Jewelry shopping is often an interactive affair. The customer asks questions, the store associate provides knowledgable insights, and there’s the opportunity for customers to try things on. But, during Covid-19, where health and safety is of paramount concern to all, this interactive experience has taken a battering.
While some customers are braving stores, many still aren’t. We recently surveyed 2,000 US consumers to get a better understanding of their shopping behaviors during Covid-19, and here’s what we discovered:
- 86% of consumers who normally visit luxury brands were avoiding visits to stores.
- 83% of consumers who normally visit fashion and apparel brands were avoiding visits to stores.
This raises an important question – how can jewelry retailers provide a detailed and consultative experience to consumers who are reluctant to visit their stores?
Many prominent jewelry chains are taking their services online by connecting consumers with in-house experts over video call, and they are using appointment scheduling software to power the process.
Why jewelry retailers are investing in virtual shopping and styling services
Believe it or not, but there is strong demand for virtual services, especially in today’s Covid-19 era.
According to the same survey, 61% of customers said they wanted virtual service by phone or video from essential retailers while an additional 32% want virtual service from non-essential retailers.
Luxury department store retailer, Selfridges, and its sister company Brown Thomas (both resellers of jewelry brands such as Bvlgari, Cartier and Tiffany and Co.), are offering the virtual service for its jewelry brands, enabling customers to select time-slots with virtual styling experts.
A number of other prominent jewelry brands are also offering similar services, such as Tiffany & Co., Mulberry, and Watches of Switzerland, while fine jewelry brand, Annoushka, enables customers to use a multitude of innovative video calling and sharing solutions to bring its collections to life through SaaS partner HERO.
Here are three compelling reasons why jewelry retailers are enabling virtual appointments with in-house experts:
1) It’s a safe way for customers to shop
Sure, some consumers might be up for visiting your stores, but for those who would rather stay in the safety and comfort of their own homes, virtual appointments is an excellent alternative.
2) It provides an engaging and highly personalized experience
A huge selling point to these virtual one-to-one appointments is the personalization element. Customers have the opportunity to ask questions and store associates have time to prepare answers in advance, especially when customized questions are included in the booking process. Many quality booking systems also come with regular updates and notifications, allowing customers to stay engaged during and after their session.
3) It’s easy for customers to use
Booking an appointment with a virtual consultant is so easy, many of your customers who don’t mind visiting a store will start using the service. Customers can book appointments in a matter of seconds, and join calls from their smartphones at times that suit them. And video calling has become increasingly commonplace, especially as a result of Covid-19, so consumers are significantly more comfortable with the channel.