With the increased interest in bridal over the last couple of years, it is a good time for jewelers to pay attention to this important part of their business, (even if some jewelers wonder if there are any weddings still happening these days!) There is a market and a number of clients have benefitted from improved sales in this respect as consumer confidence has grown.
Building bridal sales requires a long-term commitment and is hardly an easy job. With considerable hard work and patience, you can make bridal sales an essential part of your business. You need to think of several aspects when building your strategy, such as:
• Customer benefits
• The right inventory
• The right marketing
• A good staff
Customers need a reason to buy. All customers have some reservations, and it is necessary to understand and answer these reservations to get to the point of purchase. You will be required to remove the risk for them and take a few on your own. For example:
• Do you give customers a diamond protection guarantee?
• Do you have a diamond pledge?
• Do you have an aggressive trade-in policy?
• Is there an aggressive financial plan that you follow?
• Do you follow an aggressive layaway policy?
• How and where will you display the merchandise?
• Is there a Referral program that you have?
• Do you offer free gifts with every purchase of engagement rings?
• Example: a bag with a jewelry cleaner, appraisal, list of warranties/services, how to preserve your jewelry, referral card etc.
• (Another good way to cross-market is to partner with other bridal vendors and include coupons or gift cards in this bag)
Inventory is of prime importance. For the customer to buy, your selection has to be right. It is a fact that a good selling item which is doing well in one store or market will continue to be a good seller elsewhere. There is plenty of data available about the best-selling pieces and their providers. Put the odds in your favor and use this information to your best advantage. You need to ask some important questions:
• What is your share of market in bridal?
• What is your target of bridal sales to total sales do you aim to reach?
• Do you have a branded designer bridal line or a private line?
• Should you have both a branded and your own private label?
• What is the average engagement retail price do you currently sell?
• What is the range of prices you sell?
• Which diamond size and shape do you sell most currently?
• Do you have a good selection of inventory?
People need to know that you are in the bridal market. A client once told me this very appropriate saying ‘running a business without marketing yourself is like winking in the dark! Retailing is a game of numbers and you need to constantly work at marketing in order to get the sales.
• Are you going to need additional marketing support?
• In that case, what about the budget?
• Is there a co-op available?
• What other resources will you need to make it successful?
• What is your definition of success?
• How often will you measure it? Monthly? Quarterly?
• Where will your customers come from?
You must put in as much effort in selling it as you did in buying it. If your staff members are not interested, uneducated or uninformed in the business of selling diamonds, then all your efforts in other areas won’t be able to help you either.
• Which employees can sell bridal effectively?
• Are you enforcing turnovers in your store (where the most qualified staff take over a large diamond sale from an inexperienced member)?
• Which of your employees has the highest average retail in bridal?
• Does your new bridal plan require training? Quick answer: YES!
Following through on these 4 important aspects will help you go a long way in making your bridal business an effective contributor to the sales of your store.