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INDUSTRY OPINION: Will retailers wake up before it is too late?

Following news of more high-profile high street stores being hit by problems, Julian Fisher chief executive of high street retail technology provider Jisp, explains some of the steps jewellers can take to help them stay relevant to today’s consumer.

In today’s competitive retail market, domino-style store closures continue to make headlines with the summer months being traditionally a particularly difficult time for retailers. As retailers turn their attentions to the Christmas season, what actions should they take before it’s too late?

Historically, jitterish retailers have been slow to adapt to change compared to their online counterparts. However. In order to succeed, big changes are needed, and bricks-and-mortar stores must become more inventive, exploit what makes them different and embrace the shopping experience.

In traditional jewellery stores, communication with customers is vital to convey product information as glass displays act as a barrier between the customer and the products.

Instances of the customer being short on time, the store being too busy or closed are common and often result in the customer either going elsewhere or looking to online stores to provide the solution. Finding a way around this problem should be high on the agenda of all jewellery retailers.

One solution allows customers to access all the information needed, including options to make a purchase, simply by tapping a shop branded sticker. With product details now stored on the shopper’s mobile they can easily review the item at their leisure with the additional facility of making a click and collect order. Importantly all these methods provide the retailer with a greater insight into which items their customers are looking at.

Additionally, jewellery stores should go to lengths to differentiate themselves by offering their customer something unique. Developing relationships with independent jewellery designers who can create bespoke pieces exclusive to their store will give retailers an edge and ensure that customers looking for those pieces can only shop with them.

Furthermore, high street jewellers can capitalise on the differences between in-store and online shopping experiences by offering customers personalised deals.

For example, the majority of independent jewellery stores have the mean to allow customers to negotiate slightly on pricing, which is difficult to replicate online. Jewellery retailers should play up to these differences and incentivise shopping in-store.

Ultimately, jewellery retailers must learn to adapt in order to remain relevant on the high street. Investing in new technology to communicate important information to customers and making the most of what differentiates them from other retailers, both on the high street and online, will give them the best shot at longevity in the current market.

  • · Jisp is a retail technology provider and app that works with retailers to push out local and relevant offers and information to customers based on their preferences. Find out more at www.jisp.com

 

 

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