Previous Entries:
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
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Monday, March 19, 2018

What Impression Does your Business Make?

By David Brown

You have your view of your business and what you offer your customers. You may have established this over a long period of time and worked carefully to cultivate this image as a key part of your offering.

The question is does your customers see you the same way? Two decades ago you may have been left wondering but today it’s no mystery. What your customers think of you will already be easy to see – via the online world.

Have you Googled your business? What do you see? Unfortunately for many business owners the reading isn’t pretty. Review sites and forums provide customers with an easy opportunity to assess you and research shows that over 80% of potential customers will do online research before choosing to shop. Most will also believe the reviews they read.

Even if your impression is positive does it tie in with the message you want to get across? If you are trying to be an affordable shopping option and customers perceive you as up-market and expensive you have a problem.

Here are a few areas to focus your attention on if you are looking to make a good first impression with customers:

1. How do you answer the phone? A standard and consistent response shows your organization is professional. How many rings before your phone must be answered? Worse still many calls can often go unanswered. Customers don’t like having to wait. What about putting customers on hold…do you have a set of rules for this? Phone monitoring software products exist that can provide you with feedback on this important area of your business.

2. Customer Greeting. How are customers greeted when they enter your store? Does your staff smile? How long does a customer have to wait before they are greeted? It can be difficult to judge the fine line between leaving a customer unattended and jumping down their throats but a policy guideline and expectation will definitely help.

3. Business Cards. Does your staff have business cards? How do they look? Have they been updated for social media addresses and other online changes that may have happened in recent years?

4. Marketing. What does your marketing say about your business? Is your message consistent with how you want to represent yourself to the public? Do your product offerings, fonts and colors tie in with the image you see yourself as having?

5. Social Media. Your personal social media accounts and those of your staff will also speak for your business. Are these personal accounts professional? Is there anything posted on personal social media pages that you would be uncomfortable with customers seeing? Many business owners view the social media accounts of potential staff they may hire – your customers may be doing the same with you.

6. Dress Code. Does your staff have uniforms? Are they freshly presented? If not, what is the dress code for your store?

7. Storefront. How does your storefront look? Is the paintwork tired? What are the rules around cleaning and presentation of inventory?

8. Windows. How do your windows present? Do you rotate your inventory regularly? Are tickets tired and tatty?

How would you describe your business? Are you offering something that customers won’t get elsewhere and can you articulate it in less than 30 seconds? A genuine point of difference encompasses more than just “we give good service”. Good service should be a given. You must genuinely provide customers with something your competition won’t do.

Business guru Tom Peters tells a great story of four competing gas stations within a block. Three were quiet while the fourth was run off their feet. Despite all of them being ‘self-service’ the one that had all the business was offering a gas pumped for you service which customers loved.

It’s not what you say you do that matters, it’s the actions you take that speak volumes.

About David Brown
David Brown is President of the Edge Retail Academy, an organization devoted to the ongoing measurement and growth of jewelry store performance and profitability. For further information about the Academy’s management mentoring and industry benchmarking reports contact

Friday, March 16, 2018

Wedding Business Basics - Big Payout Nuptial Keepsakes

With more than 2 million weddings in the United States each year, the bridal business presents an excellent opportunity for additional jewelry sales, especially in silver jewelry.

Based on the results of the 2017 Real Weddings Survey and the 2017 Jewelry and Engagement Study, both conducted by the Knot, couples continue to spend money, and lots of it, on jewelry not only for their engagement and wedding rings but also on jewelry for themselves to wear on their special day and for their bridal parties. These studies captured responses from nearly 14,000 US couples married in 2017 to uncover the financial spending habits and trends of weddings in America and included everything from the average spent on a wedding dress to the average length of engagements.

Let’s look at how the numbers could add up for additional bridal jewelry sales:

Where they shop:
61% of brides and grooms said friends/family were most influential in choosing a local retailer. Ability to customize the ring was a close second

When selecting the retailer, grooms had more input than brides
45% of grooms purchased from a local/independent jeweler. The number goes up to 60% of grooms when it comes to those who spend more than the average on their luxury wedding

What they buy:

The Bride:
Spends an average of $333 on jewelry

The top 3 styles chosen by brides are:
- 69% earrings
- 38% hair jewelry or headband
- 37% bracelets

Only silver designs can provide a wide variety of earrings and bracelets at an affordable price point

She spent thousands on her dress and now needs the perfect earrings to go with it, and silver jewelry is perfect to go with her “white” metal ring.

The Groom:
Spends an average of $408 to complete his look with cufflinks (27%) and watches (22%) accounting for the largest shares.

Chances are that the groom does not own a pair of cufflinks. Sterling silver offers the perfect price point along with a timeless statement of style,

The Bridal Party:

According to the survey the average number of bridesmaids and groomsmen is five.

The Bridesmaids:
- Spend an average of $106 on jewelry per bridesmaid. This averages $106 x 5 bridesmaids= a $530 sales opportunity!
- Earrings (59%) accounted for largest share

Suggest a gift of lasting beauty. Sterling silver meets the budget and allows the bride to select from a range of styles to coordinate with the dresses, or that says “thank you” for your friendship.

The Groomsman:
- $160 is the average spent on jewelry per groomsman, with cufflinks (45%) accounting for largest share. This averages to $160x 5 groomsmen = $800 in potential sales!

They have been with him through thick and thin; a mug or a picture frame just won’t do. Give the timeless gift of silver. Silver cuff links can be worn forever or a great bracelet that will remind him of the special day.

Gifts to each other:

- 40% of brides have given their fiancé a watch at some point.
- $560 is the average amount bride spends on the groom, with watches (64%) as most popular choice followed by cufflinks.

Although they may not buy something more than the engagement and wedding rings today, they will be sure to be back to buy anniversary gifts especially when reminded. (insert photo)

The Rings:
Of course, it all starts with the rings..,

$8,627 is the average spent for engagement rings purchased at local/independent jewelers

$1,223 is the average spent on the bride’s wedding band. For brides planning a luxury wedding the average is $1,933.

$619 is the average spent on the groom’s wedding ring. The average price for wedding rings for luxury grooms averages $1,167 Add up the potential:

You can see how the numbers can add up to over $2,630 in potential additional sales available to jewelers. Only silver can provide the price point options that fit the budget and lasting keepsakes for all will cherish for years to come.

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