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It’s Not About Price, But About the Experience

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It’s Not About Price, But About the Experience

The battle for market-share is raging between traditional stores and online operations. And this is not confined to the diamond jewelry sector, it’s taking place in every consumer category. Currently, the frontline is most obvious in the U.S., the world’s largest economy, where online commerce is most developed and its penetration the deepest.

In some sectors, the online buying experience may be better than in the Main Street; however that is not necessarily the case with diamond jewelry.

By definition, the online experience is different in many ways from the physical store experience. In college, a lecturer once described to a class I took the difference in approach between making movies and making TV dramas in terms of what he called “viewers’ consideration.”

Watching TV at home, he said, meant sitting in full light, the phone rings on occasion, people around you are talking, there are commercial breaks, you jump to the kitchen to grab something and you are always aware that there are other channels with other, possibly more interesting, programs just a few remote-control clicks away. Moreover, while you are paying for cable service, in your mind the program is free.

To see a movie, you get dressed, travel to the theater, and sit in the darkness with all attention on the screen, with a great sound system supporting the experience and with hardly any distractions. You paid for the ticket, the popcorn and maybe for parking, possibly even for a babysitter. You have much more “consideration” involved in the movie and your attention goes along with your investment – you are far more focused and patient with a movie at a theater than with an episode of a TV drama at home.

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These differences affect the way the two are made. An opening scene in a movie can be slow, start with a large vista or a very little detail and take time to reveal the scene. In TV, the lecturer said, you have to grab viewers’ attention immediately or they’ll change channels – a broadcaster’s biggest fear.

The same differences of consideration exist between online and offline stores. A dude sitting in his underwear in front of his laptop, munching out of a bag of chips has very little invested and therefore little commitment to sticking with the website. He can easily jump from one website to the next, while all along the phone is distracting him, a friend is walking into his house, food in the refrigerator is calling, the neighbors next door are arguing and there is always the temptation to leave the laptop and go out and do something else.

&#8220 Good intentions or cynical marketing, they know that price alone is not enough. &#8221

The website experience takes this into account. It has to present information quickly and make the proposition clear. No doubt, the best hook is a damn good price. This is how most of them compete. Yes, there is service, free delivery and nice graphics. Nevertheless, to keep visitors around, to generate what in online marketing jargon is known as “stickiness,” price is paramount.

Your retail store, in contrast, is a movie theater. A potential buyer already knows what a diamond is, so he may know the general plot of your movie, but the highlights are a surprise, left for the storeowner to unveil at just the right time for maximum impact. Likewise, the mood and setting should be one that focuses attention on the offerings and minimizes outside distractions.

Don’t be afraid of starting slow, there is no need to pounce on the buyer as if he is prey. On the contrary, he made the effort of coming into your store, so you have his attention. More importantly, as buyers clearly want something unique, and different from what their friends have, you can hook him up on the story, the background and everything else that makes your store and jewelry special. No need to sell them primarily on price.

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I have nothing against the online world and its offerings. I buy T-shirts, hardware, computers, mobile phones and groceries online, in addition to tracking my finances, paying bills, making hotel and restaurant reservations and much more. The online world is here to stay. There is no point trying to compete with websites on price. That is their arena. You should fight them where they are weak and you have the advantage – and the physical store’s advantages are many.

Price is not everything. Even Wal-Mart, which built its business on being very low cost, is constantly looking to offer more – community involvement, a commitment to hiring veterans or global responsibility. Good intentions or cynical marketing, they know that price alone is not enough.

True, in the years that passed since that class, TV has become far more cinematic, an era ushered in by The Sopranos and similar programs. Online stores are not yet that evolved, and stores still have plenty of room to compete – on their own terms.

As you think of your great inventory, do you really want to build your business by being known as being cheap? What a horrible thought. Aim high, offer great designs, have an awesome story, and charge accordingly. That is the way to go!

