Jewelers in Quarantine: How to Stay Productive During the Coronavirus Outbreak
To date, around one-third of the human population or over 2.6 billion people have been in some form of lockdown because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. This rise in number, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s complete lockdown order after the surge of coronavirus cases in India, means that there are more people now under movement restriction than there were people alive during World War II.
COVID-19 shows no signs of slowing down. The cases are continuously rising with the USA now leading the world with the greatest number of infected. Thankfully, it’s not all bad news. China is starting to return to normal while Wuhan, the ground zero of coronavirus in the country, partly reopens after a two-month lockdown. Such a development should give the world hope that this virus can be beaten with responsibility, solidarity, and cooperation.
In the meantime, people are stuck at home but while it is the safest place on earth to be, they are also starting to get restless and bored. This pandemic can take a toll on your emotional health, especially if you’re a business owner who, more than being stuck at home, are worried about the uncertainty of your business and the employees you have to look after. Confusion and fear are normal human behaviors at the time of the pandemic. This is how we are wired to respond to threats, but don’t let these feelings of uncertainty paralyze you and your business. Just because you are stuck at home, it doesn’t mean there is nothing beneficial you can do for your business.
In this post, we’re going to show you five different ways to stay productive during the coronavirus outbreak. While you may not see it, today presents an opportunity to make longer-term investments in your business because one day it will be better just how it went better after the 9/11 attack and other devastating financial crises in the past.
Your actions today, as a jeweler, will determine your level of recovery in the future, so read on!
How to Stay Productive During the Coronavirus Outbreak
1. Reorganize your inventory and burglar-proof your jewelry store
If you had been extremely busy managing your jewelry store before the coronavirus outbreak, take this time as an opportunity to reorganize and assess your jewelry inventory. Double-check your logistics and ensure that every item is well accounted for and that you are not missing anything, including the available raw materials.
Making use of this downtime to reorganize your inventory might help you discover some neglected inventory records that you might not be aware of. For example, if you have dead stocks piling up, you can now create a strategy to mobilize them as soon as you reopen.
This rundown of inventory is necessary and critical not only for re-strategizing but more so for monitoring if you are closing temporarily. Make sure that all your jewelry pieces are put away in a safe or vault and not left in showcases as this can attract unwanted attention. Remember to test your alarm system, motion detectors, and other security measures.
Finally, if your insurance company allows you to store your jewelry items in a bank vault, consider this option and get in touch with them to organize pickups. This option provides an adequate level of security – a protection that no burglars could override.
2. Offer gift cards for customers to use at a later date
Since people are no longer going out to help flatten the curve, many businesses have switched to offering gift cards for customers to use at a later date or once the coronavirus outbreak subsides. Customers who understand the severe impact of this outbreak on local businesses are open to this idea. Further, with many couples cancelling wedding ceremonies this year because of the coronavirus outbreak, jewelers could hope for the potential surge in ring sales once the outbreak is over.
There is hope. In China, the luxury industry is slowly rebounding from the coronavirus outbreak by relying on revenge spending. Revenge spending is a term that emerged after the chaos brought about by the cultural revolution in the 1980s. It described the buying behavior of luxury clients who have cash stock in their pockets after a month or so of cancelled plans.
3. Sales and promotions are fine, but be wary of the tone
Looking to get rid of your stale inventory?
Holding sales and promotions should be fine, but remember that sales cannot alleviate the pain, anxiety, and suffering of people. Thus, when offering sales and promotions, consider the tone of your message and be sensitive to the fact that people may not have the money to afford your jewelry items because work has stopped for others or if they have, they would rather use it to help those in need.
That being said, this sales strategy is implementable, especially if you have an e-boutique., but tweak it a little by injecting a positive message. For example, instead of using the nonchalant “20% off” or “sale!”, make it purposeful, so replace it with “Picker-upper!” or something similar that would lighten up depressed spirits.
Lastly, avoid listing extremely high-priced jewelry items because of people’s current financial situation. Turn to your inventory and choose specially priced items, let’s say $500 and under, to show to your customers online. Put it out there but don’t be too pushy and loud.
Make sales but make it sensitive.
4. Be (virtually) social
As we said above, if you have an e-boutique, you know where to connect to your customers and you customers know where to go to find you, but if you don’t have, don’t worry, there is social media!
As people work together to flatten the curve, many have turned to Facebook and Instagram to talk and really build a connection with their customers. You, too, can do this. If Instagram is an alien concept to you, now is the most opportune time to seize this opportunity.
Instagram is a good brand-customer relationship builder because you can do a lot of things from the platform. For instance, you can go live. You can showcase your collection to your audience or simply interact with them. Just because the world is in chaos, doesn’t mean you cannot elevate your value as a brand. Topics you can discuss with them include tips on how to take care of their jewelry items, especially nowadays with the excessive hand washing and overusing of alcohol and hand sanitizers. Can hand sanitizers remove the rhodium on their jewelry? Will these products damage their metals and gemstones? Show them that there is more value in your brand. Educate them.
If you run out of topics, don’t overthink it. Just talk to them and ask how they are coping with the uncertainty of the coronavirus outbreak. Ask them how things are in their area. Lend an ear and connect on a personal level, bearing in mind the emotional toll of the current situation affecting everybody, including your customers and audience. Check on them. Update them regularly. Show empathy.
5. Assess and revise your emergency contingency plan
All this quarantine and lockdown measure has given people a lot of downtimes, so if you had been busy, now is the perfect time to slow down and reflect on how this outbreak has impacted your business. Pull out your emergency contingency plan from your file and assess its applicability on the current situation and your business preparedness. Revise if needed, especially now when everyone is almost caught off-guard and if the pandemic is a reality you did not consider ever. Every day, write down your business management-related realizations and incorporate it into your future action plan. For instance, more business owners are starting to realize the importance of the omnichannel business strategy and the benefits of having a consistent social media presence.
Look at your emergency contingency plan and decide if you are digitally equipped in the future should another emergency occur. Design your business continuity plan and use today’s situation to guide you when future-proofing your jewelry business.
Jewelers, how are you coping?
Are you working from home or did you close temporarily? As a business owner, how are you staying productive during the coronavirus outbreak?
Let us know in the comment section below!