Clear as day.
There are certain things I know clear as day:
I’m not going to win the HGTV Dream Home Sweepstakes.
We’ll never know what the hell Tom Brady was thinking to get implicated in Deflategate.
Your bridal customer is not afraid to buy online.
To be clear, only 1 out of 10 bridal customers are currently buying online*. But, the primary reason is not fear. It’s about the tactile experience — they want to see and feel the diamond and compare with their own eyes. And as of now, they’re also a little hesitant to spend what is typically going to be one of their first enormous expenditures online. But that situation is changing. While online retail still only accounts for a fraction of the sales seen in brick-and-mortar outlets, it has seen a steep, steady growth over the past 10 years, with a 113 percent increase to traditional retail’s 17 percent rise in the same period. As younger generations become the primary spenders, this growth will only continue, making it imperative for brands and retailers to be accessible via ecommerce**. Most of us never thought buying such an important piece of jewelry would happen online in the first place. Really. We never saw it coming. And if you did, you dismissed the impact on your business.
So, is the answer to keep your head in the clouds or embrace it?
What is also clear as day is consumer diamond buying is a far cry from what it was a few years ago. Let’s be honest, you’d be hard-pressed to find one bridal customer who did not do their research and shop you online. If that’s the case, what kind of online experience are you providing for them? Here are their deal breakers:
- They go on your site and they don’t see pricing.
- They go on your site and they see limited inventory.
- They go on your site and there is no diamond module (with pricing) they can search.
- They go on your site and it’s not mobile responsive.
- They go on your site and it hasn’t been updated. In months. In years.
- They go on your site and it’s virtually the same cookie-cutter site as an in-town competitor.
- They go on your site, try to contact and connect with you with no reply (or the reply doesn’t come in what they consider a realistic timeframe, which to most is immediate).
- They go on your site and there is no option to purchase online.
Online shopping is clearly never going away. Take 15 minutes of your day, go online, and critically look at your website and your competitor’s website. Right now. If it doesn’t address the deal breakers above, make the necessary changes as soon as humanly possible to do so. Understand to have an e-commerce site, it will take more of your time internally than simply deploying a shopping cart. Also understand the transactions will not be plentiful — at this time. Manage those expectations. Conversely, it won’t take significant time for you or a designated staff member to manage a site. You’ll have the fortunate opportunity to get into it gradually and master the process.
Do not put it on the back burner. Do not think for one minute it will not impact your bridal business. It has. It will.
It’s clear as day.
* The Knot Survey 2013
** Luxury Daily, July 27, 2015