With the spread of Coronavirus, there are many questions that remain to be answered. One of the biggest is, how to continue doing business as a jewelry store during these uncertain times? Unfortunately the virus has moved faster than most of our preparations, There's no question that this pandemic is unprecedented, at least in our lifetime. So how do jewelers continue to get business in this environment? Should you pull back, should you expand or just keep doing business as usual?
During an outbreak like the coronavirus, people will be spending more time at home. This means more time online and less time in your store. Now is when you need to leverage e-commerce technology to meet the demand for digital sales. Being experts in this area we can help you utilize SEO techniques that keep your brand in your customer’s feeds. Everyone will be looking for shopping online, we can help you think creatively about providing new media like blogs and different strategies to meet the needs of those stuck at home. It could be the perfect time to boost your online presence and sales.
Since we help jewelers daily with digital marketing strategy and execution, we are immersed in all things digital, including SEM, PPC, Social Media and more. This affords us the ability to pinpoint opportunities as they arise. We have uncovered a few key opportunities to take advantage of today. However, there is not a one-size fits all for every business and there is a lot to consider for each and every business.
We will break down some key points that we hope you can find value in and help you decide on what the best path is for your jewelry store moving forward.
The Rise of E-Commerce
Global E-Commerce sales are expected to top 4.2 trillion in 2020 and reach more than 6.5 trillion by 2023. Online Shopping is only going to continue to grow and especially in times like these. If you don't have the ability now, it's more important than ever to position your business to have an online leg.
With tools like Shopify and direct selling on Instagram available at your fingertips, making it more convenient than ever to set you up to start selling, there's no reason to wait to start taking advantage of the opportunity. If you've been waiting for a sign, here it is. If you don't know where to start, contact a Shopify Partner (hint hint).
If your cash-flow restricts you from making an investment into your business, promote orders by phone or email by posting specials on your Instagram feed.
Direct Selling on Instagram
By selling direct on Instagram, this feature allows you to feed in your product catalog and tag areas of an image that would link directly to the product detail while staying within the Instagram interface. You can use these tags on both posts and stories, which opens up opportunities to allows users to follow along on sales and promotions conveniently.
Shopify was the first platform to beta test the selling direct on Instagram feature but it has now opened up to other platforms and manual feeds. There is no reason not to take advantage of it now.
On the same side of the coin, if you load your products into Instagram, you can start utilizing "dynamic ads" or otherwise referred to as "dynamic retargeting".
Don't bombard potential customers with products they aren't interested in, but rather show them the products they already engaged with on your website. By sharing the right products to the right person at the right time with dynamic ads, your conversion rates will increase and your image will improve in the eyes of your customers. Let's face it - nobody likes hard sales. Promoting products on Facebook and Instagram to new audiences are tough as you are essentially just fishing for the right audience. Of course there are ways to drill down with custom audiences and lookalike audiences, but you'll get a lot more bang for your buck and an overall better experience overall once you start incorporating dynamic ads.
We made it through the 2008 recession and a large majority of jewelry stores that were able to survive were focused on Engagement Ring sales. Why? As you know, even in a down economy, you cannot stop love and people will continue to get married.
If you can continue to push the story, you'll continue to stay on top of mind when a couple in your market decides to take that journey. Share proposal stories that your company was tagged in (be sure to ask for permission) and continue to share those stories frequently. If you don't have much user-generated content, run a contest or giveaway for best proposal story in order to gather valuable content that you can post on your social channels or in your emails. The more you can share the story, the more your followers will want to follow suit.
Clienteling + Marketing to Existing Followers
Your past customers are your most valuable asset, but how to do you market to them without annoying them? We suggest spending time on segmenting your audience. Why would a man be interested in a bangle or charm bracelet and why would a woman be interested in a men's luxury timepiece? Yes, for gifts of course but it's not the holiday season. I see it frequently. 10-18% open rates and high unsubscribe rates. You're just cannibalizing your valuable list of customers by making your emails too broad.
Try segmenting your audience and you can start simple: Gender. However, while you're at it, why not get even more granular? You can segment your audience based on purchase history, order amounts. For example, if you are promoting high end products to millennials who have only spent a few hundred on a gift item, they will have a high probability of opting out and those small gift purchases are valuable when done in high volumes. Every person is valuable, which is why you should spend time on segmenting and creating separate emails and content for every one of those segments. If you use a point of sale system like the Edge, this information should be readily available for you.
Once you have your lists segmented, be sure to create thoughtful emails but don't push products too frequently. If you can pepper in educational content or general updates about your business, you'll have much better open rates as your lists will feel like you are not bombarding them with pushing products too frequently.
Additionally, if you haven't done so, you can use email to update your customer list about your hours and include an appointment booking link.
Aside from your existing customers, be sure to market to your existing social media followers in excellence. Use this time to perfect your message and offer opportunities to purchase in an easy way. Also, share specific product offerings in Instagram stories so you're not bombarding with posts.
If you are reducing your hours during this time of quarantine and social distancing make it more convenient for your shoppers to avoid large groups; offer the option for your customers to book one-on-one appointments with you.
If you don't have a simple way to allow customers to book an appointment, there are plenty of apps that can make that process simple. Tools like Calendly and Acuity allow your customers to pick a time from your calendar that is convenient for them. These tools can connect to your Google or Outlook calendars and they can even integrate with video conferencing tools like Zoom, if clients prefer to stay home for a consultation.
Now is a great time to start positioning your business in a more virtual setting. Reduce friction in any case and be available where your customers prefer to do business. By adding the ability for video conferencing, you can consult with clients over the web with tools like Zoom or Google Meetings.
Search Engine Marketing
Searches on Google and other major search engines are not going away. If someone wants to buy an engagement ring, they will most likely consult with Professor Google first. As you've probably heard, 91% of consumers research online prior to deciding on a purchase and before buying something in a store, 70% of smartphone users looked up information online first.
The value of showing up when users search for a keyword is always the intent factor. If someone types something in, it shows they have some intent to buy or at least explore the potential to buy what they are searching for. This is why SEM is always one of the most crucial parts, if not the most crucial to any business.
You may be wondering if it's the right time for you to start investing in search engine marketing during this time. I would like to point out that search volume is essentially going down for jewelry-related search terms and that was to be foreseen as it's inevitable that luxury purchases will go down during a crisis. However, this means a few things:
- Less competition as businesses pull back
- Lower search volume means spending less
- Less competition means lower cost per click
Essentially, it's important to keep your business going and by not investing your search engine presence, you're missing the boat on any potential business that could come your way.
Finally, one essential component that can lower your cost per acquisition over time and set your business up with a more systematic flow of incoming leads for your sales team, is utilizing Inbound Marketing tactics.
By creating and promoting valuable content to your ideal customers, you can essentially start building a list of potential customers earlier on in their buyer's journey and utilize nurturing campaigns to guide them throughout that journey.
If I've lost you, I recommend you check out a few of our essential blogs that break down different elements of Inbound Marketing that can help you start building a long-term sustainable online business.
I know we are entering uncharted waters but even though it's a major event in our history, business still has to continue for you. There are still opportunities to capitalize on, but you have to remain vigilant in your efforts and be flexible to learn new ways to generate business.