Zombie Jewelers Are Among Us, Season 3 Finale – The COVID Confine
By Shane O’Neill, Vice President
We’ve been dealing with zombie jewelers for years now, but the new COVID outbreak has escalated the infection. It’s more important for retailers to test themselves and make sure they aren’t turning into a…ZOMBIE JEWELER.
A New Infection, a New Dawn
“Where did he go?” It was a question I was often asked about what happened to Glenn a few years ago as I walked away from him in the convention center in Sin City. I still look for him each year we attend, but now it’s just a passing thought. As the COVID plague closed the convention this year, I knew that Glenn was gone…it was time to move on.
Things are more difficult now for all of us. As COVID spread across the country, we became isolated, our businesses temporarily shuttered. For many of those already turning into zombie jewelers, the strain was too much as their vision of the future became lost in the stormy sea. For the rest of us, it became clear we needed to evolve in our communication and consumer experience efforts. Sadly, the early months of COVID left many retailers stunned, confused, and unable to adapt to their new reality. Their stagnation allowed the pestilence to creep into their businesses and, without some type of intervention, many may become zombie jewelers.
Testing Protocol CC-103
The Center for Zombie Jewelers Reanimation recently released a few testing protocols you can use to see if you’re in the midst of becoming a zombie jeweler. Quick action will need to be taken to fend off the disease.
- E-commerce – Zombie jewelers have been averse to selling online for years now, although it’s not clear why they avoid doing so. They tend to make baseless claims about fulfillment, shipping issues, and employee time, all of which are easy to work through given a small amount of effort. Unable to prepare for the future, they are stuck in the past, unable to adapt to today’s new customer. As stores closed and customer traffic was lost, these jewelers had no choice but to wait it out. All the while other retailers began to strategically push online offers, sales, and consumer communication.
- Advertising – Zombie jewelers often don’t think strategically or practically about marketing dollars. Their knee-jerk reaction was to stop all advertising and marketing since their stores were closed. What they failed to understand was that consumers were confined to their homes and, without anywhere to go, actually increased their shopping searches. This was particularly true for those in the bridal market as searches for engagement rings saw no dropoff whatsoever. These shoppers are in-market for 2-4 months and were simply waiting for stores to open. Uninfected retailers maintained their marketing efforts, capturing market share in bridal as stagnant competitors paused their marketing efforts. Many of the retailers who maintained their marketing are now seeing a surge in engagement ring sales, while those turning into zombie jewelers have not made up for those lost sales.
- Communication – Turning into a zombie jeweler is often a slow process that may not be noticeable to many looking in. However, it often starts with dwindling communication. COVID only highlighted this issue as the zombie jeweler went radio silent. While the uninfected found new ways to reach out to the consumer, zombie jewelers dramatically decreased their efforts to communicate with the outside world. Some ignored their business entirely without any effort to send out the simplest form of communication; website notifications updating customers on the store safety efforts, hours, and alternative appointment scheduling. If you’ve let your store sit stagnant without so much as an email blast, take a hard look as you may be becoming a zombie jeweler.
The new pandemic has pushed zombie jewelers to the edge and they will need to choose whether they will fight for survival or fall into the abyss. Alas, for many of them, it may be too late but, if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, there is still hope. Contact the Center for Zombie Jewelers Reanimation now and prepare for impact in 2021!