Everybody is talking about the future of retail – and how the retail store must offer an experience if it’s going to attract and keep consumers. But what isn’t being talked about is what that means. What is a retail store experience anyway?
This isn’t a new discussion. In the late 1990s, there was already a lot of discussion about how jewelry retail stores were considered boring by younger consumers, and how retail store owners needed to create a more exciting environment. Somehow, that turned into a lot of cappuccino machines and mini-bars. But as we mentioned in this blog post, if consumers really want wine and cookies, they’ll go to a café or a bar!
Not all experimentation with retail store experience has ended with food and drink service. Many retailers offer evening events, like gem round-tables, evening-with-the-designer, and trunk shows. Consumers seem to respond well to these activities, so we know that consumers are willing to go into a retail store for an evening of entertainment or information.
Tips for Improvement
But you can’t make your store into an event space every day. So what else can you do to improve your retail store experience? We have few ideas for you!
- Offer a “crazy ridiculous sale item” every single day or several days a week. Change it often, and let your consumer audience know that these are opportunities that come around randomly, and won’t be offered again. That 3 carat diamond that was on display all day yesterday at 2% above cost? It’s back to its regular price today. No, you won’t honor yesterday’s deal – that was yesterday!
- Host a variety of local artists in your store on weekend days, one artist per day. All proceeds go to the artist. You just host the space and help bring in traffic (of course, they need to bring in traffic too!). You become known as benefactor of local arts, and you attract different people to the store than may otherwise enter.
- Help a local school’s art or music program get exposure by offering a day of art for sale or musical entertainment. Again, new visitors, great publicity, local focus.
- Offer to host a charitable silent auction – with all auction items on display in your store over the course of a few weeks. Again – traffic, local, appreciation – see a theme here?
App As A Sales Tool
We also suggest that you use the VDB app in your store as a sales tool. This is something you can do all day, every day, with any customer who walks in. Of course, once you find out what they are interested in or curious about, you will want to show them the items you have in your case that could go out the door with them immediately. But what if you don’t have something to show? Pull out your tablet or smart phone, open the app (make sure you’ve got your markup price set!), and start having fun searching in the app for the diamond, gem, or jewelry your customer is looking for!
Even better – you could white label the app so it’s branded to your store! Share the app with your store visitors, and then have them download the app to their own phone for more browsing and daydreaming.
Your goal should be to make sure your store is an interesting place to walk into every single day. Your customers should spend time thinking “I wonder what’s going on at the store today!” We hope one or more of these ideas work for you. Or stimulate other ideas that make even more sense for your store! And for our part, we’ll continue making the VDB app the best app for the jewelry industry, as part of our commitment to making your B2C and in-store experience better every day.