Independents

What Will Become of Retail Jewelry Stores? Part II

IndependentsApr 19, 2016

What Will Become of Retail Jewelry Stores? Part II

In the second part of a two-part column, Peter Smith shares 3 pieces of advice for jewelers along with a list of recommended reading.

2016-Peter_Smith_copy.jpg
Peter Smith has more than 30 years of experience building wholesale and retail sales teams. He currently is president of Vibhor Gems.

In the first installment of What Will Become of Retail Jewelry Stores?, published last week, Peter Smith challenged jewelers to examine the strengths and weakness of their business in a number of key areas, including staffing, inventory and retail environment.

 
In Part II of his two-part series, Smith advises them to fine-tune their marketing strategy, find a mentor and never stop learning.

He also shares a not-unlucky list of 13 books, blogs and website that might be of interest to retailers.

Market to fewer people
A marketing “strategy” that is designed to maximize the accumulated dollars that you can collect from your various brand partners is not a strategy. It is leveraging dollars for its own sake, and it might be the worst way to market your business. If you cannot communicate your relevance in a consistent and clear manner, then customers will not have to tune you out because you will never have been relevant to them in the first place.

If you want to be the bridal player in your market, than make sure you are telling that story over and over across all your mediums, including your website, your social media and digital efforts, and in your more traditional advertising vehicles such as TV, radio, billboards and your brick-and-mortar store, inside and out.

If you commit to being the bridal player and you spread your advertising resources across a variety of brands, categories and messages, you will not be successful in reaching the ears and eyeballs of the most important customers for you. This does not mean that you cannot have more than one message, but they should be completely consistent with your stated aspiration and crystal clear to your target customer. In short, if you try to say too much, you are saying nothing.  

A reasonable person (not in the industry and not in media) ought to be able to look at your store and all of your marketing and PR efforts and know what you are about: “That’s the price store,” “You’ve got to check those guys out for the best engagement ring brands,” “That’s a great watch store,”  “They’ve got the coolest jewelry,” etc.

There are far more capable people than me when it comes to advising you on the best marketing plans but I will say this as strongly as I can: If your website is not, first and
foremost, mobile-friendly, you are in trouble. Hand-held devices are the first screen that prospective customers consult when checking out websites. A site that is not completely mobile-friendly may as well not exist for millennials. If you haven’t updated your website in a few years, it is probably long past its expiration date.

Educate yourself
Whether you have a post-graduate degree or whether you are a high-school dropout, you must be committed to continuously learning about retail, about consumer behavior, about your market, about what’s going on in the industry and in retail in general. You don’t have to be a voracious reader of books to keep yourself up to date (although it would help) but you have to make time to continue to learn.

There are so many great resources available to us from LinkedIn, to Twitter (it’s not about the characters, it’s about the links that take you to great articles) to Facebook (you don’t have to be consumed in the “who ate what, when and where” to reap the benefits). You can take a few minutes to search great sources of information from organizations like Gallup and Forrester Research and Retail Dive and, of course, the industry blogs and articles.

There are also great educational opportunities throughout our industry and in local universities and even community colleges. You have to stay current with what is happening in retail (not just our industry) and constantly assess your business against what you are learning ongoing.

If you are one of those people who claims not to have any time for reading, to paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy, you just might be in trouble.

Find a mentor
One of the most important things you can do for your business is to find a mentor. There are some very qualified people in our industry and there are, no doubt, very qualified and capable people in your community.

We all have aspects of the business that we feel pretty confident about and other aspects that we are just not that good at, quite frankly.

If, for instance, finances are your Achilles heel, find a mentor who can hold your hand and guide you through the process. Likewise, if the people side of the business is a struggle for you, engage someone who can help you with that process. No matter how talented you are, you will benefit from being able to talk through your challenges and opportunities with a trusted advisor.

I’ll close with a paragraph from The Retail Revival by Doug Stephens, as well as a reminder to read it if you really care about what is happening in retail.
 
