With world economies opening up, the post-covid 19 lockdown world will be experiencing a massive shift in the focuses of businesses. While the primary aim is to redirect business to stores, it is going to be an uphill task for the gemstone and jewellery industry, which relies majorly on physical interaction of the buyers with our products. Thus, as an industry, it is time to get creative and adapt changes to create a safe and secure environment for us, our customers and our employees. Let us explore how we can look to revive our jewellery business in the post-lockdown world
1.Shift from being a service provider:
To create a successful following today, people want to be part of a community. Therefore, the focus has to shift from just the buy and sell relationship to making a customer feel inherently comforted by the mere mention of your business. Therefore business owners have to make sure that an inviting atmosphere is created, which encourages collaboration, creativity and productivity.
2.Sanitisation procedures at stores:
While most economies have opened up, it is important to remember that precautions have to be taken at all times. Since physical space is extremely important in the gemstone and jewellery purchase experience, enhanced safety procedures right from maintaining social distancing is necessary. Therefore the following methods have to be implemented at all stores.
Daily temperature checks:
Body temperature checks are a mandate for every employee and customer at the entrance. An elevated body temperature may indicate the possibility of a carrier and therefore any further entry of that individual has to be restricted.
Contactless payment portals:
Contactless payment methods like online banking and credit cards should be encouraged over cash. After every use, these machines can be simply disinfected and reused.
Depending on your products, all personnel have to be thoroughly educated in the procedures of disinfection and sanitisation. Contact with the products have to be discouraged unless absolutely necessary. Along with them, counters and showcases also have to be routinely disinfected.
3.Reduce inventory and invest in readymades:
One effective way to conserve money is to purchase only on order. Reducing inventory ensures that your product sells out and there is no wastage or dead product. We advise investing in supplier stocks and readymade gems, so that additional expenditure do not have to be incurred on cutting roughs from scratch. Keep in regular touch with your suppliers to be at par with market trends and make an investment only after carefully considering its prospects.
Remember, the goal is to bridge the expected investment-revenue gap. Therefore once you recognise and isolate the positive sources of incomes, Push the positive return on investments aggressively.
4.Packaging and documentation to be avoided if possible:
While extensive packaging is an alluring marketing tool, it is also extremely wasteful. While conservationists have been screaming murder over the rising trend of exorbitent packaging over the last few years, the pandemic has definitely proven the utter unnecessity of it. Conservative protective packaging and encouraging your consumers to use reusable packaging is a great way to prevent spread. The same stands for documentation. Instead of hard copies, the customer can be provided with soft copies which he can retrieve at his benefit.
5.Increasing the amount of skilled labor:
Developing skills in the jewellery and gemstone industry is a labour of love, time and extreme patience, something that is not readily available in today’s jet age. Thus, this provides us the perfect opportunity to upskill ourselves and our staff in various aspects of the industry, as per their interest and capability. This strategy works in the long term by increasing the efficiency of work, while weeding out inadequacies and mistakes due to lack of skill and knowledge.
We discuss various methods to engage your staff in more details in, “How the jewelry business can survive covid 19.”
Digital marketing has overtaken conventional marketing and sales strategies in the last few years and nothing creates a personal brand better than being online. While we have discussed how going digital can massively benefit your business, let us summarize it here.
Collaborating with influencers and other prominent figures in the industry while elevating content strategies and optimising your content can get your brand unprecedented visibility. This is the time for all of us in the industry to support each other so that we can sustain ourselves for the time being.
Digital brochure or catalogue:
With in store experiences being limite right now, creating a digital brochure or catalogue for new collections is an innovative market solution to bring the jewllery buying experience to the customer’s doorstep. Creating detailed brochures, via mobile applications or social media pages with excellent imagery can make the experience completely contactless. The best part about successful online shopping is that reviews are easy to share which helps in building a trust network without ever meeting in person.
Increasing brand visibility:
The trick today to create a successful business is no longer investing in and outfitting an expensive physical space. Social media offers a perfect tool to increase brand visibility with the use of minimum investment. Platforms like twitter, facebook, instagram,pinterest that are constantly perused by anyone with a smartphone, i.e., 51.15 billion users in the world as of July 2020, become a super tool in reaching out to wider audiences and prospective buyers. Learn more in our article “How To Use Technology To Change Your Jewellery Business” where we discuss social media, digital marketing strategies, customer satisfaction tools, software for jewellers, mobile applications and SMS support for jewellers.
Tapping into the seasonal market: Wedding and Festivities
As every year, the last quarter of the year presents a good opportunity for jewellery and gemstones businesses to boost up their sales. This is especially important this year as while people aren’t looking to spend exorbitantly, they DO want to spend more meaningfully. With budget cuts in almost every aspect of a celebration or a wedding, people are more than willing to spend a little bit more on engagement rings and jewellery as gifts, since, not to be cliche, they last forever!
We recommend our readers to indulge a bit and look for unique pieces and gemstones which classify as “statement pieces”. You could steer away from diamonds and invest in beautiful gemstones like mermaid sapphires, Padparadscha sapphires, tanzanite, topaz etc.
While there is a palpable buzz to restart the industry, conscious efforts have to be made to realign old and new ways to create sustainable avenues of business. While traditional, offline methods of sale may have taken a hit, this is a great time to reach out to wider, global audiences with your unique products by creating a prominent digital media presence.
This time can have a positive impact on the jewelry and gemstone supply and manufacture chain by rooting out outdated and unethical practices which plague this industry, all the while building better opportunities and income for everyone involved. This is the perfect time to rebrand, build new strategies and practices which are designed to be long term successes.
Let us aim for Stability,
While we hone our abilities.