new Christmas window schemes which promises to make our boutiques stand out in each of our locations.”

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