From left to right: Robin Kramer, Kathleen Cutler, Cathleen McCarthy and Emi Yamamoto.
When it comes to jewelry shopping, “the last ten years have been a huge transformation,” said Cathleen McCarthy, creator of The jewelry magnifying glass, a magazine-style blog. These days, people don’t just want to search online for the perfect jewelry gift; they also want the “tactile experience of jewelry”.
Kathleen Cutler, sales expert for high-end jewelers, agrees. “Millennials want a real experience,” she said. “People want to chat, to be seen and recognized.”
Along with Emi Yamamoto of Uncommon Goods, McCarthy and Cutler shared their best practices and strategies for driving jewelry sales and engagement during a panel Feb. 3 at NY NOWhosted by Robin Kramer of Academy to Thrive and Prosper. Here’s what you need to know.
keep it real
Since no one retailer can be “everything for everyone,” Yamamoto recommended gift retailers keep a “close focus on your customer.” Adding to that, Cutler emphasized that it’s important to know your customer, preferably by name. If you know their general tastes and style preferences, try to proactively reach out to them to test out new pieces that come to your store. It’s a great way to cultivate deep relationships that let the customer know you really care about them.
Engage across multiple platforms
Posting on Instagram can definitely help retailers stay relevant in retail, but don’t forget other platforms while you’re at it. When McCarthy posts about jewelry on social media, she makes sure to post on both Instagram and Facebook.
“My main follower is under 35 on Instagram, but my main customer is the older customer (on Facebook) with a lot of buying power,” she explained. “The same thing works differently with different results.”
Other tips? Be sure to post daily and make it easy for customers to contact your business. An easy way to do this is to include both a phone number and an email address in your brand’s social media profiles.
Cutler added another general guideline for social media posting: When you post, don’t ghost. In other words, if you want to maximize engagement, make sure you’re available to answer customer comments and questions. Be prepared to create a conversation around a piece of jewelry, don’t just post and forget to interact with your followers online.
Another way to get involved is through mailing lists. “Mailing lists often get overlooked,” Cutler said. “People don’t want to bother their customers, but really it’s about understanding what your customers want to hear. How do you tell the story of your brand? Email customers once a week. Done right, it can be an amazing way to connect. People have opted for e-mail; They want to hear from you.”
Don’t just photograph it, film it
Videos can help customers get a better idea of the jewelry they’re looking to buy, especially with the right lighting that can show a piece’s potential to sparkle and shine. Also, according to McCarthy, “The rings don’t read very well in a flat image. They’re sculptural; the video shows them more. People love that.
Yamamoto added that she often posts Insta video stories about designers and their processes. “People like to see how the piece starts in the spirit, all the way to the final product,” she said. “What is the story behind the stones, the materials, the workspace? This is how you stand out.
Connect with the community
Finally, experts from the NY NOW panel spoke about the appeal of community connections. Partnering with local businesses or nonprofits, for example, can help “get people out,” Yamamoto said.
“What’s the hook that’s going to make people leave the house?” she continued. “That threshold is getting higher and higher.”
Organizing workshops, trunk shows with an educational component, or “remake parties,” where old jewelry is turned into a new, unique piece, are other fun ideas that bring customers together and with each other. the retailer.