How Jewelers Can Defy Amazon with the “Best Buy” Strategy
by Charles Pobee-Mensah, Director of Digital Marketing
“Amazon has retailers everywhere scared.” That’s the first line in a recent YouTube video by CNBC. In it, they talk about the fall of retail giants like Circuit City and Toys R Us. Five years ago, if someone had said that Best Buy was closing its doors because of online competition from Amazon, no one would have been shocked. But today, CNBC presents a different story for Best Buy. And this is one that jewelers should pay attention to.
Best Buy Did What Amazon Couldn’t
It’s hard to imagine anything that Amazon can’t do. But Amazon doesn’t have physical stores and in-person expertise. This is what Best Buy leveraged in order to prosper in the age of Amazon. According to CNBC, Best Buy was able to turn things around by focusing on in-store service, stocking key products, and leveraging their network of stores.
The Jewelry Store Advantage
Like Best Buy, jewelers have advantages over Amazon. Here are just a few.
- Physical location – Jewelers have beautiful physical spaces that are pleasant to visit.
- Luxury brand – While Amazon can sell an engagement ring, people usually think of it as a place to get cheap stuff fast. Jewelers, however, are seen as upscale.
- Better customer service – This is better in several ways:
- In-store service – Your sales staff can provide a buying experience that Amazon can’t match.
- Real people on calls and email – Calling or emailing Amazon for help is very different than calling or emailing a local jeweler who will talk to you like a human, not a robot.
- Personalized suggestions – Most suggestions we get from Amazon are done by a computer. Very different from a jeweler who takes the time to get to know your story and find the perfect piece for you.
- Community involvement – Every local jeweler is seen as a part of their community, and many are active in organizations and charities. That’s a relationship worth reciprocating.
- In-Store Events – As much fun as “Prime Day” is, it doesn’t hold a candle to a ladies night or a trunk show. We see jewelers with a strong focus on events flourish.
The “Best Buy” Strategy for Jewelers
Best Buy’s strategy wasn’t to do anything terribly new or innovative. It was to better focus their energy on things they had already been doing. Things that made them different from Amazon that people appreciated.
Jewelers can replicate this success in much the same way. The digital phenomenon has left a physical experience void in the lives of shoppers. Best Buy has proven that retailers can use that to their advantage without reinventing the wheel. And as we saw above, jewelers are well suited to do just that.
The Jewelry Store’s Online Advantage
Customers today are still going to see you online first. This is the one major point that’s different from the pre-internet days. But this is actually not a weakness. It’s an extension of your advantage.
Local jewelers won’t compete with the Amazons of the world with sophisticated tech and fancy ecommerce options. Instead, use the internet as a megaphone for your brick and mortar appeal. A “call now” button on a jeweler’s website carries more weight than on Amazon. Online ads for jewelers can proudly encourage people to stop in and experience their expert level service.
Customers are looking online for a reason to choose you, and everything that happens from clicking on an ad to calling the number on the site can be used to highlight the experience that jewelry stores offer. An experience that has become far too uncommon in today’s age.
So, the next time you hear that “Amazon has retailers everywhere scared,” remember that Best Buy has successfully defied that phrase, and you can, too.
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