While retail often relies on black-and-white data and a strict bottom line, the business of selling fine jewelry involves not only the science and logistics of retail but also the art and emotion inherent in high-end luxury goods. Delivering the best customer experience requires culling key information from both sides, then plugging it into the most innovative technology available. And New York City–based jewelry company Gabriel & Co. has been on the forefront of this effective approach for two and a half decades.
The brand attributes much of its success over the past 25 years to designing jewelry for women who know what they want. By keeping itself visible to consumers online, Gabriel & Co. boasts over 1.2 billion interactions on social media with its audience.
Most notably, the brand excels in utilizing social media to merchandise to its customer in a thoughtful and effective way, while also gleaning useful information in order to best service its retail partners. Gabriel has also successfully created an embed that provides drop shipment either directly to the retailer’s store or to the consumer. The retailer receives full monetary credit and Gabriel means full monetary credit—all of the retail profit is given to the retailer minus shipping and handling, rounding out a robust omnichannel experience.
The key to using social media effectively is to have meaningful interactions with the customer. “It’s about understanding social media first,” explains Dominick Gabriel, co-owner of Gabriel & Co. “It’s not about just putting up any product; it’s about putting up product that will connect with your customer in a much deeper way. You need to understand and be invested in them.
“Social interaction is like going to a party,” he adds. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know and how you can connect to people.”
Dominick cites a 2016 Google study that showed traffic was down by 50% in retail outlets, but business was up 21% overall. “How is this possible? It’s because consumers want to research, but they don’t want to walk into 10 different stores to find what they like,” he says. “It involves figuring out who your target audience is, then connecting with them through posts that are relevant to them.”
Gabriel & Co. dedicates considerable time and resources to understanding its customers’ interests, tastes, and lifestyles—and to honing its social media strategy to engage consumers effectively and to steer them to its retail partners. “All of that, believe it or not, is a huge database,” says Dominick. “You need all of that data, and you need to understand how to mine that data to understand what the consumer will respond to. Jewelry is art and science combined.”
Jack Gabriel, co-owner of Gabriel & Co., echoes this sentiment. “We strive to harmoniously combine our online and offline strategies to produce a seamless omnichannel experience that ultimately serves today’s consumer needs,” he says. “By doing that, we can take consumer servicing to the next level, addressing every type of shopper.”
With a solid foundation in place to thoroughly understand the consumer’s likes and lifestyle, Gabriel & Co. can implement the right tools to support their retail partners in delivering the most effective, meaningful experience for customers shopping in a brick-and-mortar location.
Tools such as a digital showroom where shoppers can access the entire Gabriel & Co. product line and see all of their options, not just those in-store, allow retailers to appeal to their customers on an emotional level—and to do so through state-of-the-art technology.
“The future is understanding what the customer likes and doesn’t like,” says Jack. “Through meaningful connections, we understand how to best merchandise to our customers. And in sharing our knowledge with our retail partners, we create a seamless omnichannel experience where everyone benefits.”
Customization is another key to Gabriel & Co.’s success. The company recognizes that customers want to feel unique, so its merchandising displays products in all colors and shapes. It also showcases customization through the cutting-edge technology of the Gabriel Magic App.
The Gabriel Magic App is an augmented-reality tool that allows for customization plus a 360-degree view that lets the customer see exactly how a piece will look on her hand. Video links enable her to share Gabriel & Co.’s computerized three-dimensional view of the custom item with friends and family—and to have it on hand (literally and figuratively) while finalizing her order.
“There will always be customization in the luxury market; that’s part of luxury,” says Jack, “and consumers want to see all of their options, so we’re making it easier for them to interact by putting the option to personalize pieces at their fingertips. We engage the consumer through our Gabriel Magic App and give them the ability to tweak a design or fully customize a piece if they choose. Then we send them to our retail partner.”
By combining cutting-edge technology with extensive knowledge of jewelry and luxury, Gabriel & Co. provides a robust omnichannel experience—one that the company continually strives to evolve and perfect.