Can Retailers and Brands Influence Customer Buying Decisions?

Can Retailers and Brands Influence Customer Buying Decisions?

By Jo Henderson of JHJ Consultancy

Do we dictate what sells or are we lead by demand? It’s the age old question ‘Which came first the chicken or the egg?’ Are we as retailers and designers, manufactures and suppliers the ones who create trends and demand, or does the demand exist and we service it? I’m sure you will all agree it’s actually a relatively complex combination of the two.

Is it the brand name or the style that consumers choose?

In this relatively new world (in jewellery at least) where brands reign supreme, are the customers choosing to buy a brand name or a particular style? Again I believe it is both. Even in branded collections the 80/20 rule still seems to apply. Certain lines fly and sell over and over again, while others remain stagnant.

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This can also apply to which store the customer chooses to buy a certain piece or brand from. The retailer in many cases is the umbrella brand, especially if the store is multi branded, and carries its own trusted brand reputation within its locality.

Where you and your team will make the difference and create brand loyalty is through fantastic service and great on-going personal relationships with your customers. Your staff should endeavour to remember the customer(s) and if possible the pieces they have previously purchased to help build rapport, earn their trust and keep them returning to you… even if they could buy exactly the same thing elsewhere

What can we do to influence a customer’s buying choices?

As retailers and brands we can influence, through skilled merchandising, not only what the customer chooses to purchase but how much they spend. Displays must be organised in such a way as to encourage link selling as well as up selling. By grouping sets together and showing hero pieces as the centrepiece you really can make a difference to the value and volume of the transaction.

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I also strongly advocate your staff wearing the jewellery. It amazing how the sales of a certain brand or style will increase if worn by your team, especially the pieces that look better on. If possible allow staff to purchase at cost or incentivise your people to earn jewellery through their ability to sell it. This will give them greater ownership of the brand or style and will make they natural ambassadors for the range.

Should you lead or follow?

This very much depends on your location geographically, the demographic you sell to and the type of business you wish to be. I’ve owned and worked with stores and brands from Central London to small market towns in countryside locations; what will sell and when varies hugely (there is around a 18-month time lag from South to North).

Know your target audience but don’t forget you can, if you wish, create a demand in areas that didn’t exist previously by being passionate about a product or design. If you and your team truly believe in a product embrace it, wear it, champion it and tell the world why it is so wonderful and why they should buy it from you.

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If we all sold the same thing our world would become very boring indeed. Let’s remember we are in a very privileged position as jewellers to advise and promote what is beautiful and of the highest quality.

IJL is #withyou drawing on the expertise and knowledge of industry experts to support your retail business. Discover our Diamond Club of over 500 UK and international retailers and buyers here

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