How many sterling silver lines should you carry in your store? Over the last few years the increased price of precious metals had all fine jeweler wondering that same question. The answer is probably as many as it takes to satisfy the desires of your local customers. The sterling silver jewelry from Frederic Duclos is known for forward thinking new styles whereas Thistle & Bee focuses on providing sterling silver with classical elegance. Only you would know which one to carry in your store and that's something you will need to think about while you attend jewelry trade shows.
Before you choose any new designers or restock inventory I want you to think about how you will create marketing around the jewelry you are considering. If I owned a jewelry store, I would only consider buying from vendors and designers that have press kits and established marketing material as well as matched the tastes of my local market. That's because inventory sitting in your store is useless unless you also have an easy way to advertise it.
Let me ask a question that I want you to answer truthfully for yourself. Without marketing support direct from the vendor, will you have the time to come up with marketing of your own?
For the past few years I've been attending jewelry trade shows as a member of the press. As a jeweler you may not know that most trade shows have press rooms where reporters and writers can relax, get a little work done, call the office, and use a computer. Several savvy vendors will also leave press kits in these rooms in hopes that a reporter will read it, visit their booth, and run a story. I view these press kits, not as sources for stories, but as a reason to seriously consider those vendors and designers as good lines to carry in a store. I usually visit many of those vendors with press kits and I keep track of them as worth vendors that my jewelers should be involved with.
Any vendor willing to spend the time to create a press kit will also understand the important role they play in helping you sell their product. Here's a specific steps on how that important role plays out...
1. Browse the trade show and find a line you like.
2. Before asking about their "best sellers" or "hot items," ask them if they have a press kit for you to look at.
3. If they don't have a press kit, and if you have a very small "open to buy" then you should seriously consider moving on to the next vendor.
4. Look through any press kit that they do have before selecting items. In the press kit you should look for photos of their products, finished ads, write-ups in magazines, designer bios, stories about the making of the jewelry, and stories of the inspiration behind the jewelry. You don't need all of these items, but the bios and the stories are most important for online marketing.
5. Assuming they have a good press kit, you need to ask the designer if they would be willing to help you with your marketing, specifically asking if they would be willing to do an online video interview or a telephone interview. You also need to find out the type of other marketing support they have.
6. Their willingness to help you sell their product will make the difference between turning their line a few times a year, or having it sit there for 2300 days.
Most vendors do not understand what I've just explained, and perhaps you don't see the importance yet either. You see, the press kit is a good indication that the vendor understands that there is a need to get their name out into the public eye and that they are the key to getting that done correctly. Those vendors understand that they will sell more products when more people talk about them. You, the local jeweler, could be one of those people doing the talking.
In this Daily Golden Nugget so far I've use a lot of jewelry trade lexicon, but now I'd like to show you how it all fits together with online marketing by relating these terms together...
* talking = blogging
* stories = more blogging as well as videos
video interview = a recorded Google+ Hangout, or a V-By demo
* telephone interview = pod cast or the source material for a blog
* finished ads = usable in your local advertising, as in-store signage, and as creatives for Facebook ads and AdWords banners.
So you see, the bottom line of today's Nugget it make you understand that the next time you go to stock up on your inventory you should very carefully consider which vendors will "partner" with you and stay away from those vendors that only want to push product.
In tomorrow's Nugget I'll explain a little more detail about each of the 4 bullet points above.