Merrick, NY--It looks like change is happening quite a bit faster than most people expected, in terms of the in-store activity in the Fine Jewelry industry and for retail in general.
What do I mean by this?
Most everyone now agrees that virtually nothing is purchased anymore without advance online fact finding, including social media input, reviews of all types, search, site visits, texting with friends, and the list goes on.
This trend in many ways replaces the need for in-store research and comparison shopping, leaving the actual purchase and after-sale service for a store visit.
This would explain why store visitor counts are slipping, while 90% or more of consumer jewelry purchases are done in stores. That 90% figure will reduce gradually over the next 25 years, but what is changing radically is the nature of the sale from jeweler to consumer.
One wonders how the need for selection in a jewelry store changes as the consumer much more often shows up knowing exactly what she or he wants?
Also, due to the endless pipeline of products in packages being shipped by online retailers to consumers (who doesn't know someone with a package on the way right now?), people are becoming more and more accepting of waiting several days to receive what they want. So the jeweler who can get what they want to them relatively quickly stands to make the sale, even if they don't have the item in stock.
Selection in the store will continue to be very impressive to the consumer in terms of supporting the store's credibility, but will likely drive the sale less moving forward than it has in the past.
Now if better jewelry stores can team up with their vendors to convince the consumer that they have just what the consumer is looking for, we will be golden.
Food for thought...Have a great week ahead!