The competitiveness in the retail jewelry industry seems to be reducing as the traditional jewelry retailers have so far failed to impact the market as against their organised and branded jewelry retail players such as Tanishq, Gitanjali among others. This has led to the business expansion of organised retail players and branded jewelry chains.
The mindset among customers for branded jewelry is rapidly increasing and it is evident that the traditional jewelry retailers must step up and adapt to the changing customer tastes and preferences as well as technology.
There are several distinguishing factors that jewellers can adapt in their strategy to attract more and relevant customers.
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WHAT INSPIRES THE CUSTOMERS?
The Jewelry retailers should attempt to understand the reasons that inspire the customers choice and purchasing decisions. Most of this research will come from the retailers’ existing customers while conversing with them or by taking a feedback.
The following aspects are important to understand.
- Purchasing power
It is essential to understand the estimated value that the customer is likely to splurge on his/her jewelry purchase. This enables the jeweller to display products in that range. The visiting frequency of the customer in a year can also assist in understanding the purchasing power.
- Emotional value
An emotional value is attained with every jewelry purchase. They are bought on occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, festivals, etc. These are moments that customers cherish for a long period. As per the trends, even where the customers are buying for themselves, it is the “feel good” emotion that lasts longer for jewelry purchases than any other purchase. The jewellers should be able to gauge and connect with the customers in their celebration.
Customer’s choice of jewelry is a very important aspect that drives sales. The jewellers need to clearly understand their requirements and preferences instead of pushing their products blindly. This will help target the right jewelry to the right customer. Its simple math.Sale conversion is better when the products displayed appeal to the customers. The inventories displayed in the showroom should have a range of traditional heavy jewelry as well as lightweight jewelry targeting the millennials.
- Lifestyle and attitude
A customer’s lifestyle inspires his/her choice of jewelry. The retail business should regularly converse with all customers in understanding the lifestyle choices not just about jewelry but also other products and services, such as cars, investments, etc.
Current jewelry trends are very different from what was seen just three years ago. Though the investment sentiment still prevails in Tier II and Tier III cities, times are changing with the younger generation preferring minimalistic designs and using jewelry as a fashion statement.
The jewellers should be able to collate the information taken through above means in a systematic document to analyse the results. Accordingly, jewelry designs should be selected, executed and marketed to the relevant customers based on their segments.
Retailers need to identify their customers based on their respective segments. These segments are discussed below.
- Occasion wear
As discussed above, these customers make jewelry purchases on specific celebratory occasions such as weddings, anniversaries etc. The latest entrant is Valentine’s day. Jewellers should mark these days and ensure that based on their research discussed above, the products are displayed accordingly.
- Daily wear / frequent wear
The target customers here are millennials. These are youngsters who are adaptable to the latest happenings and technology. This generation has started earning at an earlier age with higher aspirations. With a corporate culture settling in across the world, the millennials prefer buying jewelry as a fashion statement to be worn more frequently with their attire rather than an investment. Hence, the choice of designs matter most to them. Also, a shift towards diamond jewelry is seen among millennial customers.
Several customers are buying jewelry for gifting purposes on occasions, festivals, tourism, etc. Another new sector within the Gifting segment is corporate gifting. With the work culture changing rapidly across regions, and the HR departments extensively taking efforts in retaining their workforce, jewelry gifting is setting stage for higher levels of the hierarchy in the organisation.
Once the customers or prospective customers have been identified in one of the segments, the jewellers should accordingly create relevant modes of promoting their products to the relevant segment. Designs and inspiration behind those designs can be explained to the customers through email, Whatsapp, social media channels and personal meetings. The more systematic the systems for communicating with the customers, the higher will be the trust.
In the next part of this article, we will discuss what existing strategies are being used as marketing channels by traditional jewellers. This will be compared and distinguished in detail with strategies used by Organised retail brands.