Jewelry Businesses – Selling During The Pandemic
The jewelry industry did not escape the setbacks of COVID-19. As a matter of fact, reports have come in that jewelry sales dropped nearly 82 percent while people were social distancing and retail businesses were closed. If you own a jewelry store, you’ve gone through the mandated shutdown and are likely re-opening your doors with restrictions around foot traffic. You’re also probably still feeling the effects of the pandemic and you’ve experienced a drop in sales over the last few months. For many businesses, the crossroads is just ahead and decisions need to be made about next steps. Can we pivot our business in a sustainable manner? What would that sort of pivot look like? If it’s too late for a pivot or restructure, what are our options?
In this article, we’ll review what the jewelry industry is reporting to give you a solid overview of the present landscape. We’ll provide some helpful ideas on how you can create new and improved options for your current and potential customers moving forward. Finally, we’ll provide you with the best option possible if it’s become too late for restructuring.
Industry Reports – What We Know
With sales bottoming out in March and April, the jewelry industry took a hit unlike anything it had seen since the 80’s. We saw a rebound in the retail market at-large for May and June with a solid 7.5 percent increase in sales, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
But those sales have flattened and even began to drop once more according to recent credit card data created by a team of researchers at Harvard University and Brown University. And there are serious indicators in the economy-at-large that any rebound we say in the early re-openings could fade with the loss of stimulus money, unemployment benefits, tax refunds and a virus that continues to spread throughout the United States.
According to Edahn Golan, because the pandemic forced weddings and engagements to be cancelled or postponed, lab grown diamonds sales dropped by a whopping 72 percent during the shutdown period.
This drop in sales brought the prices of lab grown jewels down by about 13 percent. May, however, saw a solid increase for lab grown diamond sales, moving up by 150 percent. Many hopeful economists see this as an indication that the market will bounce back in the coming months with people re-booking weddings and buying engagement rings. But the big numbers are hard to base business decisions on right now.
Globally, supply chains have been completely disrupted, affecting everything from mining companies to the biggest jewelry brands. Stock market valuations have dropped significantly in the jewelry sector. Jewelry fairs around the world have been postponed or cancelled. And the challenge is compiled by the moving target of COVID-19 that seems to be resurfacing over and over again as a major threat to businesses.
So what does this mean for the small jeweler who is trying to weather the storm? If you want to find answers about the actions you should take as a business owner, you need to go local. The economy is in a tough place across the globe. But Americans are resilient and we are looking for ways to re-establish a sense of the “old normal” within the constraints of this “new normal”. In the end, it will be consumers who help the American economy recover from this crisis. You, as a business owner, need to be in front of your customers to capture any available opportunities.
Small Jewelry Businesses Take On The Internet
For small jewelry businesses, COVID-19 has forced a major shift from in-person sales to online sales. The way that small jewelry businesses engage the internet could be the most significant indicator for future success. The “new normal” moved in overnight for businesses across the world. Making the proper adjustments could likely be the deciding factor between success and an exit strategy.
Tailor To Your Best Customers Online
One of the most amazing things about the internet is that it’s easily accessible and far-reaching. The smartest brands spent much of their idle time during the quarantine, experimenting with online strategies that put them in front of their customers. You’re not too late, if you haven’t already taken advantage of the internet.
Now may be a great time for you to shift to virtual ways of promoting your products. Start building your online presence, engaging platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Social platforms are great places to target your local customer base and make them feel important.
You can interact with your clients and followers when they comment on your social content. You could invite them to set an appointment with your shop for a one-on-one experience. The big brands are spending a lot of time and money in the digital space right now. You could show your social savviness by creating a content calendar and posting your jewelry in a consistent manner.
YouTube And The Power of Video
No matter what sort of mandates we face as a society, people always want to feel good during the buying process. When it comes to jewelry, people want to see how it looks up close and personal. This is where video can benefit your business in a major way. Nowadays, you don’t need extremely fancy video equipment to capture micro-footage of your jewelry. And the ability to post footage of your products is only a few clicks away with YouTube. You may think about investing in a decent camera and lens, then taking a few online courses to learn how you can create custom footage for your followers. You could also hire a videographer for a steal of a deal right now, given that the video production industry has taken a major hit and a lot of talented people are out of work and looking for gigs.
Remember, people are still looking to spend their money, and many of them could be persuaded to spend it on jewelry as a reward to themselves for making it through this tough time, given the fact that they haven’t been able to spend their cash on vacations, fine dining, and the type of retail shopping they’re used to.
What If My Local Market Hasn’t Rebounded
As we mentioned earlier in the article, this economic recovery could very likely be in the hands of the consumer. We also noted that “going local” could be an important strategy in helping your business bounce back. If your local economy hasn’t been able to rebound, then you may want to consider the next best option which is an exit strategy. The first (and arguably most important) step you’ll want to take is finding a trusted appraiser. Even if an exit strategy is not in your future, having your products appraised can be an extraordinarily valuable asset. In terms of the jewelry market, prices are on the rise after seeing decreases in value during the Spring.
Though your local economy may still be suffering, other local economies are seeing turnarounds and consumers are spending on themselves as a reward for making it through the pandemic. If you have thought about an exit strategy and want to get the most value for your jewelry and business equipment, then contact Auction Masters today. We have a dedicated team of expert business appraisers who will walk you through our simple process for assessing your business products and selling them for the most value if an exit strategy proves to be your next best step. Our cutting edge marketing strategies connect you with the most qualified buyers available. And our team is here to serve you throughout the entire process. Call us at the number below or send us an email to inquire about the next steps for your business.