How Retailers Can Corral Customers

Five low- to no-cost ideas to get shoppers through your door

Marketing is one of the more expensive costs for any jewelry store—and when times are tough, it’s one of the first things to get trimmed from the budget. In some ways, that’s not such a bad thing. As famed retail magnate John Wanamaker once said, “Half my marketing budget is wasted—I just don’t know which half.”

Unfortunately, John was probably being optimistic. Most jewelry stores are probably wasting close to 75 percent of their marketing budget, so cutting it isn’t such a tragedy—provided you don’t stop marketing altogether. If you need to cut your expenses—and let’s face it, we could all benefit from a little nip and tuck—here are some ideas:

Market to Your Surrounding Environment

One of the most effective ways to attract new customers is to market to shoppers and staff in your immediate vicinity. Employees at nearby businesses are often overlooked as sources of revenue, yet these people often walk past your store several times per day. Consider putting out a “daily offer” flyer in your town. It may take the form of a discount, a free ring cleaning, half-price batteries—whatever you want to do to get people into your store and create the opportunity to make a sale. Be sure to create the habit—perhaps every Monday morning. After a few weeks, people will start to look for that weekly offer.

Build Reciprocal Relationships

One of the most effective and cheapest forms of marketing is to build on relationships other businesses already have with their customers. We used to offer a $20 voucher to a nearby hairdresser to give to his customers. Even men getting a $20 haircut would receive one. It was a great add-on value for him and brought us new customers. The cost to us? A $20 voucher translated to about $8 wholesale in goods; we had an average sale of roughly $80 per voucher, so the effective cost was a 10 percent discount. We achieved more than $1,000 in sales as a result of these $20 vouchers! The great thing about vouchers is that they cost nothing if customers don’t come in. What other form of marketing can get customers into your store for $8 with no upfront outlay?

Get Into the Community


Community groups are always interested in having a guest speaker or taking a tour of a local business. Don’t underestimate the interest in jewelry. Why not open up your workshop for a community group and show them how you make a ring? There is good mileage to be had in giving people a glimpse of what is often thought of as the mysterious world of fine jewelry.

Send Press Releases

The media work on deadlines and are always looking for stories that are packaged in a simple, straightforward way. If you’ve done something of genuine community interest, send out a press release. Don’t bombard media outlets with sales pitches about your new products. But if you’ve hosted a fundraiser with a local athlete, then a few photos and details about the event (rather than about you) can have a positive impact.

Embrace Social Media

With Facebook introducing promoted posts, social media is clearly becoming more about paying to reach prospects. That said, the site still offers a way of building awareness for little or no cost, and most jewelry stores aren’t taking advantage of it as well as they might.

Cutting marketing costs is always a worthwhile endeavor. Cutting marketing altogether is a mistake. There are still plenty of ways to stay in front of your customers without giving up. For more no-cost marketing ideas and a free copy of our e-book, How to Effectively Market Your Jewelry Store, go to

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