There has recently been a growing anxiety within the retail industry, due to a lack of in-store traffic and slowing sales. Â The anxiety youâre feeling is real, and in many respects, it is justified. Â Bridal e-commerce sites such as The Knot, Blue Nile, and even Amazon pay millions to understand the needs and buying behaviors of your customers. They invest a lot into creating a rich user experience thatâs specifically tailored to keeping your customers coming back for more of what they have to sell. Â But donât worry, you still have a competitive advantage. Letâs keep reading find out what that is.
If a Genie magically appeared before you and granted you three wishes related to your business, what would you wish for? Â I bet the wishes look something like this:
- Increase my in-store traffic because I know Iâve got a great closing ratio
- Increase my sales
- Give me the appropriate knowledge about my customers so that my business can thrive in the future
This is real life so you canât just ask the Genie to win the lottery.Â
Iâm going to give you the winning formula to beat the big boys at their own online game and help you leverage your key asset that they donât have. Â Your store. Â
Note: The analysis in this post is not conjecture. I surveyed over 20 of our sites at Gemfind.com. Â Iâve aggregated Google Analytics reporting from each of these sites to create an overall summary of trends and consumer behaviors as well as demographics of similar retailers like yours in the jewelry industry. Â With this information and other consumer and retail research, these tips should provide you with the fundamentals to apply each of these to your own business.
#5 Understand Your Online Customer
The term Millennial is thrown around all too often in the retail industry. Â People seem to think this demographic generation is the holy grail that will solve all ails. Â Iâm not going to use this term to describe the jewelry industries customer because because it’s simply not correct. Â See the chart below.
The figure above shows the age distribution of visitors on our sites for this study from January 1 through today. Â You can gain this information from your own Google Analytics on your own website. This shows the vast majority of users are between the ages of 18 – 44 years of age. Â Specifically:
|AGE GROUP||PERCENT SESSIONS|
|18 – 44||23.48%|
|25 – 34||28.81%|
|35 – 44||18.39%|
This age group of 18 – 44 year olds accounts for over 70% of traffic to jewelry retail websites surveyed for this analysis. Â The key takeaway is this group contains Â millennial, yes, but more importantly these figures are skewed to older visitors in the 35 + age demographic. Â This is not a pure millennial play, and thatâs a good thing. Â But weâll get to that later. Â
Moving on, letâs consider user sessionsâ âGenderâ. Â The following chart is pretty straight forward:
64.80% of site sessions were by females, while 35.20 Male. Â This seems pretty straightforward and doesnât surprise anyone. Â However, consider the dynamics and behaviors at play that would trigger a male user to be on your site. Â Have you ever considered the emotions of the female user? Â Most importantly the emotions and discussions they have between them regarding the beginning of their journey together.
A lot to consider but letâs move on and dive a bit deeper.
#4 Understand That Your Online Customers Are Educated
Did you know that over 70% of online buyers have made up their mind on the purchase decision before ever talking to a sales person? Â You need to come to grips with this. Â You canât cheat the system believe me – many try and theyâve failed. Â
What can we do about it? Â We can give them what they want which are these three things:
- A Great First Impression
- A Great Online Experience
- Letting Them Set The Pace
First, Iâm not talking about investing $100k in building a state of the art website but make things easy for them. Â Stop cramming everything you have on the home page and sliding 5 screens by them of all the types of lines you cover. Â Subtle is best. Â Neatness is expected. Â Follow best practices in user experience and stop trying to dupe them into buying something from you with the shotgun approach. Â Your bounce rate will increase and Google will penalize you because they track this sort of thing. Â Weâll get to that later.
Consider TheKnot.com. Â Â Study this image below or go to the site itself. Â Â Think about your customers and ask yourself if your website gives them the same emotions. Â Notice I didnât say âofferingâ I said emotion, big difference.
#3 Your Customers View You On Their Phones
Another way to say this, your customers are mobile. Â This is critical and I want this to be the biggest takeaway from this post. Â YOUR USERS ARE MOBILE. Â See the chart below so that we can understand one another.
Apple and Android make up nearly 65% of online traffic on jewelry retailers sites in my study and I bet they are very close to yours. Â While retail is most affected by search trends and conversions it’s a pretty noticeable difference but this is actually old news. Â Desktop was surpassed by mobile search back in 2015, SearchEngineLand. In fact, Google has announced this year that âMobile Firstâ indexing will overtake desktop.
