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High-End Online Jeweler Thinks More Can Be Done to Personalize Shopping Experience

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E-tailer is leveraging customer data to make recommendations.

Former corporate attorney Jean Z. Poh, the founder of online jewelry retailer Swoonery, has turned to data-collection tools to personalize the online shopping experience, Luxury Daily writes. The article explains how Swoonery uses behavior profiling, machine learning and purchasing tools to recommend pieces by personal preference, “creating an intimate consumer-retailer dialogue, an intrinsic element of jewelry purchasing that has been neglected by the industry at large.”

Writer Jen King of Luxury Daily asks: “There has been a slowdown recently in luxury jewelry and watches. Do you think innovative platforms and ecommerce is the answer to these issues?”

Poh: “I absolutely do think innovation is the answer. Consumer behavior has changed. … The jewelry industry has been ignoring the data and instead maintaining the position that people do not want to buy high-end or designer jewelry online. In a world where 98 percent of affluent consumers shop online and only 5 percent of all online purchases are placed on monobrand sites, it no longer makes sense to resist. However, the key lies in being able to reimagine the personalized luxury experience online and letting the customers’ needs drive innovation.”

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For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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