Impressions, we are told, are critical not only in jewelry retail but in the retail industry, as a whole. Yet, most of the discussions are left centered on the impact of first impressions. For instance, Mary Mitchell, in her book, The First Five Minutes: How to Make a Great First Impression in Any Business Situations, highlights the importance of the first few minutes in the first approach meanwhile, Whitney Johnson, the author of the book, Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work, was quoted in this article about – what else? – the first impression, saying that starting strong is critical because once impressions are formed, it would be too difficult to change it.
Many posited first impressions as lasting impressions. This is partly true because your jewelry buyers’ few minutes of encounter with you may also be their departure phase, especially if the first impression formed was negative; however, this may not be the case at all times. Some may give you the benefit of the doubt primarily if they really like your designs, but then you don’t want to be the big “but” that blocks the sale or the bottleneck in the persuasion process. For example, “your designs are creative and unique but….the customer service sucks.”
Does that mean you have a chance of redeeming your jewelry store from a doubtful or negative first impression?
Well, it’s a yes and no. No, because not everyone will give you that chance unless they really like your unique jewelry designs that they wouldn’t be able to buy it from someone else. And yes, because like the buyer’s journey, sales, as shown below, are not a one-phase cycle. It is sequential – each phase is interdependent and together, they weigh in customer evaluations.
Authors Bergeron, Fallu, and Roy, in their work “A Comparison of the Effects of the First Impression and the Last Impression in a Selling Context,” surveyed 500 clients to determine the impact not only of the first impression but also of the last impression in selling. The study revealed that both impressions had significant impacts on the customers’ overall experience. The former being influential to customers’ establishing of trust and perceived quality and the latter, having the most impact on customer satisfaction. While it is true that the first few minutes of the encounter has a predominating effect on establishing an impression because people have the tendency to judge quickly, the recency effect of the last impression could alter that judgment if there is an adjustment made after the first impression was formed. This is because the last impression is recent and therefore, it becomes the most accessible information to the buyer when making an overall judgment.
Knowing the above information, we could say that both the introduction and conclusion stages in selling are critical because the first and last impressions it leaves on your jewelry buyers become the decisive factors in the customer evaluation stage.
For this reason, jewelry retailers must create a holistic selling approach to target a positive end-to-end jewelry buying experience – one that builds trust in your brand (first impression – primary effect) and another, that satisfies your jewelry buyers (last impression – recency effect).
There are many ways to cover all stages of the selling cycle to ensure a positive lasting impression. Some of these are outlined below. Read on!
5 Delightful Ways to Leave a Lasting Impression on Your Jewelry Buyers
1. Create an automated Thank-You email
You all probably know it – buyers liked to be told ‘thank you.’ If open and click-through rates are any indications of buyers’ reaction, then, you should definitely turn your order confirmation emails into thank-you emails because the latter, it shows, are twice as engaging as your other marketing emails.
A simple thank-you email has some tangible and intangible benefits to your business as it meets not only their product needs (through purchases of your jewelry), but more so, their emotional needs.
Buyers loved to feel valued and a simple thank-you email is one of the easiest ways to make them feel important and appreciated. This is good for your jewelry business in the long run as it sparks an emotional connection between you and your jewelry buyers – a connection that they will never forget. Further, the cost of being indifferent to buyers is so huge that you couldn’t afford to risk it. According to statistics, buyers with an emotional connection to the brand are 75% highly likely to recommend brands while also exhibiting over 300% higher lifetime value.
An excellent thank-you email doesn’t need to be grand and arduous. The key here is to keep it simple and optimize it by adding CTAs to encourage secondary conversions. If you’re a neophyte and doesn’t have the means to automate thank-you emails or you’re running a small jewelry business via online market platforms like Etsy or Amazon, a thank-you note as a packaging insert is already thoughtful gesture. You would find that others even go out of their way to handwrite their thank-yous. This is another way of adding a personal touch to your packaging. Remember, it’s the thought that counts!
Don’t be neglectful in this area, and you’d be rewarded with loyal buyers and repeat purchases.
2. Make your store a buyer-friendly destination
Whether you’re selling jewelry online, offline, or both, your store should radiate inviting energy enough to pull jewelry buyers in. Shopping is a sensory experience as the store’s environment including jewelry displays stimulate buyers’ emotional and cognitive status. Consciously and unconsciously, you are influencing people’s purchase intention, the length of time and amount of money they will spend in your store, and even the likelihood of their patronage just by the way you present your store. But be careful when presenting visual information. It still pays to know your buyers. This study shows that visual complexity can negatively affect buyers’ affective response if those buyers have low involvement in what you’re offering while highly-involved buyers gain positive shopping experience around complex visual design.
Assuming that your store attracts consistently stable foot traffic – mostly jewelry enthusiasts, you can begin designing a unique and memorable shopping environment from aesthetics and designs – your layout, furniture and fixture, ceilings, floorings, and decorations. From here, ensure that you have knowledgeable salespeople who can pleasantly interact with potential jewelry buyers with the intention of creating an emotional connection between your brand and the buyers. If you already have the product designs that they want, the next thing to do is to go the extra mile in service.
Now, selling jewelry online is a different story because of the lack of tactile shopping experience. With your buyers as tactile beings, the challenge to become buyer-friendly is harder online, but this is not to say that it cannot be done. In fact, it might be easier than you think.
