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Commentary: The Business

Online Spaces Allow Independent Jewelers to Enter the Global Marketplace

Digital opportunities aren’t limited to driving store traffic.

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THE PANDEMIC HAS brought struggles to the jewelry business. At the same time, changes in our industry and consumer behaviors are challenging the ways retailers do business. If you’re a main street jeweler, taking advantage of new digital opportunities is one way you can adapt and thrive.

Until recently, the digital tools available to independent jewelers were somewhat limited, but now, the landscape for jewelers is evolving, creating new ways to thrive in a changing marketplace. Here’s how.

Technology Levels the Playing Field. Digital innovations offer independent jewelers the opportunity to compete with big box retailers and other jewelry giants, not only in helping them reach customers online, but also in providing access to a global marketplace and real-time insights.

Currently, most main street jewelers are drawing upon a number of sources for industry information, news, market trends, the price of diamonds, and more. Until recently, jewelers had to rely on information and appraisal packages from local providers, point of sale systems to manage inventory, and information from a variety of outlets to help turn a profit. Now, jewelers can access that information from a single source, making it easier to compete with larger retailers when it comes to pricing, inventory and industry insights.

It Makes Building Your Inventory More Strategic. In the past, jewelers were often unable to invest in or support the technology required to enter the global marketplace. Now they can leverage global pricing and sourcing simply by going online and establishing connections. Some platforms offer built-in IDEX marketplace services in which suppliers can share inventory. Features like these allow jewelers to manage their inventory and secure new products at a fair price.

It Helps Bring Traffic to Your Store. Digital platforms also pave the way for further expansion into the local community by driving store traffic and providing tools to help jewelers serve those customers when they arrive. It can, for example, be offering an easier appraisal process, presenting real-time values or providing an added level of trust between the customer and jeweler.

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The Future of the Main Street Jeweler. As the capabilities of digital platforms expand, we can expect to see more and more independent jewelers adopting these technologies to strategically manage inventories and reach customers in new ways. In a time of change in many industries, going digital is one way you can set up your business for success.

Adam Gerety is vice president for platform operations at Jewelers Mutual Group.

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