It should be no surprise that new technology adoption within the retail jewelry industry is much slower than other industries. What I typically find is that a retail jeweler needs to experience a few situations on their own before they understand the importance of new technology.
The adoption of mobile websites is one of those things that retail jewelers still haven't embraced widely. Now that responsive website designs are available many jewelers will probably take that short cut technique to mobile as their starting point. That's a good start, but I prefer the real mobile website over a responsive website.
The slow adoption of mobile websites by retail jewelers has limited my previous writings about how mobile technology is influencing customer buying decisions. I think the time has finally come to cover a topic that Google introduced in July 2011:
ZMOT: The Zero Moment of Truth.
In 2011 Jim Lecinski, the Vice President, U.S. Sales for Google, Inc., published the eBook Winning the Zero Moment of Truth which opened the eyes of marketing professionals worldwide to the new reality of consumer behavior.
What's the new consumer behavior? It's when a person hears something, sees something, or reads something that they might be interested in spending money on, but instead of asking for more information directly, they search online to see what they can find.
That person is not yet your "customer" but they have a "consumer mindset," as in, they might be interested in spending their money. But they first need to find out if they should spend that money with you.
There has been a lot of media attention on ZMOT since the original eBook was published. Although it started out as an eBook, now Google has created an entire website dedicated to understanding the concept. Forbes, The New York Times, and Harvard Business Review have all written about how important it is for businesses to learn about ZMOT and allow their marketing methods to adapt to it.
For the retail jeweler, understanding ZMOT means you first need to understand how your current advertising fits into other established mental models that consumers go through. What I'm about to explain to you here has already been covered hundreds of times by other bloggers, but I hope is that my jewelry industry spin will help you understand...
In 2005, Procter & Gamble was analyzing consumer behaviors in hopes to better understand the how's and why's of what people were doing. From their point of view, the "First Moment of Truth" happens when a shopper looks through your jewelry showcase at your wide selection and says to you "I'd like to see that one." Naturally there's still a little bit of a salesmanship process before the shopper is convinced to make the purchase, but the consumer buying behavior is officially present when they ask to hold the jewelry.
Just to keep our terminology straight, officially the First Moment of Truth does not occur until money changes hands and that jewelry shopper turns into a "customer." This First Moment of Truth is easy to understand with regard to bead sales, like Pandora or Chamilia, but it's more difficult to understand with long sale cycle items like engagement rings.
As an example, let's say that a woman comes in to make a self-purchase of their first bead bracelet. She will ask to see several of the choices you have in the showcase. That interaction between the shopper and the salesperson is the initial stages of that First Moment, which is completed when money changes hands.
You might not know it yet, but your sales cycle continues after that customer walks out the door. She might be happy about her self-purchase, but her real feelings about it may not appear until she shows the bracelet to her friends. Here are some potential reactions by her friends:
1. Will the friends approve of the self-purchase?
2. Will they be jealous?
3. With they ask where she got it from?
4. Will her friends comment that her husband will be too blind to notice?
5. Will her friends dislike the beads she chose?
Believe it or not, that conversation and those questions between her and her friends are actually part of your sales cycle. Any favorable response to the first 4 questions will solidify the purchase and eliminate any possibility for buyer's remorse. But if her friends dislike any of the beads there is a potential that the entire purchase will be returned.
Procter & Gamble understood this moment of when the purchase would either be reinforced or buyer's remorse would set in. They coined the name "Second Moment of Truth" to represent it.
I hope it's easy to see and understand these two "Moments of Truth" with the above example, but what isn't so apparent is what comes next for the woman who made the self-purchase.
Assuming her friends react favorably, she might decide to post a review on Yelp, Google+, CitySearch, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, or even to your website. Her good experience with your salesmanship coupled with the reactions of her friends, might be motivation enough for her to write a favorable review about your jewelry store, about your salesperson, or about the brand of beads you sold her. That review becomes part of the online profile of your jewelry store for the next customer to see.
The next shopper that comes along might not actually be in your store, but perhaps he is sitting home on a Sunday afternoon when your newspaper advertisement for the latest line of Chamilia Disney Beads peeks their interest. He's not head of Chamilia, and he's certainly not heard of your jewelry store because he never buys jewelry, but his wife loves Disney and would probably love a bracelet of Disney beads. This is his unique stimulus that makes him want to find out more. Instead of visiting your store in person, he picks up his smartphone and does a Google search for Chamilia and/or your jewelry store name.
To his surprise the Google search returns the Chamilia bracelet review that the previous self-purchaser made. That review creates a positive feeling associated with your jewelry store, which is further reinforced when he visits your website to see the assortment of other Chamilia beads that would match the Disney beads shown in your newspaper ad.
He found all this out from his smartphone... This is his Zero Moment of Truth.
For a retail jeweler, the ZMOT can only happen if:
1. You have a website with a full assortment of jewelry with lots of information.
2. It helps to have positive reviews by previous customers.
3. Your placement in the search engines has been optimized.
4. You need to create the "stimulus" that motivates people to do that search.
What I've described here is really just the tip of the iceberg regarding the Zero Moment of Truth. Take some time to explore the ZMOT website to see how it can relate to the retail jeweler.