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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.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].



Wilkerson Testimonials | MSG Jewelers

Wilkerson Takes the Worry Out of Closing

MSG Jewelers has always treated its customers like family. When owner Mike George decided to retire and close the doors of his St. Louis, Missouri jewelry store, he selected a company to manage his going-out-of-business sale that treats its customers like family, too. That’s why he chose Wilkerson. “Wilkerson was able to do all the things that we needed,” says George. In the end, the bittersweet store closing was so much easier with Wilkerson at the helm. From marketing to pricing to inventory, Wilkerson does it all. “It’s a package deal,” says George.

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