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SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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It’s Not About Price, But About the Experience

mm

Published

on

It’s Not About Price, But About the Experience

The battle for market-share is raging between traditional stores and online operations. And this is not confined to the diamond jewelry sector, it’s taking place in every consumer category. Currently, the frontline is most obvious in the U.S., the world’s largest economy, where online commerce is most developed and its penetration the deepest.

In some sectors, the online buying experience may be better than in the Main Street; however that is not necessarily the case with diamond jewelry.

By definition, the online experience is different in many ways from the physical store experience. In college, a lecturer once described to a class I took the difference in approach between making movies and making TV dramas in terms of what he called “viewers’ consideration.”

Watching TV at home, he said, meant sitting in full light, the phone rings on occasion, people around you are talking, there are commercial breaks, you jump to the kitchen to grab something and you are always aware that there are other channels with other, possibly more interesting, programs just a few remote-control clicks away. Moreover, while you are paying for cable service, in your mind the program is free.

Advertisement

To see a movie, you get dressed, travel to the theater, and sit in the darkness with all attention on the screen, with a great sound system supporting the experience and with hardly any distractions. You paid for the ticket, the popcorn and maybe for parking, possibly even for a babysitter. You have much more “consideration” involved in the movie and your attention goes along with your investment – you are far more focused and patient with a movie at a theater than with an episode of a TV drama at home.

These differences affect the way the two are made. An opening scene in a movie can be slow, start with a large vista or a very little detail and take time to reveal the scene. In TV, the lecturer said, you have to grab viewers’ attention immediately or they’ll change channels – a broadcaster’s biggest fear.

The same differences of consideration exist between online and offline stores. A dude sitting in his underwear in front of his laptop, munching out of a bag of chips has very little invested and therefore little commitment to sticking with the website. He can easily jump from one website to the next, while all along the phone is distracting him, a friend is walking into his house, food in the refrigerator is calling, the neighbors next door are arguing and there is always the temptation to leave the laptop and go out and do something else.

&#8220 Good intentions or cynical marketing, they know that price alone is not enough. &#8221

The website experience takes this into account. It has to present information quickly and make the proposition clear. No doubt, the best hook is a damn good price. This is how most of them compete. Yes, there is service, free delivery and nice graphics. Nevertheless, to keep visitors around, to generate what in online marketing jargon is known as “stickiness,” price is paramount.

Your retail store, in contrast, is a movie theater. A potential buyer already knows what a diamond is, so he may know the general plot of your movie, but the highlights are a surprise, left for the storeowner to unveil at just the right time for maximum impact. Likewise, the mood and setting should be one that focuses attention on the offerings and minimizes outside distractions.

Advertisement

Don’t be afraid of starting slow, there is no need to pounce on the buyer as if he is prey. On the contrary, he made the effort of coming into your store, so you have his attention. More importantly, as buyers clearly want something unique, and different from what their friends have, you can hook him up on the story, the background and everything else that makes your store and jewelry special. No need to sell them primarily on price.

I have nothing against the online world and its offerings. I buy T-shirts, hardware, computers, mobile phones and groceries online, in addition to tracking my finances, paying bills, making hotel and restaurant reservations and much more. The online world is here to stay. There is no point trying to compete with websites on price. That is their arena. You should fight them where they are weak and you have the advantage – and the physical store’s advantages are many.

Price is not everything. Even Wal-Mart, which built its business on being very low cost, is constantly looking to offer more – community involvement, a commitment to hiring veterans or global responsibility. Good intentions or cynical marketing, they know that price alone is not enough.

True, in the years that passed since that class, TV has become far more cinematic, an era ushered in by The Sopranos and similar programs. Online stores are not yet that evolved, and stores still have plenty of room to compete – on their own terms.

As you think of your great inventory, do you really want to build your business by being known as being cheap? What a horrible thought. Aim high, offer great designs, have an awesome story, and charge accordingly. That is the way to go!

Advertisement

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var disqus_shortname = ‘instoremag’; // required: replace example with your forum shortname

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(function() {
var dsq = document.createElement(‘script’); dsq.type = ‘text/javascript’; dsq.async = true;
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})();

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
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Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular