How to keep the pace with sales after the virus stuff is over
Although I haven’t polled stores about how business is doing right now, I had a poll to my jewelers and on Facebook asking are stores going to close and 80% said they’d stay open (as of Monday March 16th.)
Of course this could change but for people I spoke to business was slow. To be expected, people are quarantined at home. Only the brave go out.
Whether you are still open or closed and work from home you need to continue advertising and marketing. Your marketing needs to be:
- Describe if you’re open exactly what you are doing to keep customer’s and staff safe.
- Proactive to think about buying jewelry, having repairs done and custom design.
My mail person delivers homes and offices (I work from home) and the mail now arrives 3 hours earlier, most businesses have shut down for quarantine so you actually have a captured audience sitting at home with family, TV and computer or cell phone. CAPTIVE.
Like you, I’ve received a lot of emails from companies and retailers explaining how they are cleaning everything to be safe for them and their customers.
I’d suggest if you are going to stay open to explain your cleanliness procedures by:
a. Social media
b. Email blasts, texts
c. Signage on the door. Here in Atlanta it’s 60 degrees, heck I’d prop the front door open so no one
had to touch a knob.
You might see me from time to time using humor in some of my communications and this would be a great time to add humor to yours. Videos on your website, social media and email showing you cleaning rings, cases and hands in a funny manner; can help people to be at ease.
Here is a good example. Mel Brooks and His Son Max has done a terrific video about social distancing and how if he infects his father, he could wipe out a whole range of older comedians. Click link to left below, just 2 minutes to watch, it’s fun.
Of course, you don’t want people to stay away if you’re open, but couldn’t you explain why they should come into your store now?
So, I’m going to give you a script that I would use if I still had my store. I’d have either a picture of me or better yet a video (so easy to do) standing in the showroom, both hands outstretched. One had would have a ring and a bracelet hanging from my finger (easier to see). In my other hand I’d have a mop and bucket for show. I wouldn’t make it “overly funny”, but people do need a reason to smile, like you did watching the Mel Brooks video. Just a smile of some sort.
“Hi, this is David from David’s Custom Jewelers. Everybody’s being careful as we are be by washing our hands, keeping the counters clean, keeping doorknobs shiny and giving the baby an extra bath. So there’s only two places on your body you haven’t sanitized yet. Your shoes, and we can’t help there, and your jewelry! Yes, your rings, chains, bracelets, earrings which are next to your face! There’s stuff hiding in nooks, crannies and behind stones.
If you’re out and about buying extra toilet paper stop by and at no charge we’ll clean and sterilize those baubles of yours so you’re 100% clean as a whistle, except for your shoes. We wash our hands, showcases, door knobs all day long, let us make your jewelry clean as well.
By the way, good time to let us fix anything that’s broken in your jewelry box and maybe even remake it. While you’re watching Netflix, we can be here making a beautiful new design for you. Or help you with your anniversary present. Heck, if your anniversary or birthday is in a week or two, we’ll even give you two free candles so you can have a romantic dinner at HOME! Hey! We can even chat with you by Face Time and you can show me your jewelry and give you some ideas for redesign.
And did you know we are still buying old jewelry, gold and trinkets? Need some cash? We are here to help.
So, come on over, we’re here from 10-5 every day but Sunday.
Be safe and you don’t need 50 rolls of toilet paper”
Any marketing should have your picture and staff members, needs to be an action picture, not a portrait. Videos are the best.
On Facebook many jewelers already have videos of themselves telling customers and folks what their doing right now to be safe and MANY are offering to work by appointment. In addition, they are offering different ways to communicate with the store in making appointments. Remember people have repairs to pick up. So, if you’re not closing altogether then appointments might be just the ticket.
By the way, by appointment is great for buying customer’s jewelry. A private setting.
How to communicate with customers? In your social media and videos tell them you can communicate:
- · Phone
- · Text (give out a number)
- · Video chat
- · Facetime
- · Some of you might have a chat box on your website. Tell them!
This is March and we have this virus to contend with, but I want to share a story from my store. We were 75% shop sales always and every year at this exact time business was slow. Why?
a. Taxes (oh my, I need to send money to Uncle Sam)
b. Spring break
c. Just because
March and April were the worst months and hurt cash flow. So, in March I started direct mail and advertising campaign to my customers about a really big repair and design sale. We gave a 20% break on repairs and custom design and 20% to 60% off older merchandise. I mailed out most years either a multi-page brochures or a large postcard (5.5”x8.5” or smaller).
We also had a free drawing for prizes and one year a free trip-that was our biggest sale ever.
That first year March and April were level months, thank goodness. After that April became the 2nd highest month of the year, behind December! Why? Because the repairs and designs we started in March were being picked up in April!
This March 2020 you should be planning the same thing. If you have a good amount of shop sales, I’d recommend it. Old inventory-put it on sale. Plan your sale to start in early April (I’m assuming things are “sort of” back to normal). Have give-a-ways.
I’d plan also for some events. Events driven stores have always done well. There is a fellow jeweler who does these and has spoken at many trade shows on his promotions. His name is Bill Warren. His very successful store is event driven in North Carolina, he’s a maven of social media, advertising and events. He's posted pictures outside of his store with people 20 deep waiting in line to open and other pictures packed with people in his store. He’s on Facebook and has his own free success group. Go to Facebook and in search bar type:
Diamond Bill Warren's Jeweler's Success Group
Lots of great ideas. In fact, Wednesday night at 7:30 EST he’ll have a live video showcasing what stores are doing wrong on Social media and how to fix it. I’d suggest if you’re on Facebook to join.
So now that you know you need to “keep on keeping on!” I need to end with something technical and its about your computer. If you’re closed your email list is on the store’s computer, you need this. Even if you’re open you may close early or just want to do this at home. You need to be able to remotely enter the stores computer from home to do this. I’m going to suggest spending seven bucks and download www.remotepc.com to the store’s computer.
You’d download this program onto the store’s computer, pay seven bucks (year two goes to $70) and leave the computer on. Then from home you would go to remotepc.com and log in and everything you do at the store can be done from home because the screen and mouse are now operating the stores computer. You can do this from anywhere including your accountant could come to your computer if needed. Anyone just needs to know the username and password you set up.
In addition, for seven bucks you can install this on up to ten computers. Computer “A” in the store could have your point of sale program with emails. Computer “B” might have QuickBooks and another might have a Cad/Cam program and you could design items for customers in your bunny slippers! Plus download a copy onto your home computer in case from work you needed something from that computer.
All for seven bucks. The stores computers just need to be left on.
As a safety note do not leave anything in the showcases, never. Thieves know what’s under the towels. Not worth it, the glass in the windows and cases cost more than the Citizen watches and silver stuff. Take it all out, Forever.
I received an email tonight from the Harmon group. He had some good points we should all remember and use:
- You pick up market share in the bad times and make money in good.
- This is not a time to hibernate, plan for a strong recovery
- After this is over there will be pent up demand
- Take time now to do housekeeping: Take out floor of showcases, clean glass, wipe them down. Buff and clean all jewelry.
- Be a good citizen, contact your customers and check on them via phone, text and even hand written notes.
- Keep your marketing messages informative and entertaining.
- Provide alternative shopping options. Make sure your website is e-commerce enabled. Easy to sell on Facebook and Etsy.
So, take precautions and market/advertise.
I saw this on Facebook, it tells it all.
March 18, 2020