Pandemics are long, but a diamond lasts forever. Or so the data shows. While many businesses saw a sharp decline at the start of the pandemic, 2021 to early 2022 was a boom in the industry, seeing jewelry sales up over 50% from 2020 ($62.3 billion) to 2021 ($94.6 billion).
One of the key drivers of the surge in sales was pent-up demand for weddings. Reports show that the amount of weddings was nearly 2 million in 2021 and is on track to tally as much as 2.5 million in 2022. These are staggering numbers and it shows just how easy it will be to sell jewelry for the rest of the year.
Well, except for that one pesky thing: the oncoming recession.
Nearly all indicators are flashing signs of recession, and as retailers know, jewelry and other discretionary purchases are one of the first things consumers cut from their tightening budget. So while there are positive indicators like weddings, your jewelry business should be strategizing on how to sell your products when the general public may be feeling the financial pinch.
Why personalization matters
So what can retailers learn from the surge in weddings which are often the most expensive day of a couple’s life? It’s that when it’s personal and meaningful, they will spend money on it even in tight economic times. Because ultimately, money doesn’t matter; it’s what actually lasts that matters.
In the same way, both ecommerce and brick & mortar retail brands are embracing personalization when it comes to connecting with their customers. No longer are the promotions casting a wide net addressed to “to whom it may concern.” Today, the personalization runs deep, providing a clienteling experience to each customer.
Clienteling means personalizing the shopping experience to make it feel like every customer is a VIP. You know them by their first name. You have 2-way conversations with them. You arrange for in-person or virtual appointments. You have specific product recommendations based on their likes and past shopping history. Luxury brands who embrace this level of clienteling have seen 200% increases in retention rates, and higher Average Order Values (AOV) on their purchases.
So how can your brand shore up your clienteling services to weather the recession storm?
Use a retail CRM to know your customer
For jewelry brands in general, nearly 65% of buyers start their customer journey online, usually from their mobile devices. They are comparison shopping, researching designs, and reading up on reviews from other customers. Yet about85 to 90 percent of jewelry purchases still happen in-store.
This is why your brand needs a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform that can “do both” in terms of online and offline data collection. Your CRM should be the master repository of data that tracks what products, say, Emma has browsed or bought on your site, on your social media, and merge that data with what Emma ultimately purchased in-store.
This comprehensive, 360 degree view of each customer makes it easy to personalize the next marketing touchpoint. Now that your CRM has told you that Emma has been checking out emerald earrings for a couple weeks online, you can email her with a promotion for emerald earrings that is highly personalized to her search history and prior styles that she has purchased in the past.
Reach out with personalized services and promotions
With your customer data in hand through your CRM, your team can build marketing campaigns with personalization in mind. Weddings, anniversaries, birthdays; these special occasions are crucial to log in your CRM and create targeted promotions around your customers who are coming up on these milestones.
For an example of effectiveness, Experian (via Xverify) found that birthday emails from brands had a 481% higher transaction rate compared to standard promotions. A CRM like Endear can send out personalized emails targeting customers who have a birthday in a given month, and leverage email templates in order to message multiple people at once. Yet your CRM will make it easy for your team to engage in responsive communications that feel personal.
Another personalized promotion idea that will work well during an economic downturn: a promotion around professional jewelry repair or cleaning. While many clients may not be in the market to buy brand new items, they instead may want to take care of the ones they already have.
Automated email or SMS reminders that many jewelry items should be professionally cleaned every 6 months can be queued to send at 5 months after a customer’s last purchase. Not only is this communication useful, it shows that your brand understands their purchase history and knows that it’s almost time for a jewelry checkup.
Use texts to get more personal
Text messages have been proven to not only have higher open rates than emails, but feel more personal in general. If your brand hasn’t been leveraging text messaging to connect with your customers, you have a lot of ground to make up in your clienteling strategy.
Gorjana, a contemporary jewelry brand founded in 2004, uses SMS campaigns through Endear to keep customers updated on store news and products, as well as providing 1-on-1 services. Since implementation, Gorjana has seen conversion rates increase to 20% off their SMS communications and lead to enough additional sales to exceed their yearly targets.
Read about how gorjana averages an 8.4% conversion rate on messages sent through Endear
Another Endear jewelry client, Judith Bright that specializes in high-end items, used this type of personalized messaging to achieve a 32x ROI on the cost of their monthly CRM subscription.
The care these brands’ teams have taken in their clienteling communication has seen great success to their bottom line. Likewise, your brand should always be putting more emphasis on personalized messaging with SMS campaigns leading the way.
Show a curated “Story” of personalized products
Recommending the right items to each customer not only leads to higher sales, but tells them that you know them well enough to know their personal style. Alexis Bittar, a lifestyle and jewelry brand launched in 1990, found their sales growing through Endear’s CRM platform by 32% since implementing LookBooks to showcase products.
Today, static images have given way to Shoppable Stories that have the look and feel of social media shorts, embedded into email and SMS messages.
These Stories are curated to each customer’s taste, showcasing new and relevant items in a stylish way. Best of all, each Story is transactable right from the customer’s device so they can purchase right from their message.
Ready to get more personal in your clienteling? Endear can help. Click here for a free demo today!