Jewellers should work to establish greater consistency across all of their sales channels this year to take full advantage of the ongoing shift to online shopping in the luxury goods sector, a prominent digital expert has suggested.
Speaking at an event hosted by Diginius at Google’s St Giles HQ in London on 20 February, Champions(UK) plc’s Digital Director, Amad Tababa told the UK jewellery industry’s leading lights that integrating their platforms will not only deliver a better customer journey but also increase revenues and cut costs.
Tababa explained his logic, saying: “centralising your data in one place will save you time in the long run and deliver greater consistency throughout all your selling channels, including your websites, social media, marketplaces and bricks-and-mortar stores”.
He continued: Your integration structure should link your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning or POS, your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and your website to provide you with a more seamless business structure that relies less on manual inputs and, therefore, reduces your admin costs and the risk of human error.”
Joined on the panel by Robert Lockyer, CEO of luxury packaging specialists Delta Global, Rafael Campos of ecommerce software company VTEX, Mike Burns of Pursuit Software Ltd and Lara Zeineddine of Google, Tababa set out how the exclusive event’s 50 attendees could apply his advice directly to their own businesses.
Conventional ecommerce wisdom would tell us that people shopping for luxury items still want to look at goods in person to get a feel for the quality of a product and, for example, inspect the cut of the diamonds. This assumption leads many retailers to focus almost exclusively on the in-store experience.
However, the stats suggest the tide has turned, Tababa explained. With 40.5% of watch and jewellery shoppers preferring to shop online, recent forecasts by Euromonitor indicate almost one fifth of global luxury sales - a cool €74 billion – will take place online by 2025.
Many consumer journeys in this space begin online these days, of course. Targeted by Google Shopping Ads, seeing adverts on Instagram and browsing jewellers’ websites, it’s no surprise consumers are now more likely to simply purchase online.
That sense is reinforced by Euromonitor’s research, which indicates that 69% of shoppers would rather consult a review on their phone while they’re in a shop than ask for a store assistant’s advice.
Shopping online also offers up more convenient shopping experiences for consumers. With the ability to secure finance options, arrange to ‘click and collect’ and to be able to return products, it’s easy to see why purchasing jewellery online is a favourite of the modern consumer.
Looking at the evidence, Tababa insisted that the in-store jewellery shopping experience should not be neglected but explained that an integrated online journey plays a key role in directing shoppers to physical stores.
He said: “The internet, in all its manifestations, is a research tool for jewellery shoppers, just like it is in any other line of business. So, smart jewellers should recognise that and integrate all their channels to make the journey to their store - online or physical - is as smooth as possible for their audiences.”
The event panel agreed that it is difficult to thrive in such a fast-moving jewellery environment, especially for smaller or new businesses. They stressed that jewellers offering greater innovation will have something of a competitive edge, using personalisation as a useful example.
Shopping for jewellery is often an emotional experience, so it’s important to make online shopping as personal as possible. Offering customers the option to customise their jewellery online and having those creations delivered directly to their doors, jewellers can innovate in personalised ways that help them stay ahead of the digital curve.