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Social Proof

January 24, 2020 | Posted in: Research, Strategy, Trends
Social media channels– like Instagram and Pinterest– provide the perfect platforms to show and tell stories that can help customers visualize your products.

Market research shows that consumers look to social media for inspiration, advice, ideas, and solutions. They want to engage and pre-shop online, and social media is an ideal channel for jewelers to help shoppers find the ideal products, advocates Dana Cali for the N.Y.-based pearl house, Mastoloni.

Cali finds Instagram and Pinterest to be the most effective platforms for jewelers to connect with consumers who are ready to buy. “It’s inexpensive to promote Instagram posts; include a clear call to action, and even go the extra mile with geo-fencing.” She describes Pinterest as an effective tool for creating fashion, color, seasonal, and gift guides. “You can design storyboards by style, price and person.” She says the analytics these platforms provide help jewelers fine-tune and target their messages.

Vendors like Ostbye encourage their retailers to use its social media. Active on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, the Minneapolis, Minnesota based manufacturer shares posts with retailers via text service, weekly email updates, and direct re-posting/pinning from its platforms.

“We have posts that ask questions to engage consumers, and these are very popular and helpful to the retailers that chose to use them,” describes Theresa Namie, merchandise manager. Among its most successful posts are those that offer “Top Gift Ideas”, regularly highlighted on its social media and website. “We also share additional posts around specific gift-giving holidays, like our 12 Days of Christmas and 14 Days of Love to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”

Make excuses to engage with customers, advocated marketing consultant, Andrea Hill, of the Chicago-based Hill Management Group, in a recent Plumb Club webinar. Using Starbucks as an example, she points to the barista sharing updates on customer purchase points, new products and flavors, and the music playing in its store — informing and entertaining through meaningful messaging.

Conversation Starter
If you want to sell more fine jewelry to women, you have to have more conversations with them, Hill preaches. Everyone loves a pretty picture, but women, the major consumers of fine jewelry, respond even better to dialog.

Hill advocates jewelers choose communication channels that allow them to have a conversation and deepen engagement with customers over time, and not just when selling. And, the conversation, she clarifies, should be more about the ideas and relationships associated with jewelry, than just its design and functional details. “Show your female shopper how the jewelry fits with her life.”

Hill underscores that “social proof” really matters to women. “Even if they go alone, shopping is a team activity! Women want to know what their friends and family think and share their discoveries. It’s why getting all those comments on Pinterest pins and Instagram posts works for women.”

Social proof encompasses referrals from friends, ratings and reviews, expert information, and social media says Hill, who stresses that your marketing should be linkable and sharable. “Help women build confidence by making it easy for them to solicit input from their communities.”

A brand’s website, says Hill, also must do more than show pretty pictures, underscoring that confidence is built in female shoppers when jewelers show every product and price. Even though 90 percent of customers buy in store, women are turned off by websites that don’t facilitate a sale. They also expect a website to facilitate interaction, research, entertainment, and sharing.

Jewelers can benefit from partnering with vendors that offer digital sales and marketing solutions in an ever-changing buying environment. The East Providence, Rhode Island based diamond and jewelry supplier W.R. Cobb advocates retailers use tools like 3D visuals and 360º product videos that mimic the in-store experience online to help consumers make their purchase decisions. Look to also bridge the digital divide by using technology in store — like tablet kiosks, touch screens, kinetic retail displays, and photo system that takes pro images of items customers like and send via email (i.e. LearLite).

Ecom Growing
Expect more consumers to buy more diamonds and jewelry online. The Global Diamond Report 2019, by Bain & Co. for the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, forecasts the rapid escalation of e-commerce in diamond jewelry over the next decade. E-commerce continues to accelerate in the industry, with major U.S. diamond jewelers increasing online sales by about 13 percent.

The study identifies the need for continued, concerted marketing support (industry-wide and brand-specific) to sustain long-term demand in the diamond jewelry business. It cited a greater investment in marketing by diamond mining companies over the past year, more than $200 million in branded and generic outreach. Of that, $80 million was channeled through the Diamond Producers Association, primarily on social media and in the U.S. (“For Me, From Me” campaign targeting self-purchase women).

The report finds that online marketing increases sales across the industry by reaching target audiences more efficiently. Get in on the conversations!