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Nordstrom or Walmart?

Nordstrom or Walmart?

by Angie Ash, Executive Vice President

You live in a nice home, most likely with generous square footage in an upscale neighborhood. It’s probably filled with nice things. Open your closet. Your suits and ties were not likely purchased at a discount and if they were, you’re not telling. Your handbag is buttery leather, complete with a designer label. Ditto the shoes. You’re a Whole Foods VIP. The garage holds a luxury sedan or SUV, perhaps two. You would never get your dazzling highlights from a home kit. Your airfare — preferably first class, but business class is okay in a pinch. Your business trips to vendor shows — sometimes more of a vacation than work. But you know, you HAVE to go.

Your website, though? The ‘90s called – they want it back from dialup days. Your branding – what branding? The local paper designs the ad when you buy it from them in comic sans bold, the cable company puts together your tv commercials with the same voice talent as the car dealership across town. The college intern posts for you on Facebook, unless it’s one of those days when you just catch her on it with her friends.

Sound familiar? I hate to sound harsh, but you wouldn’t think twice to sell that $16,000 diamond engagement ring to a customer across the counter, would you? In fact, you’ll work hard to upsell to an even better setting if you determine that the buyer is qualified. After all, the person on the receiving end of the proposal is worth more than white gold. And a few more grand will get the buyer a nicer diamond.

The truth is, consumers today are getting more and more discerning and judgmental when it comes to spending their money. No longer are shoddy websites and amateur ad layouts okay. Your store has a reputation to uphold. Everyone looks online before they buy now. It’s their first experience with you now before they walk in your door. They want a sense of what they can afford. They want to see the styles you offer, your selling terms, and your services. They want what you want – quality, great customer service, and to feel special. Jewelry isn’t rung up like milk you pick up on the way home from work.

You want your customers to want your jewelry over your competitors, your box to carry cachet, your bag to be the one carried proudly around town. You want to be different than everyone else, but you’re using that other jeweler’s tagline you like so much, which also happens to be the one that many jewelers are using. Can you brag about your website and your overall branding or is it a hot mess? You want Nordstrom-level clientele, but you’d never know because instead, it looks like you’ve hit the rolling prices racks hard.

You really can’t afford to wait any longer. It’s time to open your eyes now and go after the customers you want with the quality and luxury your business needs to portray on all fronts. That’s not being snotty, but marketing to the customer who will only shop with you if you give them a deal or discount will not drive your average sale up. It won’t make you more profitable. You can be kind and classy and relatable without practically giving your jewelry away. Yes, there is a way.

Tough love is hard to sometimes hard to take, but hey, honesty is our best policy. If this article is making you see the light, or making you hyperventilate a bit, drop a line to We’re happy to throw you a lifesaver and pull you on board.

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