However, I realize that developing a brand new idea, an innovative store concept and experience, can be challenging. Here and in the next few posts I will focus on different industries and bring forward a store concepts for each of them. Some might be interesting and feasible in every geographic market, some will be a little impractical for certain retailers. The aim of these posts is to generate ideas and incite the creative process.
Today I am going to turn my attention to the jewelry industry. I have been part of this industry for over 10 years. I know it extremely well and it is certainly a good place to start, as the typical jewelry retailer offers an antiquated and static store experience.
Most jewelry stores feature rows or islands of case after case displaying the jewelry. During the sale presentations, the associates stand on one side of the cases, facing the customers, a stance that promotes distance and does not help in establishing a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. In my post, "How to Increase your Products' Perceived Value", I showed how a relaxed environment is proven to increase a product's perceived value. Therefore, the cold and detached atmosphere, which characterizes a great number of jewelry stores, effectively reduces their clientele attitude towards buying.
An alternative store concept could have the following features:
- Wide entrance - It would encourage shoppers to come in the store, reducing the reticence and even distrust that some customers feel when approaching a jewelry store. It would be particularly effective in high traffic areas like malls.
- Concierge Desk - Like I related before, a concierge desk would help in starting the conversation with the customer. In fact, the customer would have register with the concierge to gain access to the wider store. The concierge would also give the store an aura of exclusivity and increase the customer's curiosity. The registration process would give the retailer valuable contact information. The customer would receive a welcome goodie bag containing the store's brochure, a promotional gift, and a gift card to a nearby coffee shop or restaurant (make sure that the goodie bag is not too heavy for the customer to carry). After the registration, the customer would be introduced to an associate that would give him/her the tour of the store.
- Interior featuring a few wall showcases - The associate would give the customer a professional presentation of the brand and its history walking with the customer through the wall showcases mounted on the entire perimeter of the store.
- Sofas - The associate would then walk the customers to the center of the store, which would be designed as a salon with comfortable sofas and chairs. The style would depend on the store's target market. It could look like a plush and luxurious French inspired salon or like a more modern minimalistic space. A bigger store could have a number of salons to increase privacy. The associate would sit next to the customers and converse with them.
- Servers offering beverages - Servers would present to the customer a tray with various beverages already served. They could range from flutes of champagne to the store's signature cocktail to popular soft drinks.
- Moving showcases - Another associate would then wheel in a series of movable showcases. The customer would enjoy the presentation sitting on the sofas, sipping on a beverage, and chatting with the associate. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere would enhance the customer's shopping experience and ultimately increase sales.
- Mobile payment stations - At the end of the presentation the associate would process the payment right from the sofa with a tablet computer using a mobile credit card terminal like the one provided by Square (https://squareup.com/).
This store concept is a complete novelty and delivers an engaging and relaxing experience. It could be implemented in its entirety or jewelers could integrate parts of it in their own store idea. Share your comments below to develop alternative and even better jewelry store concepts.