Whatâs the key takeaway from this information? Letâs recap tips 5 – 3. Â Your users require a great experience, they are between the ages of 18-44 and they are using mobile devices primarily on your site. Â In short, make their mobile experience easy to navigate and a great way to get a sense of the type of business you are.
#2 Be Cool
Hereâs another statistic that will serve you well in understanding this concept. Â
90% of buyers within this demographic have no problems reaching out to you once theyâve made the decision to purchase from you. Â Youâve earned their trust, your store is local and chances are that they wonât want their experience to consist of purchasing the largest ticket item of their lifetime through amazon. Â
Hereâs an idea for you rather than doing what every other retailer does in asking them to schedule an appointment after being on your site for 30 seconds, bring the user to a landing page with a âpay with a shareâ (you can join my new group in messenger and I will provide list and more information on innovative ideas) button and offer them a $100 in-store coupon. Â With a tactic like this you get 7 things in return:
- A happy online prospect thatâs surprised you’re so sophisticated.
- A user that didnât bounce because you tried to close them too soon. Â Google likes this interaction and keeps you in good favor and your cost per clicks low and increases your Quality Scoring with Google Adwords.
- They just shared that they received a $100 coupon to use in your store on their social media. Â For this demographic the average number of friends skews highest with between 350 – 500 friends on average. Â Call it 400 shares and they are mostly made up of more friends in this age range – yes your customers.
- A $100 coupon with your name on it and a constant reminder they can visit you anytime to redeem.
- An email address you can monetize against your adword campaigns or search traffic.
- An email address you can use for further promotions and sales an information about your inventory and subtle no hassle selling environment.
- If all done correctly when they are ready you will have a sale and more than likely a customer for life but that’s now on you.
When they go and look at their post on your site, you will want to have pinned a post to the top of your feed that might talk about the history of diamonds and why they are symbolic with marriage or tips on how to maintain their ring to make it look the best after the many happy years they are going to have. Â Help them expand their purchase decision to get as much enjoyment and entertainment as possible. Â For a woman, it’s the experience sheâs dreamed of her whole life, bring her to that experience. Â If you want to get scientific about it, help her generate endorphins and positive feelings and she will think positively about you. Â BEWARE: Â Trying to close her at this time will shut her down and trigger her to âflightâ. Â Sheâll bounce and youâll lose her forever. Â
Itâs like asking a girl out on a date when sheâs having lunch with her grandma. Â Wrong place wrong time. Â Be cool.
#1 Make Your Store An Extension Of The Purchase Experience
Your store is your single biggest asset in the fight against the big E-commerce companies in the jewelry industry. Â You have local inventory in a showroom. Â Leverage this asset and this message. Think about changing the dynamic of message from âMake and In-Store Appointmentâ to âCome To Our Showroom When The Time Is Rightâ, I know this sounds scary but it could transform your business.
Educate your sales staff to not be pushy. Â Gentle nudging is ok because you gotta make the sales and we know the chances of a couple making a purchase when in the store is more than likely. Â But remember, if you follow all the steps in this post the buyer is educated and if they are there in the store they are most likely ready to purchase anyway. Â Like online, it’s all about them.
Hey, hereâs another idea. Â How about rather than opting them into a newsletter, send them SMS or text messages about upcoming sales and promotions each week. Â In the footer of the text always allow them to opt out. Â Do you know that there is a 40% more chance of conversion or sale with texting. Â Why is this, because it’s less traffic than typical email, its differentiating and it’s quick and easy and it’s a communication channel this demographic uses most often. Â Also include the website URL so it’s easy to get back to your store. Oh and if you can direct traffic back to your website with a text it’s 1,000 times cheaper than paying for Facebook or Google remarketing and Display ads.
There you have it, the Genies now back in the bottle and you have your three wishes or five wishes with a few bonus tips. Â There are other innovative and clever ways to increase traffic in my Facebook group so subscribe if you want or not it’s up to you. Â
I hope this information was helpful to you.Â Please contact us if you have any questions!
Written by John Fischbeck
GemFind’s Digital Marketing Specialist