Elizabeth Galton advises retailers to embrace multichannel
The trade day at London Jewellery Week (LJW) kicked-off last week with a talk by etailer Elizabeth Galton, who spoke about her career and advised retailers to invest in online and technologies such as m-commerce to avoid being on the “back foot”.
Speaking to Retail Jeweller editor Laura McCreddie, Galton spoke about her career, from gaining investment to start her own brand from BBC reality business show Dragon’s Den in 2005, to her nerves at later filling Annoushka Ducas’s shoes as creative director at Links of London, and subsequently leaving the brand last year to start her own etail site, EG Studio, which launched in May.
Speaking about her decision to leave the Links of London, Galton said she had a “burning desire” to support and showcase new talent. She said: “The market is quite fractured and it’s difficult for emerging designers to target a global audience and get into the best boutiques and department stores worldwide. Slowly the idea for EG Studio came about and I wanted it to be a highly edited marketplace, selling jewellery with a slightly fashion forward feel.”
She added that while consumers still appreciate the tangible experience of shopping in a jewellery store, that the industry has lagged behind others in taking advantage of the online medium, and said that the number of people shopping via this channel is only set to increase. She said: “I think younger consumers are used to online communities, sharing information and comparing products online. And the jewellery industry has been slow to recognise that.”
She added that, looking forward, changing consumer lifestyles and longer hours spent commuting and using mobiles will mean that new technologies such as m-commerce will grow in importance. She said: “I think that mobile marketing is becoming increasingly powerful, and brands that don’t get their websites ready for this will be on the back foot.”
She added: “Look at the culture in Japan, for example, where people commute long hours and do a lot of their communicating through their mobile phones.”
Galton also said that she has noticed a trend away from “mastige” (mass market prestige) towards smaller, more niche, artisan brands. This reflected Retail Jeweller’s own findings last week that demand for bespoke and design-led products is on the rise.
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