“There are two things to keep in mind,” Stephens wrote. “First, at its core, shopping is a social activity. We shop not only to gather and acquire things we need, but also to commune in public places, to be with people. I’ll be the first to argue that online stores will get better and better at fulfilling the distribution aspect of shopping, but I will also hold that nothing will entirely replace the social experience of visiting the market. Second, although the list of things we as consumers are comfortable buying online grows each year, there are still things that are simply more confidently purchased in a physical store setting.”

I have also included below a few suggestions for other books, blogs and websites that might also be of interest to you.

Good luck!

Suggested Reading
-- The Retail Revival, Doug Stephens
-- Hiring Squirrels, Peter Smith
-- Buy-Ology, Martin Lindstrom
-- First, Break All The Rules, Marcus Buckingham
-- Good To Great, Jim Collins
-- Y-Size Your Business, Jason Ryan Dorsey
-- Drive, Daniel Pink
-- The New Rules of Retail, Robin Lewis and Michael Dart  
-- Conversion, Mark Ryski

Blogs/Newsletters/Twitter
-- Retail Dive (e-mail newsletter)
-- Retail Wire (e-mail newsletter)
-- Inc.
-- Doug@Retail Prophet (Doug Stephens)  

Peter Smith, author of Hiring Squirrels: 12 Essential Interview Questions to Uncover Great Retail Sales Talent, has spent more than 30 years building sales teams at retail and at wholesale. He currently is president of Vibhor Gems. Email him at peter-at-vibhorgems.com, dublinsmith-at-yahoo.com or reach him on LinkedIn.
Peter Smithis an industry consultant, speaker, and sales trainer, and author of three books, “Hiring Squirrels,” “Sell Something,” and “The Sales Minute.”

The Latest

Zadok Jewelers Texas Collection
CollectionsJun 21, 2024
Say Howdy to Zadok Jewelers’ New ‘Texas’ Collection

Cowboy boots, horseshoes, and longhorn motifs make an appearance in the Houston-based jeweler’s new line.

Ella Klein internship
SourcingJun 21, 2024
Julius Klein Partners With WJA on New Internship

The Ella Klein Internship will take place in New York this summer.

Eriness’ Snake Coil Necklace
CollectionsJun 21, 2024
Piece of the Week: Eriness’ ‘Snake Coil’ Necklace

Join Eriness’ garden party with this emerald-eyed snake.

Untitled design.jpg
Brought to you by
The End of an Era? Lab-Grown Diamonds' Journey Towards Price Stability

As the demand for lab-grown diamond jewelry may still be increasing, the most notable change we are likely to see is price stabilization.

Warren H. Morss, Monica L. Caldwell, Mark T. Cartwright
GradingJun 21, 2024
ASA Elects New Gems and Jewelry Discipline Governor, Members-At-Large

Warren H. Morss is the new governor, while Monica L. Caldwell and Mark T. Cartwright are the members-at-large.

Weekly QuizJun 20, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these questions.
Take the Quiz
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane satellite image
Policies & IssuesJun 20, 2024
5 Safety and Preparedness Tips for Jewelers This Hurricane Season

Jewelers Mutual is advising jewelers along the coast to prepare for above-normal hurricane activity this year.

JVC’s Sara Yood and Tiffany Stevens
MajorsJun 20, 2024
Sara Yood Appointed JVC CEO As Tiffany Stevens Moves On

The leadership change at the organization charged with guiding the industry on legal issues will take effect next week.

1872 x 1052 Gemolite.jpg
Brought to you by
Meet Gemology’s Next Generation Microscope: GIA® Gemolite® NXT Professional Edition

GIA®’s most advanced microscope has new features to optimize greater precision and comfort.

Precious: The History and Mystery of Gems Across Time
SourcingJun 20, 2024
Jewelry Expert Helen Molesworth to Release First Book

“Precious: The History and Mystery of Gems Across Time” will be available on Sept. 17.

Claire’s interim CEO Chris Cramer
MajorsJun 20, 2024
Claire’s CEO Ryan Vero Steps Down

Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer Chris Cramer has been named interim CEO.

