Think about the customers’ journey and all their touch points, from the time they see the shop, when they enter the shop, while they are waiting to be served and right up until when they pay.
How can all these touchpoints be improved? Discuss it with shop staff and customers, come up with a plan about how to fine tune the customer journey and follow it through. The customer journey should be reviewed regularly to ensure stores are making shoppers as happy as they possibly can.
More and more retailers have cottoned on to the powerful use of digital and digital screens in-store. They can really have a huge impact in retail spaces if done well. Screens can be used in the window to catch the eye and draw potential customers into a space. This is an effective way of catching shopper’s attention by displaying gifting ideas, especially at key times of the year such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Screens used in-store could showcase the latest jewellery trends hitting the fashion runways or marketing content from brands which are on display in the store.
The screens could also run interactive adverts – as we know high end jewellery adverts are beautiful and inspirational. It would be a really fresh experience in the jewellery sector, though some retailers are embracing the benefits of digital screens and on brand marketing content already. And there are some shining examples of digital screens with exciting content being used in retail which jewellers could take inspiration from. Burberry’s flagship Regent Street store features the tallest retail screen in the world and more than 100 screens, which play runway shows and branded content. The store shows how screens can make a luxury brand seem more contemporary, by creating a sophisticated, digitally savvy interior, while facilitating brand immersion, communicating brand positioning and showcasing the collection. There are even mirrors which turn into screens in the store.
Putting the radio on is simply not enough. The best stores now have curated music. Too often retailers use a generic high street, chart driven sound. Getting the music right in a jewellery store is essential to making the customer feel comfortable, feel special and feel in the right frame of mind to invest. Slow, textured music, the right dose of contemporary meets classic curation could create the right atmosphere for one type of jewellers, while for another, a more quirky, finger-on-the pulse music that reflects a different type of customer could hit the mark. The key is to understand the atmosphere your store is aiming for, as well as your customer profile.
You need to make them feel comfortable and help them to be a VIP for the day, or at least for the half an hour they spend in your store. If you get the music right for your customer you can increase dwell time. And crucially if they are enjoying the music, it will give them that feel good factor and encourage them to spend more money. Music needs to be on brand and should also take into account dayparting to reflect the different moods and energy depending on the time of day.
Space to relax
This is very important in a jewellery store as customers need time to reflect on important purchases. If you’re going to spend a lot of money on a big ticket item which will last your whole life, you want somewhere to sit down and consider your options. Some jewellery shops provide an area to relax and even offer refreshments, but it would be great to see a lot more of this. Making the customer feel special creates a good impression of your brand and will encourage them to stay longer, giving them more time to make a positive decision on that all important purchase.
Stores need to get the lighting right to make the gems sparkle, but not dazzle the customer. Often in high street jewellers the lighting is too bright and it makes you feel a bit like you’re under a spotlight, which isn’t the most flattering light to try on a potential item of jewellery. Making the customer feel good about themselves with a more forgiving softer light, which means they are more likely to complete a purchase.
Importance of window displays
Learn from fashion retailers which change their windows with the seasons and add a bit of theatre. It doesn’t have to mean clichés like red hearts in the run up to Valentine’s Day or a bit of tinsel at Christmas. Get inspired by how fashion retailers are creating theatre and intrigue in their windows to showcase what’s in the store.
Lose the suits
This look appears dated now. While suits were once the uniform of shop assistants, if you look around the retail landscape, the number of brands still asking staff to sport a pin striped grey suit is on the decrease. In the rest of the working world, the industries where suits are still required are dwindling too. Shop assistants should be given the freedom to be on trend and chic, instead of asking them to be stuck in the noughties. It also makes them look at lot more approachable and helps the store to seem less intimidating. Losing the suits will make the store look more on-trend and forward thinking, as opposed to out of date.
Give the store some more personality
Most stores are quite vanilla, with their thick cream carpets and beige walls. Think about the entire environment as an experience to help the customer feel special. Think about colour and design. If you walk into high street jewellers, they do have a tendency to have very similar and uninspiring interiors. Be inspired by other places that offer luxury experiences, like boutique hotels which use fabrics and fixtures really well to create an inspiring and indulgent space. Jeremy Hoye’s shop in Brighton is a beautiful example. The front of the shop is painted a vibrant orange, while inside a bright yellow, orange and brown patterned wallpaper makes this store pop. Brands need to take the time to think about who they are and try to reflect this in everything, from the light fittings to the furniture.
Think of the children
Introducing a small children’s area so the kids can be entertained will increase dwell time in the shop for people who have their kids in tow and allow the parents to focus on those important, big ticket purchases without distractions. It’s difficult to complete a purchase when your child is vying for your attention. Keep the kids occupied and you could see sales increase.
The glass cases used in jewellery stores are generally a little boring. We often see the same black or wooden bases, with the same box shapes or glass cabinets lining the walls. What about using different shapes and some more exciting materials for fixtures to add some interest? We loved the use of picture frames in Jeremy Hoye’s shop in Brighton. The frames are used around the glass cabinets, recessed into the walls, making them a real feature of the store and showcasing the jewellery in an exciting and fun way.
This article first appeared in the July 2016 issue of Jewellery Focus