I'd like to share with you a specific tactic to increase customer service, create immediate social marketing, lower buyer remorse, and create long term online marketing. This tactic will cost little or no money, and your customers will do it for you.
Facebook and Google+ are common apps on smartphone and tablets. They allow all of use to interact with our friends and family throughout the day with nonsensical things, photos, shared memories, and random quotes of something you overheard. Sometimes we also ask those close to us for advice on what to do, where to go, or what to buy. This social behavior that has evolved quickly because of cell phone network speeds and smartphone speeds.
You will undoubtedly see shoppers in your store during the next 90 days interacting with their smartphones while they are browsing your showcases. Embrace it. Don't be one of those angry jewelers who posts to your own social network in disgust that people play with their phone while they are in your store. Instead, you should help the consumer to use the mobile technology for your financial gain.
Buying jewelry can be a small or large financial purchase, but it's always an emotional purchase. JCK, National Jeweler, and INSTORE Magazine always suggest tapping into the emotions of the buyer in order to make the sale, but there are other ways to use technology now to solidify the emotional purchase and lower buyer remorse.
One of the most common in-store uses of smartphones now is sharing a photo with friends or family in hopes to get immediate feedback. Should I buy this? Do you think Grandma would like this ceramic frog?
I attended a Mobile Marketing Summit in late 2011 where statistics were revealed that 33% of all in-store consumer activity included photo sharing and friend feedback as a purchase decision maker. Customers in your jewelry store might want to do the same thing, but are afraid to take photos through your showcase glass or to ask your permission while you are helping them.
The next time you see someone "playing on their phone" you could offer to show them a few pieces of jewelry so they can take photos and post them to Facebook or Google+. Tell them "to get the opinion of their friends and family before buying." The customer will be very surprised at the suggestion and they will probably take you up on the offer if they are a social addict.
This is an unexpected level of customer service, and a chance for long term marketing. If the customer does make the purchase it will also be with lower level of buyer remorse because they got the approval of their social network. It also means that piece that is photographed is going out to friends and relatives who may like the piece instead! Also, when we are presented with 5 options, we often forget that there is a 6th (none of them) and our brains try to narrow it down with it mind that we must pick one!
Let's go over exactly how to pull this off...
1. Before you try this, you need to have a mat, tray, or a special display that clearly shows your store name and website address. Don't just settle for something with your store name, it has to be your website so people looking at the photo online will clearly see it.
You could have one of your counter mats embroidered, but my experience with embroidery and close photography has never worked.
I suggest that you get a set of plastic jewelry display trays that you would typically use inside of a photo light box. These trays have cutouts that are designed to hold jewelry, and they usually have a matte finish to prevent glare and reflection. You would then need to have your website imprinted on the display. The easiest method is to get clear labels from the office supply store and print the web address from your computer.
2. You also need to have some way to display the letters A, B, and C next to each item on those trays. These could be simple letters printed out, or they could be charm letters, or anything creative. They need to be small enough to fit into the photo with the jewelry but large enough that someone can see them right away.
3. Take some test photos using your own smartphone to figure out exactly how to position the jewelry with the domain name and the letters. Take test photos of earrings, necklaces, pendants, charms, bracelets, and rings. Make sure you train your entire staff on this process once you figure it out.
Once a customer accepts your suggestion to share photos you should suggest they share only 3 choices. You will position each item on the tray next to your website address and a different letter. When the customer uploads the photos they will be asking their friends for the opinion of items A, B, or C. The friends in turn will look for the letter, which they will see next to your domain name.
Tell the customer that you will hold the items on the side until the end of the day or for however long you agree on. That way there's enough time for the customer to get the feedback of their friends. They simply have to call, or even contact you through FB/G+ and you will gift wrap it and set it aside for them.
An entire Ladies Night type event could be centered around this practice.
The customer will probably never delete the photos from their social account which means your jewelry photos and domain name will be out there for future people to see. This might not bring tons of new customers to you but every little bit counts.