While 2018 was a year of growth for many retailers and brands, steepening tariffs on Chinese goods, the stock market fluctuations, and the contraction of brick-and-mortar stores continues to spook many stakeholders. Add to that a fickle consumer, and it can be a daunting task for anybody in the fine jewelry business to anticipate which way the wind will blow in 2019. It’s particularly hard on retailer owners who are increasingly asking themselves whether they have a future, or at the very least, how they can prosper in the age of digital commerce.
It’s a climate not lost on Gabriel & Co., run by brothers Jack and Dominick Gabriel. “There’s some anxiety because people realize there’s a revolution taking place at retail,” says Dominick. “But retail is not dead. It’s simply evolving for those who are keen to take advantage of the new digital environment.”
The brothers explain that the future of retail stores will likely be smaller physical footprints with less inventory and with a significant presence online enabling consumers to do research before making any in-store visit. Savvy retailers will increasingly look to brands that are making investments in technologies as partners in this new retail model.
“Gabriel & Co. has been investing in retailers for well over 10 years with top-notch marketing digital and print programs to help them succeed with today’s consumer trends,” says Jack.
By leading the industry with its own tech advances, Gabriel & Co. is poised to help its retailer partners stay relevant to today’s consumers.The company has invested in a number of programs designed to support the retailer by giving them virtual access to its extensive inventory. Through their proprietary eShopNShop® embed, retailers can tap into this inventory, curated by current trends, social media engagement by consumers, and proven best sellers.
“Customers can purchase the item seamlessly while we, at Gabriel & Co., still protect and reward the retailer with the full credit for the sale,” says Dominick. Retailers can, therefore, unsaddle themselves of massive amounts of inventory, while also saving the accompanying real estate costs.
Gabriel & Co. can also educate the retailer on new trade practices such as digital advertising, web-browsing technology advancements, and how to use digital and traditional marketing to engage customers.
The brand provides consumer-facing customer service as well as marketing efforts. A customer can select an engagement ring, fill out a form, and a member of the Gabriel Concierge Team will then contact the customer and direct them to the nearest retailer. The brand also produces an annual Gabriel Magazine and has developed a Gabriel Magic app with augmented reality providing connectivity to the brand for further communication on customization. In addition, GabrielTV provides a proprietary in-store broadcasting system running the latest brand messages, product news, social media and designer collaborations, all customized to specific stores giving a complete consumer Gabriel & Co. experience.
Gabriel & Co. goes one step further by helping to educate a retailers’ sales associates on the Gabriel & Co. brand story while connecting the retailer with consumers on milestones, gift-giving occasions, and self-purchasing trends. The brand, of course, also provides sales forces with detailed information on the product itself, including metals, gemstones, and how it is made.
“We view retailers as a Gabriel & Co. store and our retailers as partners: We are together on this journey,” says Jack.