I wrote this blog 2 years ago, I find it as relevant today as it was then. Please let me know if your business is suffering from “the Amazon Effect” and how you are dealing with it.
Some might say that the family jeweller is a dying breed because the Internet is killing off business on the high street – Nonsense!
There’s always lots of talk about “the Amazon Effect” where many business are worrying that they just can’t compete. And to be honest if you are just selling the same indistinguishable generic products that can be found all over the highstreet, then no you probably can’t compete, at least not on price. If you’re a family jeweller, perhaps with an old family shop, there’s nothing generic or indistinguishable about you is there?
So the answer? Simple, don’t compete. Offer something that the internet doesn’t have and never will; individuality, face to face good customer service, knowledgeable advice, and most of all, the personal touch. The internet isn’t a storm to be weathered, don’t dig your heels in determined not to change. Many a good retailer has gone forever simply because they didn’t adapt.
So, to survive what should you do? Sometimes you need to take an idea and bring it into a new age. In the past, the out of town/country jeweller was the cornerstone of the high street, today faceless, tasteless multiples rule. What you need to remember is that more and more, people want to buy from people they trust, and can develop relationships with. Customers want the personal touch, and when they have a question they want an expert to be on hand to answer it.
And, as jewellers you are in the best position to offer this service. Because the internet, try as it might, can’t hold a beautiful gem up to the light so it sparkles. The internet can’t size a ring finger on the spot. And the internet can’t tell the customer to drop in any time for a free polish!
I think the family jeweller has many years to run before the internet takes a piece of this action, but it certainly can’t rest on its laurels.
You can share your comments on what issues you are facing in your business due to the internet. Also post the steps you have taken to compete with the effects of the internet on the industry.