written by Rick Arnemann, CEO of Harmon
Have you noticed a change in the way customers are buying? Are you getting more
phone calls or messages via social media about products? Read on to learn about the experience that Rick, Harmon’s CEO, recently had that helped him better understand how consumers are shopping right now, and how your marketing should mirror it.
I was running errands today, and stopped for a quick bite at a drive-through fast food spot. As I sat in the lot eating, I faced a strip mall, and couldn’t help but observe the shoppers entering the stores. It was an interesting pattern. As I expected, business was down. But for those who did shop, even though they spent very little time in the stores, to a person they came out with a purchase. They didn’t walk down the mall and go door to door; they entered one store only, made their purchase, and left.
It dawned on me: these weren’t shoppers, they were buyers. They knew what they
wanted, and in some cases must had arranged the pickup because of the short time
they spent in the store. It was obvious that these “buyers” had predetermined what they wanted or needed and where they were going to buy it from. Could this be today’s new norm?
After that observation, I made a number of calls to my fourteen-year-old niece, my
eighty-year-old retired friend, and everyone in-between to get their opinion. Currently, they’re all shopping online, and are either having purchases delivered or are picking them up in-store.
As a marketer, I asked them if they will return to their previous shopping habits in the upcoming months, and the answers surprised me. Overall, they said they will spend more time in stores again, but will also continue to shop online. It’s now part of their established shopping protocol for practically all aspects of their life.
While this was an unscientific study, The New York Times published an article in May
interviewing several high-end retailers. The consensus was that foot traffic will decline by double digits, and that the days of window shopping are over—at least for the foreseeable future.
What does this mean to a retail jeweler? Yes, you must have a well executed website,
and your product images and videos must be high quality, because this is all your
customers will see when shopping online. But the most important takeaway is that you must stay visible. This goes beyond your website. You must be active on social media in a way that will capture the attention of buyers in your market. This means being informative and entertaining.
You need to maintain a presence though other marketing media as well, such as out-ofhome, direct mail, or local broadcast. I have always been an advocate of sending personal notes to your customers, and using handwritten messages to let them know you are thinking of them. In this environment, the store that meets its customers where they are now will be the winners later.
This is our current reality and I don’t see it changing soon. You should expect fewer total sales which means far more buyers than shoppers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; your gross revenue could match or even exceed last year, even with fewer people physically coming in-store. If you stay visible, you will experience more activity through your online media.
Now is the time to rethink your customer interaction and experience for the holidays through 2021. Set-up private appointments and demonstrate the lengths you are going to keep customers safe, comfortable, and happy. Call your customers on their birthdays and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to them (and send them a special note and coupon). It might seem corny, but it’s effective. If you market the right way, your store will come out intact. If you don’t, you could be looking at a future GOB sale.
There is absolutely an opportunity to sell, as long as you connect with customers
correctly. If you want to discuss a personalized strategy on how to do that for the
holidays and 2021, give us a call at 615-256-3393, or email email@example.com.
About Rick Rick is the CEO of Harmon, a creative and strategic marketing agency. He and his team work to help a variety of businesses in the jewelry industry reach their goals at the greatest ROI.