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Editor's Note

Putting Customers First During a Pandemic Has Meant Adapting

Here’s how we’ve been doing that at INSTORE.

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AS I READ through Eileen McClelland’s exceptional story in this issue on lessons learned by jewelry retailers during the pandemic, I began thinking about the lessons we’ve learned here at INSTORE. For our readers and for us, everything goes back to the same driving motivation: Putting your customer first.

For us, you, the reader, are our customer — as are the advertisers who make it possible for us to do what we do. So, when COVID-19 cases began rising dramatically last March and America went into lockdown, we quickly put together a series of free educational webinars to help everyone in our industry deal with the immediate consequences of the pandemic, as well as plan ahead for the future. In doing so, we relied on the same technology — video conferencing — that many of you turned to for helping your own clients.

We used a similar technology and incorporated social media into our next response to the pandemic, which was INSTORE’s Jewelry Week. Since the June trade shows were canceled, we gave manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their wares through Facebook Live.

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As a result of our newfound comfort with video-based tech, we also conducted two virtual learning conferences in 2021 entitled “INSTORE Live.” It’s really gratifying to be able to share insights from your fellow retailers and business experts through live, interactive video that reaches jewelers from coast to coast.

What lessons are you learning from the pandemic? Let us know, and we’ll continue to share the best practices we come across.

Putting Customers First During a Pandemic Has Meant Adapting

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
[email protected]

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Post “one-day web-only specials” on Cyber Monday and promote in advance on social media. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 28)
  • Set separate holiday cut-off dates for special orders, deliveries and appraisals and make sure every member of staff knows them. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 28)
  • Hire a full-time virtual assistant to help free up your time. (The Big Story, p. 37)
  • At your weekly meeting, offer to buy a premium coffee for the first person who can correctly answer a question from the employee manual. (Ask INSTORE, p. 60)
  • Turn your cellphone off and on at least once per week to protect against hackers. (Tip Sheet, p. 48)

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].

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