The imperative for every jewelry business, every year? Innovate, innovate, innovate.
For many companies, that means looking critically at the tech currently powering your in-store experiences, inventory management, and even something as basic as how your website looks a and feels. A recent McKinsey Digital article, “New Year’s Resolutions for Tech,” might be a great place to start researching potential improvements, from “freeing the engineers you already have…to do less—less administrative work, less bureaucratic work, less manual work” so that they can be more productive to “automating processes, investing in data foundations…and continually renewing the IT architecture” so that your company is in peak shape to embrace new tech innovations that present themselves throughout the year.
Especially when it comes to the solutions developed by tech firms and agencies that specialize in the fine jewelry space. Consider The Plumb Club’s own digital platforms: The Jewelers Resource Center, which is free and open to the entire jewelry industry, is fully stocked with relevant, educational content plus a Sourcing Center to help retailers find vendors, consultants and services based on their needs (e.g., social media, store design, and branding). Meanwhile, that platform houses TPC-365 which allows retailers to view and learn about each TPC member’s product offerings and request virtual meetings, anywhere and on any device.
TPC-365 is optimizing the way retailers and suppliers transact.
Both platforms are the result TPC’s ongoing strategic plan to innovate all aspects of the supplier/retailer relationship with the most sophisticated. ever-expanding tools and services. The creation of these products was accelerated in response to the Covid crisis halting trade shows and in-person appointments. Now, in addition to facilitating virtual meetings between TPC members and their retailers, TPC-365 has evolved to become a great example of “blended tech”—that is, a B2B solution with elements that can also be used to enrich the in-person, B2C sales experience in stores.
With blended tech, retail associates can share the full collection of design choices with clients virtually at any point during their interactions with them. In a day and age when customers want what they want, when they want it—i.e., instantaneously—the immediacy of available product is vital.
“As an organization we have really stepped into the future with our tech advancements and we urge jewelers to take advantage of them this year, especially since we are continually updating and upgrading the user experience to meet the evolving needs of today’s modern retailer,” says TPC marketing director Michael O’Connor.
TPC-365’s ability to schedule and host virtual meetings is a solution powered by Boss Logics, a software development company specializing in the jewelry industry, which also counts many TPC members as clients, including Gold Star, Marathon, A.Jaffe, ODI, and more.
What’s its take on the direction for jewelry industry-specific tech in 2023?
“The future of the fine jewelry industry is hybrid: blending in-person human interaction with state-of-the-art technology that enhances virtual shopping, wholesale or retail, and allows on-going strategic interaction via software-driven sales and customer analysis,” says Zach Lipsky,CEO and president of BOSS Logics.
This year, he adds, “retailers can improve their sales strategies by introducing blended technology, fusing virtual and in-person product presentations to meet the customer’s needs, no matter where they are geographically. These solutions are not replacing the physical and emotional connections made with clients but enhancing them. They supplement a retail customer’s buying journey and allow clients to reach retailers seamlessly at home or in the store.”
So, if a customer is looking for ruby earrings and has preferences on size and style and the retailer does not have product to match their vision in stock, the retailer can then log into TPC-365 to review additional options from an array of TPC suppliers to present as alternatives.
ODI Polar Pink catalog
“Rather than sending the customer home and following up with the customer days or even weeks later, this allows the customer to be part of the sourcing experience and can make a selection from virtual inventory,” says Lipsky.
Even better: With blended tech, retailers can sell beyond their case-line by showing matching and complimentary pieces that can be special-ordered—and note the customers preferences for future visits.
Retailers who are still deciding on whether they want to buy into the hybrid concept are encouraged to work with suppliers who are investing in software solutions that will allow for more seamless retailer partner interactions. A number of TPC Members are in the process of creating such integrated experiences; HK Designs has officially launched its portal and microsite making their products even more readily available for consumers shopping in store.
“Our solution empowers your sales team with richer digital presentations and leverages a brand’s full inventory on the floor,” says Lipsky. “This is the next stage in the evolution of retail technology, reflecting a departure from outdated customer transactions and a movement toward modernized in-person interactions that meet the customer’s needs in the moment.”
So, will 2023 be the year you really go for it when it comes innovating your tech capabilities? We hope it is—and we’re here to help!