Five Situational Influences in Jewelry Purchase Decision Making

There are multiple situational influences that may affect the outcome of any jewelry purchase: physical features, social features, time, task features, and current conditions.

1.Physical features of jewelry include eye appeal through color, stylish design, and the fire of well-cut stones. Retail jewelers rely on inventory selection and depth to engage jewelry shoppers. Store atmospherics play a role in stimulating shoppers to become comfortable enough to become emotionally involved in jewelry purchase decisions. Sales representatives should try to introduce shoppers to new purchase categories. Informing shoppers of the various product categories the store carries can pay big dividends. Few customers consider all of the categories of products a store offers. Expanding sales with current customers is less expensive and often enhances store profitability.

2.Social features address how other people important to the buyer may react to the jewelry. Sometimes shoppers really like a piece of jewelry, but decline due to fear of how others might react to their purchase. Here, reference groups can be a source of encouragement or become a barrier. Sometimes shoppers find a fabulous piece of jewelry they love, but decline because they anticipate it may draw too much attention to them. Some customers need help in finding the self-confidence to make some fashion statements, including jewelry.

3.Time plays an ever-growing importance to jewelry sales. Holiday sales represent the majority of sales for many retail jewelry stores. Effectively communicating with prospective jewelry customers is very important because there are so many substitutes for jewelry purchases. Design marketing communication strategies to motivate potential customers to come into the store earlier for each purchase occasion. Set in-store appointments to serve shoppers as personal fashion guides delivering high-end luxury shopping experiences. Consider specific marketing strategies based on increasing store foot traffic.

4.Buying jewelry is sometimes a well-defined task. Use customer relationship management tools to yield the best opportunity to sell wedding, anniversaries and birthday jewelry purchases. Some men are very task-oriented when buying jewelry and appreciate the assistance that minimizes the total amount of time invested when purchasing the right jewelry gifts. Time also relates to the social activity of shopping and convenience. Some shoppers just require more time to find the right jewelry piece to consider buying, or when they do find that special piece they need more time before they make the final decision. Task features influence jewelry buyers due to specific needs such as gift-giving. Keep self-gifting in mind too.

5.Current conditions are another component of situational influences. There are times when buyers feel they have the cash or economic clout to afford expensive jewelry. Many shoppers save funds for holiday purchases. Layaway is a time-tested approach to helping shoppers afford jewelry purchases. Trunk shows often prompt customers to consider new purchases. Help loyal customers find jewelry to wear on their vacations—rather than buying new jewelry on their vacations.

Professional jewelry sales representatives realize the need to understand what is driving a shopper to visit a retail store. Selling strategies help sales associates better serve the needs, wants, demands, and desires of jewelry customers. Understanding how jewelry shoppers are influenced to buy is just good business.

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