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Hard Habit To Break

Hard Habit To Break

By Angie Ash, EVP Many retailers had their best year ever in 2020. Perhaps that was due to rolling up their sleeves and embracing necessary changes to get business done. Or maybe it was because their best customers were spending money on jewelry instead of travel. Likely, it was a fortunate combination of both! Now, however, there are fears. Will people still buy jewelry this year as they did last year, or will they go back to booking expensive vacations? Nobody wants to make significant business gains and then backpedal. But the success or failure of your business doesn’t completely have to depend on humans resorting to old shopping habits. In fact, it’s more important to continue embracing the COVID-induced business practices customers accepted with open arms. Those are not likely to go away soon, because they speak to the customer’s desire for convenience. Curbside Pickup Grocery stores had this offering going long before COVID hit. It was promoted as a time and headache saver for busy families and those who simply had no desire to spend a chunk of their day maneuvering giant carts through tight aisles. Then when COVID rolled around, curbside pickup really ramped up for retail masses to offer, fueled by the desire for consumers to be as germ-free as possible. Curbside pickup is a convenience I don’t see going away once COVID is no longer such a threat. With retailers being able to offer online shopping and curbside pickup, it’s also a win for consumers since they don’t have to pay shipping costs. Who doesn’t want to save both time and shipping fees these days? Nobody. Online Events Whether we want them to go away or not, retailers should weigh the pros and cons of continuing online events, even when they don’t need to any longer. Imagine if you will, the person with money to spend who loves jewelry but either can't attend or simply doesn’t want to go to a store to enjoy the show she was invited to. Why not offer the trunk show online too? If you or a staff member is pretty savvy with tech, consider creating a gallery of the trunk show pieces in a gallery. If you’ve been taking photos of all of your jewelry as product shots as well as on the body, customers will have that sense of scale where product-only shots fall short. Let people buy the trunk show pieces online or call in their order for a pickup in the store. You’re making the sale regardless. And you’re making the event accessible to those who can’t make it or just want to shop from home in their quarantine sweatpants. If you thought about it, but don’t want to offer online events anymore for whatever reason... Savings In-Store Only Remember the pre-COVID days when retail stores would offer online-only specials? That was obviously done to boost online sales. But now retailers may want to consider turning the tables and offering special pricing in-store only. You do still have a brick-and-mortar store you’re paying for after all. Perhaps reverse psychology will work. Adding extra incentives with in-store purchases may also give you the boost you need to keep strong sales going. The truth of the matter is this. The active doers who are sick of being homebound tend to thrive around other people. They are going to want to get out of the house stat. Conversely, the armchair warriors who prefer to open a laptop and go nowhere unless absolutely necessary will be perfectly fine keeping on as is. Defining how you’ll cater to both kinds of customers may just have to be your next business move.
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