I see that online sales of jewelry and watches fell a whopping 22%
for the first five days of December as compared to last year, while
overall online sales were up 9%. The market got bigger but jewelry’s
slice of it fell on its face.
I think this is something everyone has to consider even if one
doesn’t sell online. You know the old saw about making lemonade, it
might benefit us if we look for the opportunity here. I’m not sure
what it is but I could put forth some speculations.
As David Geller so rightly assesses, merchandise is price based,
service is trust based. But don’t many consumers believe stuff is
cheaper online? If that’s so, what happened here? Is
trust(confidence, this is a crisis of confidence recession after all)
coming to the forefront in buyers’ minds? If that is the case what
can we do to foster trust on the part of buyers towards OUR
Is jewelry suddenly a black sheep? Do shoppers have the emotional
response that jewelry is expensive so they won’t even consider it?
But online sales of music and movies fared even worse than jewelry
and that stuff’s not really pricey. Electronics went up 24% since
last year. This discrepancy really puzzles me. Does this mean they
will buy expensive but they have a changing set of requirements to do
so? Diamond earrings are now extravagantly frivolous but plasma TVs
have utility? That’s hard to argue with, but we should find a counter
to it. Maybe, “Buy it because you can”?
Stats on bricks and mortar sales will be really interesting to look
at when they are available. Will they see a similar pattern? I’m of
the belief that if someone makes the effort to come into your store
you have a much better chance of closing a sale because you can
interact with them in a way online sellers simply cannot. You’re face
to face, eyeball to eyeball…your chance to foster that trust, cut a
deal if that’s what it takes. Make it a personal transaction.
But how do we get them in the door? I’ll go back to the trust thing.
Repairs/service. Its not glamorous, its not sexy. But it is a
definite traffic builder and a revenue stream. If you take it in you
have TWO times at bat with every repair. Or do it while they wait if
you have a sales associate to ‘chat’ with them(and show merchandise).
There are price shoppers and quality shoppers. I’d say for now
accommodate the price shopper where you can but seek out the quality
buyer. Since most consumers don’t ‘know’ jewelry they have to base
their buying decision on their trust in YOU. So would it follow that
YOU are the critical factor?
These are just my off the cuff reactions, maybe somebody has some