Stay relevant in a fast-changing industry.

NEW ORLEANS — Katherine Bodoh, CEO of the American Gem Society, is attuned to the importance of keeping retail jewelry stores refreshed, comfortable and up to date. If they are not, potential new customers may well walk away. If they are, it sends the message your business is relevant.

Bodoh focused on that topic during a presentation at the Jewelers of Louisiana annual convention in New Orleans.

I especially enjoyed hearing her topic this month, at a time when INSTORE presents the 2017 roster of America’s Coolest Stores. Although the cool factor certainly extends well beyond appearance and each store is cool in its own way, all stores do need to be freshened up regularly to remain viable.

Millennial shoppers will check out your website first, of course. If it is up-to-date, functional and promising, they will venture into your store, hoping it will match your website in modernity. But if your space is cluttered or seems dated or uncomfortable, they will notice and it will very often influence their shopping decisions.

“When I’ve spoken before about the importance of updating our stores, we’ve gotten feedback that it’s not in the budget or that they are not interior designers,” Bodoh says.

But updates don’t have to cost a lot, she points out.

Here are just a few ideas Bodoh offered:

  • Even painting one accent wall can brighten your outlook along with your customers’ perception of your space.
  • If you don’t have natural light, create window-life effects.
  • If you do have windows, cultivate your team’s creative talents and let them devise eye-catching window displays.
  • Add plants, benches and attractive signage to your exterior for curb appeal.
  • Curate a showcase in your store based on styles and trends popular right now on Pinterest.
  • Take advantage of the walls behind counters to create interesting displays.
  • Offer comfortable seating.
  • Use iPads to display photos or videos.
  • Create bridal stations and custom-design studios.
  • Make sure your counter is big enough for a shopper to place personal belongings.

Most important? Take a moment to see your store through the eyes of a new customer. Hire a mystery shopper or enlist a local 20-something to tell you the truth about your store’s appearance and appeal.

Remember, although your classic jewelry may be timeless, stores DO go out of style.

Make sure that you and your store stay relevant in a fast-changing industry.

This story is tagged under: