Retail is and has always been a tough environment, but jewellers who are yet to embrace omnichannel retail aren’t making it any easier – they’re missing out on sales and new customers.
With McKinsey research finding that online experiences influenced 40% of luxury retail sales in 2018, the importance of embracing omnichannel retail cannot be understated. Consumers, in general, are no longer distinguishing between online and offline, digital and in-store, they just expect the two to work in harmony. So, it’s more important than ever to start presenting your customers with an integrated shopping experience and add value to your retail offering.
For years people have been predicting that the digital revolution would spell the end of traditional retail. As it turns out, digital hasn’t killed off bricks and mortar shops, but it has changed the way consumers want to shop. They want to browse your products, compare prices and read reviews before even setting foot in a store. This is especially true of Millennial and Generation Z consumers, but increasingly true of all ages.
Jewellery buying, though, is a personal affair and so differs to other retail purchases in that most consumers would like to see, touch and try on jewellery before buying. And for that reason, a ‘bricks and mortar’ presence will always be important, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about becoming more omnichannel and having an online strategy. A digital presence can enhance your offering, reassure consumers and drive more of them to your door.
The first step in creating an effective online strategy is to work out what your customers will need from it. For a jewellery retailer, this typically involves a website to showcase your full range of products in the best possible light, complete with a detailed description. And don’t forget that today’s consumers are using smartphone, tablets and computers to browse online, so your website needs to work well on all platforms.
Click and collect or reserve and collect options are rapidly becoming the norm across retail, but for those of us in the jewellery sector, they are particularly important. As we’ve already found out, customers are increasingly browsing online before buying but, as jewellery is such a personal purchase, the ability to reserve online then drop into a shop to make the final decision is priceless.
However, let’s not forget that omnichannel is about all of the touch points a customer will encounter and that includes packaging and displays too. Postal outers, as well as jewellery boxes themselves, should enhance your brand and finishing touches like ribbons and bags can make all the difference to customer’s experience both in-store and for online purchases.
At Hatton & Spencer, we find that the way to get your omnichannel approach right is to be practical. A ‘bells and whistles’ approach that integrates all aspects of sales and marketing isn’t for everyone and it isn’t within everyone’s budget either. Helping our clients adapt to the changing face of retail is what we do at Hatton & Spencer, whether it’s with a few small steps, or a big leap.