During my extensive career as Retail Designer I have seen several trends come and go in the Jewelry Industry but none has stood as firm as great customer service and interaction with the customer. I wanted to begin by saying that because these days people tend to focus on gadgetry and gizmos that may look nice and have lots of marketing dollars behind them but they rarely add to the core business.
Jewelers looking to renovate or open new stores in 2019 need to realize that customers are looking for more than the product. They want to know more about the product than what they read in the online description and to have a knowledgeable staff to guide them through the process. (especially when it comes to pricey items such as Jewelry)
People have always gone to the Jewelry store to get the memorable experience of buying a long lasting gift for their loved ones. Somehow Jewelers have forgotten about this. Outdated showcases, lots of Jewelry in a poor lighting environment. Simply bad store design reminiscing of an antique store rather than a Jewelry store affects the customer experience in such a way that it kinda makes the purchase ordinary. The diamond could be the same, it could even be less expensive. But is it going to be an unforgettable experience? Is the customer talking about it with their friends, or did they shared it on Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, the store doesn’t have to be the most futuristic looking or serving Champagne as the customers walk by. You need to find what you can do better and make it exceptional.
A new generation of buyers entered the market with their own set of priorities, if a Jewelry store is stuck in the past with their store design, customer service, signage. Who should their clientele be? And for how long? Recent trends in Jewelry Store Design have shown us that adding a more residential feel to the store, like for example a comfortable sofa or a beautiful chair can enhance the shopping experience. Other Jewelers are experimenting with small bars and entertainment areas where people can unwind and make the most of the buying experience.
All these trends are showing us something that is recurrent theme; the need for change, to reinvent, to stand out from the rest. Be it from a customer service standpoint to a revamping of their store to a total rebranding of the store. The year is 2019 and there are Jewelers out there acting like we’re in 1988.
At the beginning of the article I talked about gizmos and tech gadgets that weren’t adding to the customer experience. But I would be terribly wrong if I said there are not good advances in technology that will help Jewelers to deliver an exceptional customer experience. The increasing use of Mobile technology is such a great opportunity to bring customers to your doorstep that it shouldn’t be dismissed, Sixty-three percent of consumers surveyed by Accenture and the Retail Industry Leaders Association released data that consumers were interested in personalized recommendations and were willing to share personal data in exchange for benefits like loyalty points and automatic credits for coupons
“The store of the future combines the best of online thinking into the physical world, according to Healey Cypher, CEO of Zivelo, and Albert Vita, director of in-store experience and visual merchandising at The Home Depot.”
AR (Augmented reality) is another trend that is getting traction, some Jewelers such as Hamilton Jewelers, Laura Lively, Diamond Hedge, and the jewelry store CaratLane are working with the try on app; A jewelry try-on application which allows consumers to try your rings first before they buy, which can prevent possible product returns. It will also help when combined with personalization services such as letting them change the size and shape of the diamond, the metal or the color.
These are just a few advances in technology that can help your Jewelry business grow. And combined with great store design, amazing customer service and a well trained sales team equipped with the right tools can make the real difference in the years ahead.
Karen Estrada has over 15 years of experience in the Retail Design Industry,
specializing in Jewelry Store Design. She is currently working as Director of Luxury
Goods at Artco Group. An award winning global retail design and Manufacture company located in Miami. FL