In today’s 21st century marketplace jewelry companies only have two sources of competitive advantage: They can learn more about their customers than their competitors and they can turn that customer knowledge into perceived superior value propositions before the competition.
The real battle in today’s jewelry market is in creating individual customer strategies. The most valuable assets in any jewelry company are not the inventory, but rather its customers. When jewelry companies cannot be sold, what happens? There is a liquidation of assets. Jewelry store buyers are looking for jewelry stores with loyal customers who consistently purchase. It’s time to manage the relationship with each customer in a more deliberate and strategic manner.
The jewelry industry has joined the interactive era and that means that loyal customers expect to receive more relevant information in more timely fashion. For decades jewelry stores have used the strategy of carrying the best brands to create a competitive advantage. This has helped stores leverage the creation of brand awareness of their own store brand. What needs to change is the approach to the customer. Now jewelry stores have the opportunity through interactive marketing to listen and learn more about each customer’s needs, wants, demands and desires. Jewelry stores can improve their offerings of brand name jewelry and reinforce customer loyalty to their own store through improved on-going dialogue with each customer.
Jewelers need to do more with their point of sales software systems. Jewelry marketers should be using these tools to develop customer specific objectives and customer specific sales and action plans. Mass marketing communicates to all the customers with the same message. Today, customers expect marketing communication messages from their favorite companies to be personalized and tailored to their individual approaches to fashion, accessories, and jewelry. This is the essence of customer relationship management.
Customer relationship management takes your point of sale software beyond tracking transactions and inventory management. It is a viable approach to merchandising management because an interactive approach to customers will better project true demand for specific jewelry items from individual customers. Using a point of sale system to only track inventory is an example of efficiency. Using a point of sale system to support more interactivity with customers and learn more about each customer before the competition and deliver perceived superior value propositions before the competition is the means to operating more effectively. Make 2012 the year your company focuses on developing more sophisticated approaches to customer relationship management and interactive marketing.
Take away messages:
- Expand the company’s point of sale software to include customer relationship management
- Begin to further understand how to implement interactive marketing
- Create competitive advantage by better understanding the needs, wants, demands, and desires of individual customers
- Use customer knowledge to create superior value propositions
- Prioritize effective marketing strategies over operating efficiencies
- Create more brand awareness for the jewelry store through customer relationship management and interactive marketing
- Some customers are worth more to your jewelry company than others and customer relationship management can improve customer lifetime value