With a slowing in silver and the market in diamonds having renewed interest, it’s a good time for any jeweler to revisit their bridal business. Many will probably feel this has all but gone underground in the last 2 years, and whether anyone is even getting married! There is a market out there however and many of our clients are benefitting from an improving average sale in this area as consumer confidence returns.
Building bridal sales is not a two minute job however and does require a long term commitment, but with patience and perseverance this can become an important part of your store’s business if it isn’t already. Your strategy needs to consist of several key areas:
- Having the right inventory
- Having the right customer benefits
- Having the right staff
- Having the right marketing
Inventory: Start with the right inventory. If your selection isn’t right, then the customer won’t buy. It’s a proven fact that a good seller in one store or market can continue to be a good seller elsewhere. There is a host of data available about what sells well and who provides it. Stack the odds in your favor and make the most of this information. There are important questions you need to ask as well:
- What is your current % of Bridal sales?
- What is your goal % of Bridal sales?
- What is your current average engagement retail price?
- What is the current diamond size & shape you sell the most? And do you have a good selection in stock?
- Do you have a private label diamond or branded designer bridal line?
Customer Benefits: You have to give customers a reason to buy. Every customer has objections, and identifying and answering these objections will be necessary to get them to the point of purchase. You need to remove the risk and accept it as your own.
- Do you offer a diamond protection guarantee?
- Do you have an aggressive trade-in policy or diamond pledge?
- Do you have an aggressive layaway policy?
- Do you have an aggressive financing plan?
- Where and how will you be displaying the merchandise?
- Do you have a Referral Program?
- Do you offer a “free” gift with every engagement ring purchase?
Example: a gift bag with jewelry cleaner, how to care for your jewelry, appraisal, list of services/warranties, referral card
(Also look to cross market with other bridal vendors to donate gift cards or coupons to be included in this bag as well)
Staff: Put as much effort into selling it as you did in buying it. If your staff are disinterested, uninformed or uneducated in the art of selling diamonds, then all your efforts in other areas will get you nowhere.
- Which employees can sell bridal?
- Who has the highest average retail in bridal?
- Will your new bridal plan require training?
- Do you enforce turnovers in your store?
Marketing: You have to tell people you are in the bridal market. One of the best sayings I have heard from a client is that running a business without marketing yourself is like winking in the dark! Being in retail is a numbers game and you need to feed the numbers in the front in order to get the sales out the back.
- Will you need additional marketing support?
- What will the budget be?
- Do you have co-op available?
- Where will the bridal customers come from?
- What other resources will be needed to make it successful?
- How will you define success?
- How often will you measure?
Following through on these 4 key areas will see you go a long way towards making your bridal business a much more effective contributor to your storewide sales.
David Brown is president and founder of The Edge Retail Academy, a company offering industry benchmarking and management advice to increase profits. If you would like more information on how The Edge Retail Academy can help you control your inventory and add more dollars to your bottom line contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call 877-569-8657 or visit www.edgeretailacademy.com.