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The Problem With Great Expectations and More Tips for October




The Problem With Great Expectations and More Tips for October

Customer Preservation

Nothing quite says the personal touch like home cooking. Valerie Jean Fairchild, owner of Fairchild and Co. in Santa Fe, NM, stays in touch with clients by sending them her peaches and apricot preserves in the weeks ahead of the holiday season. “Clients appreciate the genuine article of a home-made gift instead of a gift purchased from a catalog,” Fairchild says.

The importance of saying 'I don't know'

Do what Sheret Jewelers did and work with your fellow downtown retailers for a holiday shopping event.

A Very Merry Main Street

A great shopping quarter is much more than the sum of its parts. Sheret Jewelers discovered that when it teamed up with the other merchants in Springville, NY, for what is now an annual holiday event called A Very Merry Main Street. “We were not expecting to be as busy as we were,” co-owner Elise Rose says. “People who normally may not stop in are often surprised at just how awesome our downtown is.”

Designer Q&A’s

The Squash Blossom in Vail, CO, believes the relationships it has been able to foster between its clients and the designers it represents has been a key to its success. To bolster those ties, it introduced a new column in its email newsletter called “How well do you know …?” The spot features 10 Q&As with designers. “The response has been wonderful,” says owner Patrice Cogswell, adding that column “has extended our knowledge of them beyond the basic biographical information available anywhere” while providing information that is engaging and often surprising.

People Like Wish Lists

Still have doubts about the value of wish lists? Here’s a statistic to help sway you: More than 90 percent of shoppers say they’d spend more on a gift if they knew it was exactly what the recipient wanted, according to a survey done ahead of Valentine’s Day by mobile gifting company eGifter, which hosts online gift registries and wishlists for retailers. Two in three would spend at least $20 more, and one in three would spend at least $50 more, it found.

Shine a Light

Why just let male customers slump in a sofa watching TV? Get in some gear that’s likely to catch their attention during the commercial breaks. It was such thinking that prompted Forest Beach Designer-Goldsmiths in Chatham, MA, to add William Henry Knives and something few people expect to find at a fine jewelry store — top-end SureFire Flashlights.


Truth in Purchasing

Truth in advertising? What about truth in purchasing? Over 30 years of running a jewelry store have taught Slade and Cindy Lewis that not all customers tell the truth, whether it’s out of shyness, embarrassment or just general cautiousness. “So we try to get to the real stories by using laughter, humility and comforting them that we will be fair no matter what the ‘true’ story is,” say the owners of Lewis Diamonds & Timepieces in Webster, TX.

“Buy” Should Pop

Nothing on happens without a reason. Why the orange and yellow “Buy” buttons? “They offer clear contrasts against the site’s white background, which means a higher click-through rate, says Benn Parr, author of Captivology: The Science Of Capturing People’s Attention.

Two Clicks and You’re Out

It takes more clicks to be removed from an email list than it once did, the online marketing firm Responsys says. In a study of 100 large online retailers, the firm found that the proportion requiring three or more clicks to unsubscribe had grown more than fivefold since 2008. And the proportion letting users opt out with a single click shrank to 3 percent, from 9 percent, over that period. Chad White, the research director for Responsys, told the New York Times it was safest to let customers leave with two clicks or fewer. “Everything’s being measured against that one click on their report spam button,” he said.

Clear Avatars

If you use a mug shot as an avatar for a text service such as Whatsapp, Twitter or in a forum, make sure it’s of a decent size, says prolific tech blogger Guy Kawasaki. “When people click on your avatar, do they get a nice, in-focus picture? Or is it an out-of-focus, pixelated, and red-eyed calamity? Your avatar is the window into your soul, so for crying out loud use a decent picture, minimum size: 400 x 300 pixels,” he recommends on American Express’s Open Forum.



She Wanted to Spend More Time with Her Kids. She Called Wilkerson.

Your children are precious. More precious than gold? Absolutely! Just ask Lesley Ann Davis, owner of Lesley Ann Jewels, an independent jewelry store that — until the end of 2023 — had quite a following in Houston, Texas. To spend more time with her four sons, all in high school, she decided to close her store. Luckily, she was familiar with Wilkerson and called them as soon as she knew she wanted to move on to bigger, better and more family-focused things. Was she happy with her decision? Yes, she was. Says Davis, “Any owner looking to make that life change, looking to retire, looking to close, looking for a pause in their career, I would recommend Wilkerson. Hands down!”

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