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Megan Crabtree

Foot Traffic May Be Down, But Here’s How You Can Build Your Holiday Business Anyway

These three approaches to client service can have a big impact on your sales.




AS WE APPROACH the holiday season, it’s crucial for jewelry retailers to adapt their clienteling strategies to maintain and grow their customer base. This is especially pertinent considering the recent decline in retail foot traffic during the third quarter, following two exceptional years for our industry due to the impact of COVID-19.

One successful approach that emerged during the pandemic was remote selling, which accounted for a significant portion of business for independent retailers. Even after COVID-19 restrictions eased, this method continued to generate substantial revenue, highlighting its effectiveness and potential for long-term success.

Remote selling requires intention and purpose. Retailers should provide comprehensive training to their teams on how to sell via text messages or video calls, ensuring the experience remains personalized. Employees should learn to utilize data reports to understand customers’ past purchases and recommend items based on their preferences and history. Simplified visuals during video sessions can help recreate an in-store experience, bridging the gap between the physical and virtual realms.

To further enhance brand visibility and attract new customers, jewelry retailers can collaborate with local businesses. Such partners can help you create immersive experiences in your showroom. For instance, having a world-renowned mixologist craft holiday-themed cocktails in-store can create an unforgettable ambiance.

Similarly, identifying influential individuals within the local market can lead to hosting exclusive events where they try on jewelry and share their experiences on social media. Offering incentives to these influencers will encourage them to promote the brand to their followers, thereby expanding your reach and relevance.

Relying solely on foot traffic is no longer sufficient. By embracing remote selling, personalized interactions and collaborations, retailers can increase engagement and foster lasting relationships with customers. My conversations with top independent retailers prove that these strategies work. Those who successfully incorporated remote selling during COVID-19 shared with us that it accounted for 40% of their business during that time. Even after the pandemic’s impact subsided, remote selling still contributed to 20% of their overall sales.


To optimize clienteling efforts, jewelry retailers should develop comprehensive training guides that emphasize personalization, product knowledge and sales techniques for remote interactions. Investing in robust customer relationship management tools can streamline data analysis and enhance the personalization of recommendations. Regularly evaluating and tweaking these strategies based on customer feedback and market trends is essential for long-term success.

Retail jewelers must evolve their approach to clienteling this holiday season. By employing remote selling, leveraging customer data, creating immersive in-store experiences, and partnering with local influencers, retailers can create personalized experiences that drive sales and establish meaningful connections with customers.

Megan Crabtree is the founder and CEO of Crabtree Consulting. Before founding Crabtree Consulting, Megan had a successful professional career in the jewelry industry, which culminated with high-level positions at several of the top firms in the retail and manufacturing sectors. Reach her at or visit us at where you can set up a live chat or a 30-minute free consultation.



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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