Position yourself as a buyer and think about the web functionalities and display that would make your online shopping experience convenient. Chances are that you share those demands with your jewelry buyers. These demands encompassed your whole web design – is your website mobile friendly? Are the texts big enough for buyers to see and read without hunching over their computers? How about the colors? Are the checkout processes clear and simple or do they involve multiple clicks to get to the payment process?
While polishing your web design, don’t forget to think about the visual presentation of your jewelry. Without the ability to touch or try on your jewelry pieces, the jewelry images listed online should be able to do the selling for you. Level up your jewelry photography skills and, if you can, enable a 360-degree capability for jewelry buyers to see your pieces from all angles, just like the 360-degree video of a necklace below, which was captured using the GemLightbox and the GemLightbox Aerial.
3. When it comes to packaging, think inside and outside of the box
When was the last time you feel valued while opening a package? Jewelry buyers are not just numbers. They are the lifeblood of your business, so treat them as individuals every chance you get. One way to do this is by communicating through your packaging.
Whether you like it or not, packaging matters and it tells a lot about your brand, your purpose, your story, and your treatment of your buyers; hence, it is as powerful as the product itself. For the National Packaging Design Day in 2018, the Paper and Packaging Board together with IPSOS – a global market research and consulting firm – conducted a survey and revealed that 72% of consumers agree that packaging is influential in their purchasing decision. Further, 63% said that cardboard packaging and paper materials make the products appeal more premium while for the others (69%), it gives a feeling that the product is more artisanal. The majority of the polled consumers would prefer these materials over plastics.
As you can see, aesthetically-pleasing packaging needs not to be expensive but it has to be sustainable. You wouldn’t want your packaging to get in the way of your sales just because it doesn’t coincide with your target buyers’ values and beliefs. Nowadays, younger consumers, especially millennials, are more willing to spend more on socially responsible brands. Further, those brands that support environmental efforts and other social issues, especially the ones aligned with your buyers’ beliefs, are more favored by them and perceived more positively.
Finally, your well-thought-out packaging does not only help you create a positive lasting impression on your jewelry buyers, but it’s also one of your most effective marketing tools. Unboxing videos are here to stay, they say. Think with Google reported that the amount of time people have spent watching unboxing videos on their mobiles alone is the equivalent of people watching the Holiday classic film Love Actually (‘tis the season!) over 20 million times. Now that’s a lot! So, always be prepared. You wouldn’t know when someone would be planning an unboxing video of your product.
If you need more tips on packaging, click the link below and read further.
4. Provide aftersales support and take advantage of clienteling
Nothing makes you more memorable than the aftersales follow-up and services after the purchase is completed. This is because not everyone follows up on their sales. To some, once the sale was completed, that would be the end of it and they would never hear from or see that buyer again. Hence, when aftersales follow up is available, you make your brand easier to remember while your buyers feel special and valued.
Aftersales support comes in many forms. You can contact your jewelry buyers to ensure they are happy with their purchase or aside from warranties and refunds, you can also offer additional services like repairs. For instance, Bvlgari offers aftersales services like simple cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning, engraving, resizing, repairs, and earring services among many others.
Aftersales communication is also an opportunity to enhance your business relationship with jewelry buyers, which in the process, builds customer loyalty; thereby, raking in repeat purchases. Other jewelers, after selling someone an engagement ring, find it difficult to attract repeat purchases, but it’s not actually that difficult in the industry, especially with all the occasions that will come after the engagement. After the wedding, there’s the possibility of the arrival of a new baby, mother’s day, anniversaries, graduation, and other special celebrations like Christmas and Valentine’s – these are all sales opportunities if you know how to turn them into lifelong, loyal buyers.
Some jewelry owners resort to clienteling, which is a system to manage your customer engagement processes. Basically, you bring jewelry buyers in, you provide exceptional shopping experience whether in-store or online and through this experience, you get to bring them back for more. Since clienteling encompasses the optimization of customer relationships, it involves tracking their personal preferences, their style, and personal data that you can access anytime for a well-informed product suggestion in the future. Create a customer profile record and start from their purchase history. What jewelry piece did they buy from you previously? In their record, create a jewelry image gallery of those purchases and refer to it when evaluating their style before recommending future items. Do you know that younger consumers – Gen Z and millennials – are more willing to provide their personal data for a more personalized experience? So go ahead and take it but use their information responsibly. Be transparent, give them control over that information, and above all, do not destroy their trust.
5. Be transparent
Not everyone discloses the origin of diamonds they’re selling, but if this is something you can offer to jewelry buyers, go ahead!
No longer a soliloquy, whether to disclose or not the origin of diamonds is one of the hottest discussions in the jewelry industry today. Here, Rapaport claims that De Beers Group is destroying the transparency in the diamond industry by refusing to allow its clients to disclose the legitimacy of its diamonds. Despite this, other jewelry companies are leading the way to transparency. For example, Tiffany & Co has begun disclosing to its jewelry buyers the geographical origin of its diamonds.
It’s a good effort, especially that modern jewelry buyers are clamoring for this type of transparency. In its recent survey, Gfk – the largest market research company in Germany – interviewed 4,000 people in China and the USA and revealed that 71% of Chinese and 63% of the US respondents expressed interest in the origin of the diamond. For these jewelry buyers, the origin is more than just instilling confidence in their purchases, it’s also about the story behind and earliest known history enveloping the gem. Hence, if the provenance is something you could offer them, don’t deprive them of that.
And there you have it!
What other suggestions can you make to help other jewelers create a lasting impression on jewelry buyers? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!