SPONSORED CONTENT How to Generate Virtual Appointments for Your Jewelry Store With the current way the world is working, every store should be considering all the ways they can generate sales. One great option is virtual appointments. AWith COVID restrictions still in place for many cities and states across the country, jewelry stores are feeling the pinch with less foot traffic in their stores. However, just because customers may not be able to visit in person doesn’t mean you’re out of luck, it just means it’s time to get creative! Virtual appointments are a great way to help your prospective customers have an enjoyable jewelry shopping experience, as well as help you build brand awareness and loyalty. The good news is that when restrictions are lifted and life eventually returns to normal, your jewelry store will be the first name that comes to mind when your customer thinks about making a purchase by putting in the effort to reach them and connect with them in different ways than you are used to. With that in mind, how do you lay the groundwork for virtual appointments and encourage prospective shoppers to book them? Not to worry, we at GemFind Digital Solutions have made it simple for you to get started by following these steps. CALENDLY AND ZOOM: AN UNBEATABLE COMBINATION You may already have heard of both Calendly and Zoom — both of which have seen an incredible surge in use since the on set of the pandemic. Calendly is a scheduling app. You simply note the dates/times you’re available, and your customer sees those times based on their own local timezone. From there, they can select a time and date and will be reminded of the appointment via email. Zoom is a chat service, like Messenger and Skype. With a simple, free download, it lets several people communicate easily at once from anywhere in the world without needing to create an account. Together, these two free services make it incredibly simple for your prospective customers to schedule an appointment and have a face to face conversation online without ever setting foot in a store. You’ll need to create an account on Calendly and set up your schedule and open dates and times. From here, anytime you want someone to book an appointment, you can simply send them your Calendly link. From there, they simply follow the steps on screen and they’re done. This provides a wide variety of benefits to jewelry store owners, since you can show off your products and selection, answer questions and learn more about your customer’s needs safely and securely. Your prospects will appreciate your dedication to their safety and peace of mind, as well as your willingness to help and learn more about their unique needs. Encourage all of your sales associates to familiarize themselves with the virtual appointment system you put into place so they are comfortable conducting appointments this way. INTEGRATE CALENDLY WITH YOUR CUSTOM LANDING PAGE Calendly works with a variety of different apps and systems (see the whole list here) which means that if you’re already using tools like Zoom, Salesforce or Hubspot, you can integrate them with Calendly in just a few clicks. Rather than driving your prospect’s to Calendly’s landing page to schedule a call, however, it’s a far better use of your existing branding and creative assets to direct them to a custom landing page. Here, although the aim is to encourage them to register for a virtual appointment, you can still include your logo and other aspects of your online jewelry store so that customers can get a sense of what it’s like to shop there and work with you.It’s definitely a refreshing change from the boring, bland calendar appointment apps out there! Adding Call-to-Action Buttons Now that you’ve got your new virtual appointment system set up for your online jewelry store, it’s time to let people know about it! Add call-to-action buttons saying something like “Click To Book a Virtual Appointment” throughout the most visited pages on your website. Be sure to add them to your home page and contact page, as well as on your navigation menu so that people can easily see that they can reach you in a more face-to-face fashion, even if they can’t physically get to your location right now. Leveraging Social Media and Email Marketing Now, simply having a Calendly link and Zoom in place isn’t enough to drive customers to schedule virtual appointments. You have to let them know and give them every reason to want to take the next step to set a time and date to connect with you. Utilize your contact list for frequent email marketing communication and keep the “virtual appointment” service listed in multiple places. Encourage prospective customers to book a short block of time (15-30 minutes) where you’ll answer their questions, provide them with some jewelry options to preview, explain or educate them on their choices and much more. Familiarize yourself with all the avenues you can be active and reach potential clients on Instagram and Facebook. Use Instagram stories to bring to life a custom ring design process, use Instagram Live to answer questions from your followers, or create Facebook events to preview new products. Polls also can help you predict what will be popular and what you should buy deeper into. Your social channels are direct access to your followers, so connect with them! When shoppers realize that they can reach out to you and connect face to face while still getting answers to their questions, you’ve done a great service in placing your brand front of mind when it comes to them ultimately choosing a jeweler to make their purchase. Practice and Train Your Sales Associates It’s important going into the holiday season that all of your sales associates are trained and know how to conduct a productive virtual appointment. Block off some time to have a team training and practice Zoom sessions. Make sure your sales associates are well prepared with the merchandise and digital tools they need to make these appointments count. Set up a specific area in your store where these meetings can be conducted without distraction and provide the personalized shopping experience clients are looking for. Need Assistance Managing Social Media? Social media can easily expand to fill up any free time and attention you give it. Even if you have a regular posting schedule, it can be difficult to give your social media account the attention it needs while answering user questions, conducting your daily business and taking care of customers who come into your store. Fortunately, you can take advantage of GemFind’s comprehensive social media management services. We’ll effortlessly blend in with your brand’s tone, voice and personality while keeping a finger on the pulse of discussions, updates and more. We invite you to learn more about our social media management services and the many other benefits included in our platinum lead generation plans by clicking here. Alex Fetanat is the Founder and CEO of the GemFind Network, the jewelry industry’s premier digital marketing company. GemFind connects the jewelry industry to their customers. GemFind.com is the jewelry industry’s one-stop destination for all B2B online marketing solutions, including Website Development and Execution, Online Advertising and Marketing, and Virtual jewelry and diamond inventory from hundreds of designers/manufacturers and diamond suppliers. Visit our site to learn more about our cutting edge tools and solutions.