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They say the future of retail is experiential, but the future is bleak unless jewelry retailers learn to incorporate immersive jewelry retail shopping experiences into their agenda.
Recently, Epson, a global technology leader, released its report called The Experiential Future and found that 75% of European shoppers would alter their shopping behavior if retailers were more experiential. This means they would shop in-store more often than not and that retailers would be able to attract more younger consumers as millennials (67%) and Generation Z (65%) continue to get drawn towards shops that offer more experiential elements.
This finding provides an opportunity for jewelry retailers to start taking advantage of experientialism by adding immersive elements to their online and offline stores. Taking this direction is like hitting two birds with one stone. Incorporating immersive elements into the physical store will convince more shoppers to shop in-store while using immersive content online will increase the chances of converting potential shoppers online or converting that online traffic into actual foot traffic. Either way, it looks like the way to your shoppers’ hearts is through immersive technologies.
As a jeweler, immersive technologies are your weapon in this day and age of retail digitization. You can achieve this by using interactive tools that enable shoppers to modify, touch, and move the products/objects available in the shopping environment in real time.
Feeling clueless about how exactly you can implement this?
Here are five ways to innovate your traditional points of sale to continuously attract shoppers’ interest. Read on!
5 Ways to Create an Immersive Jewelry Shopping Experience
1. Use interactive videos and images
Unlike yourself, your shoppers are likely inexperienced when it comes to assessing the quality of the diamond or any jewelry piece; hence, when they research product information online, they need product videos and images to envision what they are investing in.
A picture paints a thousand words. It conveys memorable information to your shoppers more than texts can, so your side of work does not end in merely listing pictures online. Make sure it’s high-quality and interactive by:
- Having the zoom capability
- 360 jewelry videos that allow shoppers to control the movement of the piece no matter which angle they choose to focus on.
If you’re selling on one of those e-commerce platforms that do not allow interactive 360 videos like the one above, you can resort to using 360 videos on a standard display, as shown below. On this standard display, shoppers are unable to control the viewing angles, but you can control the speed at which it spins so shoppers can have enough time to look at each angle as it rotates.
2. Explore interactive jewelry displays
In 2016, we saw BaubleBar, an online jewelry store, use an interactive jewelry display in its newly opened pop-up retail stores in New York. The display, made by Perch Interactive, was fascinating as it functioned both as a screen and as a source of information. Whenever a customer reached out for an item on the display, the display animated the diamond creating sparkles around it while also providing information about the piece including different tips on how to style it.
Interactive displays are not a new trend in the industry, but their use is expected to become more prominent if we are to base it on the interactive display market prediction. As reported, the market is forecasted to grow to US$13184 million by 2024.
Looks like retailers, not just jewelers like yourself, have unlocked this opportunity. And why not, with polled men (50%) and women (70%) considering shopping as a form of entertainment and thinking that interactive displays are entertaining (70%), it’s a poor business judgment to refuse to adapt, especially that 30% of polled shoppers who interacted with interactive displays had ended up making purchases.
3. Online catalogs
If you operate online and have no physical store, forget about the in-store interactive display and be open to the advantage of interactive online catalogs. For instance, James Avery Artisan Jewelry offers its customers different catalogs for every season and occasion, each showcasing a bevy of jewelry pieces and charms. It is interactive because, unlike print catalogs where shoppers could just flip page by page, this online catalog enables shoppers to interact by clicking on each button, which brings them to a popup product page with complete product information and the ability to straight away add the product to the cart. Now that’s convenience and interactivity in one!
An online sales catalog like this is an interactive sales tool that brings a lot of benefits. Unlike the ordinary static online catalog, this kind adds a wow factor to your brand while the graphics and interactive elements keep your shoppers engaged and entertained. It prolongs the amount of time they spend on your website, which is good because every second you have their attention locked on your page is every second of them away from your rival brand. As such, it increases the chances of conversion.
4. Virtual try-on
Try before you buy!
Take advantage of augmented reality (AR) by offering virtual try-ons similar to what Brilliant Earth offers to its shoppers. Brilliant Earth’s Virtual Try-On is simple and works like any other virtual try-on application out there. Shoppers will just simply upload a picture of their hands and then choose a ring and customize it by diamond shape, carat size, and precious metal. This way, they can try different combinations and really have an idea about what looks best on them. Shoppers can also save their pictures and show them to friends to help them make a purchase decision.
Virtual try-on apps are popular not only in the jewelry industry but also in the entire retail landscape because of their impact on sales figures. In fact, 35% of polled shoppers who tried on an item virtually were more inclined to buy than other online shoppers. As such, AR is a sales-boosting tool for online jewelers whose sales are negatively impacted by online shopping’s lack of tactile experiences.
What’s more immersive than allowing shoppers to design their own jewelry?
They say personalization is a new loyalty and as such, the future of retail so, it goes without saying that the brand that offers personalized experience improves its customer engagement, loyalty, and of course, revenue!
In fact, 80% of polled shoppers are said to be more likely to buy from a brand that offers personalized experiences, so you better get on board.
Providing personalized experiences can come in many ways, but in the jewelry industry, it often comes with giving the power back to shoppers by letting them design their own jewelry pieces. For example, #MakeItTiffany, which emerged from Tiffany & Co.’s new flagship store in London’s Covent Garden represents a whole new level of personalization for the brand as it creates a personalization bar or style studio where shoppers can purchase an item from the store and draw their own designs and monograms on screen, which will then be transferred to the jewelry in a while-you-wait type of service.
A personalization effort like this truly immerses the shoppers as you get them involved from the process to the purchasing stage; thereby, making it extremely appealing to younger consumers who are known to prioritize personalized experiences more than any others. It encourages self-expression, interaction, and creativity – things that take away their minds from the idea of the brand being a luxury while still being considered a luxury, especially because their concept of status and individuality is not shaped by luxurious possessions, luxury alone will not cut it when selling to younger consumers.
Millennials are digital natives. Give them a jewelry shopping experience that meets them on that level and they will give you their money.
Are you creating an immersive jewelry shopping experience?
In this day and age, retail is no longer just retail. It’s retailtainment. So, how are you enhancing your point of sale system to cater to shoppers who are looking for a shopping experience to remember?
Do you excite them with interactive elements or kill them with your lackluster online and offline retail environment?