Mid-America Show Seminar Tips, Part 1

The Mid-America Jewelry Show in Columbus, Ohio, always has a crowded education schedule, and last weekend’s was no exception. Topics ranged from video marketing to visual merchandising. 

In a two-part blog, we’ll take a look at some of the seminar topics in detail, including presentations on how to understand a retailer’s four key customer groups, and how to best manage and master the top five social media websites.

The Edge Retail Academy’s business development manager, Darci Aselage, provided customer-centric advice for retailers in her Friday seminar, the first day of the weekend show dedicated to educational sessions. In the context of her “PEER Insight = PURE Insight” presentation, Aselage addressed a store’s four key customer groups and how to better clientele and sell them, starting with the female self-purchaser, a customer group that’s all about service and relationship building.

In addition to learning more about these customers through dialogues—engage them and/or their significant others in conversations—be sure to create wish lists for the female self-purchaser. “Retailers should never have fewer than four items on this customer’s wish-list, all of them at various price points, including an aspiration piece,” says Aselage. “Remember, she is counting on you being her advocate to her significant other on what she really wants.”

Darci Aselage

Darci Aselage of the Edge Retail Academy

The male special-occasion customer, meanwhile, is all about convenience. “When approaching this customer don’t give him ideas—provide actionable solutions, not suggestions,” says Aselage. “Don’t turn his buying trip into a shopping trip; make it quick and convenient for him to buy.”

For the bridal customer, Aselage mentioned this oft-quoted statistic: 74 percent of engagement customers don’t buy the wedding bands at the store where the ring was purchased. She suggested “Her, him, and them” strategies salespeople could employ after the engagement ring sale: Try offering the woman a complimentary bridal bag when she visits your store; it could include jewelry cleaner, a brochure on how to take care of her jewelry, a ring holder or freshwater pearl bracelet, and a compelling offer to shop with you again in the future. Other “him” and “them” after-sale strategies include a big push to sell the couple his wedding band, her wedding band, the wedding day gift, attendants gifts, and the first anniversary gift.

The repair customer should be contacted every six to 11 months with the offer of a free cleaning and inspection. Encourage the customer to bring in other jewelry—even items not purchased at your store. The complimentary services could lead to more important repairs and possible sales while garnering loyalty.

Brad Simon, president of Internet 4 Jewelers, led a seminar on how to set up, customize, and better manage the top five social media websites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and WordPress—or what Simon called the “social media power cluster.” 

Social media management websites such as Social Oomph, Hoot Suite, and Market Me Suite offer free or paid premium services.

Brad Simon

Brad Simon, president of Internet 4 Jewelers

The benefits for retailers include the ability to manage messages, news feeds, or uploads from the big three—Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn—from a single dashboard.  

Of the aforementioned sites, Simon likes Hoot Suite’s free service, as it fits most of the basic social media management needs of the average retail jeweler. “Those looking to do more can try the premium, paid services,” said Simon.

For retailers looking to do more with YouTube, Simon suggested Tube Toolbox. The site allows users to search for people in a similar geographical area as well as those with like interests.

“Once a group of people has been identified, you can send messages through Tube Toolbox to invite them to view your videos and your YouTube channel,” said Simon. “This will increase unique views of your videos and increase fans on your YouTube channel.”