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How Can Jewelry Retailers Provide Experiences?

72% of Millennials prefer to spend on experiences rather than things, according to a Harris Group poll. Given that knowledge, what do you think the average Millennial with a teen or tween child and $1000 to spend would rather spend it on? The first option: Taylor Swift tickets for the two of them, including a t-shirt, copy of the album (yes, kids are actually buying CDs as souvenirs), and whatever other merch will come to symbolize this one-in-a-lifetime event. Option two: $1000 worth of nice clothes or furniture or electronics.

Most would go for option 1. Why? Because it offers an experience. You can go shopping any time. You don’t even have to “go” shopping—you can do it online. The Eras Tour, on the other hand, happens only once, and you get to be a part of it. It’s an event, a spectacle, an experience, and anything you buy there will be a symbol of that experience. For these kinds of consumers, and for many Americans across generations, happiness doesn’t stem from owning things. It’s a result of experiences and the associated emotions. How can luxury retail compete with that?

The Store as Experience

If retailers are to compete with luxury experiences like vacations and expensive concert tickets, they have to provide experiences, not just great products. A store that provides a great customer experience is one that tells a story and brings the customer into a story. Merchandising and interior design are part of that story. When a customer steps inside of a luxury store, they should immediately know that they are stepping into someplace different. They are stepping out of their everyday life and into a new world, and your salespeople are their guides through this new world. They’re not just coming to shop; they are there for an experience.

While the shopping experience itself should be, well, an experience, retailers can take it even further to host special events at their stores. From product launch parties to workshops, retailers can create foot traffic and interest by hosting low-pressure events that provide value to potential customers without demanding they make a purchase.

Tell Stories About Your Products

A good product description on a website tells consumers exactly what the product is, but it has to go further than that. Product descriptions should be written in the voice of your brand and in a way that connects to the overall story of your brand.

The same goes for the products in a physical store. Merchandising, signage, and salespeople should all enhance customer experience by working to tell a story about a product. That’s because stories—not just bare facts—are what connect people to each other and create a sense of community. They also have the power to connect people to places and objects. A story isn’t static, it has a beginning, middle, and end. It is an experience.

The Story Doesn’t End with a Sale

When you make a sale, your relationship with that customer is just beginning. They have purchased not just a product, but entry into a community. Stay in touch with them through email, ask them to follow you on social media, remind them to come back for cleaning and maintenance. Creating a great customer experience means going beyond the sale to forge an ongoing relationship.

Your communication with customers should not only be promotional in nature. Use email, social media, and blogs to connect, educate, and entertain. Topics, style, and voice should always be in line with brand identity.

Experiences Are the Future of Retail

Today, consumers are spending more on “experiences” than on products. Vacations, movie and concert tickets, and fine dining are all more attractive to today’s consumer than purchasing an object. But jewelry retailers can provide consumers the customer experience they are looking for. As with so much in retail, it comes back to knowing your brand and knowing your customers, and knowing how to connect the two.