Archive for the ‘Merchandising’ Category

Numbers Don’t Lie…

Flipping through the pages of October’s INSTORE magazine, we got an insight to what You, the jewelry store business owner, thought about success, trends and the industry. Their Big Vote keyed us in on numbers of all sorts – age, money, bling and expectations – which were inline with what we expected from the current state of our industry.

However, when it came to thinking outside the box or making a decision to improve business standards we were surprised that we did not see more testimonial about the benefits of new store design.

Yes, a new store design is a big investment, but so is buying high-end inventory or paying for advertising. While both inventory and advertising are important and necessary for business, it can be argued that both a short life span. Improvements to your lighting, cases and store layout, on the other hand, will make an impression on your customers for years.

Just ask Golden Anvil Jewelers owner Jonathon Binder. After making the investment to upgrade his in-store display cases and incorporate LED lighting, Jonathon instantly noticed its effect on customers.  “Almost every customer has commented about the immediate difference in the overall feel of our showroom and because of it we have seen an increase in both sales and foot traffic,” he said.

The survey went on to explain that 64% percent of those surveyed did NOTHING that they thought was “out-of-the-box” or different from their competitors. Some said they served ice cream in their store or focused on increasing traffic to their Facebook page (speaking of which, you should Like Us!), but there was no mention of store design tweaks. Perhaps improving your store look might seem like something anyone could do, but on the contrary. With all the different custom and RTG options available, your store can look as different and unique as you want it to. Make your bridal section bright white, while the rest of your look is traditional wood grain. Or move your cases out from against the wall and give your store a more relaxed shopping experience.

As you begin to think about 2012, think about the changes you can make in your store to drive traffic. You might just decide that a new store look is just what you need.

Invite Your Customers to Stay Awhile

When creating a store environment it’s important to design a floor plan that encourages browsing.  With proper display case placement you can lead your customer through the store to ensure that they see your entire collection. Stores that are not laid out correctly run the risk of loosing a customer’s interest and therefore a sale.

Studies show that in addition to most people being right-handed they are also right-footed.  This means that the overwhelming majority of your customers will turn instantly to the right when entering your store.  They will then continue to shop in a counter clockwise pattern.  Choose cases that compliment this natural flow.  Setting up display cases in this “first impression” area is the perfect spot to merchandise your new, engagement or more impressive baubles. Presenting the customer with a run-of-the-mill piece they’ve seen before could result in an about face and a quick exit from your store.

From there, let the case placement continue to lead them on their journey.  Do not break the flow with an awkwardly positioned museum case or other fixture.

Trice Jewelers is a store whose floor plan is essential to its overall success.  Taking advantage of its large square footage, NK newlook opted to line the perimeter of the store with display cases to encourage the counter clockwise shopping cycle.  “Islands” are strategically placed throughout the space.  These cases hold jewelry complimentary to those around it and act as an alternative shopping space when perimeter cases are blocked by other customers.  Instead of a customer loosing interested by having their flow interrupted, they are invited to pop over to another case before picking back up on their rightful path.

Over the next couple days, make a note of your customers’ shopping patterns and the length of their visit. If you don’t see a general pattern or if your customer seems “lost,” a simple redesign could be the solution.

Relax! Shopping (and Selling!) Can Be Easy…

When it comes to designing your store environment, it is important to consider how the cases and retail fixtures you choose will affect your store’s overall vibe. While the customer of today demands their expectations to be met – high-quality jewelry collection, superb customer service and a flawless presentation of merchandise – they also crave a relaxed shopping experience. To achieve this, consider choosing front loading cases, which will bring your sales associates out from behind the counter to offer casual but personalized service.

Fabienne Miot, St. Bart's

To compliment the casual vibe of her store’s island locale, jewelry designer Fabienne Miot made the decision to situate her cases along the wall instead of falling in line with the traditional counter service setup of most jewelry stores.  She found that by bringing her sales associates out from behind the counter they were able to help more customers and alleviate the awkward pressures presented in counter top sales situations.  For her, this resulted in customers feeling comfortable to shop, try on and, most importantly, buy.

Italics, Puerto Rico

With NK newlook you can incorporate front loading cases into your store without sacrificing style.  Subtle placement of locks and unimposing drawers allow you to easily access jewelry and even store overflow inventory in a convenient way.

Merchandise More Than Just Your Jewelry Cases

Just as important as regularly remerchandising your retail offerings to create a fresh, new look, it’s important to also refresh your online presence.  Your typical jewelry customer is not coming into your store regularly to find new merchandise, so it’s up to you to remind and entice them to come in. With a little out-of-the-box thinking you can still show off your stuff no matter if your customer is waiting in line at Starbucks or lounging on the sofa.

We understand that regular updates to your website can be costly and time consuming, so we suggest only posting your staple, always-in-stock collection pieces to your website for your visitors to get a sense of who you are. Then, post a link to your Facebook business page (don’t have one? Sign up here!) where you can show off your new, seasonal pieces quickly and easily. Oh yeah, did we mention it’s free?

The benefits of having a Facebook business page are proving to be irreplaceable to the success of a business. A Facebook business page allows you to easily build and nurture your brand, create a conversation with your customers  and maximize customer engagement (Facebook is a great way to offer info about deals, sales and events), drive traffic to your website and attract new customers. You’ll also build customer loyalty and keep your brand on the forefront of their minds. Instead of a customer thinking of you on an anniversary or major gift giving holiday, Facebook will alert them to a brand new line you’re carrying or prompt them to come in for a bauble before they head out on a summer cruise.

Currently, Facebook has over 750 million active users worldwide. Capitalize on these 21st century “window shoppers” by posting your most eye catching pieces on your business page.  It just might catch the attention of a customer you haven’t seen in awhile or a brand new customer a hundred miles away.

Like us on Facebook to get more merchandising tips and in store best practices! We’d love to stay in touch with you!