Jewelers of America advocacy trip DC 2024
Policies & IssuesJun 18, 2024
JA, Industry Leaders Take Russian Diamond Import Concerns to D.C.

The group met with lawmakers to raise awareness about the financial, operational, and supply chain harms posed by an EU proposal.

Louis Comfort Tiffany 1900 gold and opal necklace
Events & AwardsJun 18, 2024
Driehaus Museum Displaying Rare Jewels From Chicago Collections

The museum also will host jewelry heist-themed movie nights throughout the run of “Chicago Collects: Jewelry in Perspective.”

Models wearing Pomellato’s “The Dualism of Milan” collection
CollectionsJun 18, 2024
Pomellato’s New High Jewelry Collection Celebrates Milan

“The Dualism of Milan” collection features two chapters representing the monochromatic and colorful spirit of the city.

Dorian Webb, Kealeboga and Ursula Pule
CollectionsJun 18, 2024
Zales Adds Dorian Webb, Nungu Diamonds to Designer Edit

The Designer Edit, launched earlier this year, highlights up-and-coming jewelry designers.

National Association of Jewelry Appraisers Logo
Events & AwardsJun 18, 2024
NAJA Announces Its Mid-Year ‘Ace It’ Conference

The conference will focus on the “practical ‘how to’ of appraising gems and jewelry,” said NAJA Executive Director Gail Brett Levine.

De Beers CEO Al Cook
EditorsJun 17, 2024
Q&A: Al Cook on the Future of De Beers

The De Beers CEO discussed the Anglo American situation, natural diamond marketing, and why the future of lab-grown diamonds is technology.

Bernd Munsteiner
SourcingJun 17, 2024
Fantasy Cut Inventor Bernd Munsteiner Dies at 81

Known to many as the “Picasso of gems" who modernized the gem cutting field, he is remembered by his family as going through life with open eyes.

Instore and Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference Logos
Events & AwardsJun 17, 2024
Instore Show, Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference to Co-Locate

The partnership, now in its second year, allows CRJC attendees to register for a free Instore show badge.

Stock image of a gavel
CrimeJun 14, 2024
2 Men Sentenced to Life in 2022 Murder of Detroit-Area Jeweler

In court, Daniel Hutchinson’s loved ones remembered the jeweler as a giver, a role model, and a leader.

Billie Bangle
CollectionsJun 14, 2024
Piece of the Week: Jade Trau’s ‘Billie’ Bangle

Take a walk along this bangle’s diamond “cobblestone” made from round-, pear-, and marquise-cut diamonds.

Graphic with headshots for My Next Question 2024 Las Vegas webinar
Recorded WebinarsJun 14, 2024
Watch: What Happened in Vegas in 2024

The National Jeweler editors discuss the hot topics, best jewels, and current trends that stood out during Jewelry Market Week.

NJSB1.JPG
Supplier BulletinJun 13, 2024
Leading with Innovation: Core Scientific’s Advanced Refining Solutions

Sponsored by Core Scientific

Vera Wang Love True lab-grown diamond engagement ring
FinancialsJun 13, 2024
Signet Awaits Engagement Recovery as Q1 Sales Sink 9%

The company is expecting to see a 5 to 10 percent increase in engagements this year.

QVC HSN logo
MajorsJun 13, 2024
HSN, QVC Parent Company Faces Delisting

Qurate Retail is in the middle of a turnaround plan as it battles declining sales.

45.07-carat step cut fancy vivid yellow diamond
AuctionsJun 13, 2024
45-Carat Yellow Diamond Withdrawn from Phillips Auction

Signed jewels and period pieces stood out at the sale.

Marie Lichtenberg Scapular necklace
TrendsJun 13, 2024
Amanda’s Style File: For the Fathers

Showcase your dad’s personal style with a piece of fine jewelry for Father’s Day.

The Eden Rose Diamond
AuctionsJun 12, 2024
10-Carat Pink Diamond Sells for $13M at Christie’s

“The Eden Rose” is a fancy intense pink diamond that was appearing at auction for the first time.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy