It seems like kicking someone when they’re down, but we have to acknowledge it: we’re in a recession. In a year that promised us uncertainty, disease, and murder hornets (no, really, google it), we have been in “these difficult times,” long enough Ford Motors hasn’t even brought it up in months. We know what’s up, and we can decide who we’re mad at, but there’s one of community that we can’t call out for their lack of action or self-indulgent agendas—and that’s the consumer.
Nope, people are still buying things. Whether or not a business was declared early as “essential,” or they reopened faster than others, or those doors remain closed because of public safety, everyone has to look towards their customers with expectation, and hope. Fortunately, most industries are seeing continued sales because whether people are holed up in their homes, or they’ve just been given permission to visit their town square, people like and need to buy things. Concerns such as jewelry website design and SEO for jewelry took a temporary backseat to simply getting an Add to Cart button to their catalog.
While some retail stores spent their hours of lockdown learning more about social media marketing for jewelry, we saw people embracing the idea of jewelry ecommerce websites. We could be nice and suggest this was an unexpected, or new trend, but frankly, no—the jewelry buyer has always been there waiting for ecommerce jewelry websites to open; they just now have no other choice. The concept of buying online has been a longstanding request. The surge of buying online and then getting it in person is what we need to talk about. It’s a silly name, and we feel silly saying it, but BOPIS is no joke. It’s Buying-Online-Pickup-In-Store, and while it’s a mouthful, it’s a reality, and it’s the means of success.
We have to admit that that phrase BOPIS is relatively young in internet terms. It appeared online in 2015, but the term never really caught on because again it’s a goofy acronym and no one’s happy it’s the one that caught on. Once we hit pandemic lockdown, the terms “curbside pickup” and “click and collect” quickly overshadowed the word BOPIS, so don’t think you’re being hip for using it.
Even in April 20202, NapCo Research* declared “67 percent of shoppers in the U.S. have used BOPIS in the past six months” (that includes pre-pandemic time, if you’ve once again thought this was a new direction customers were opting for). It’s not going to be temporary. This pandemic will have far-reaching change to the way we do business, the way we interact with others, and the way we sell items.
Now that you see it’s not the future but instead the now, we’re going to need to prepare you for Shopkick’s findings** that “nearly 60% of Americans said they’re concerned about shopping in-store in light of the COVID-19 health crisis.” This is important. We know COVID-19 has been controversially weaponized by governments, companies, and individuals—but it’s really about how the public responds. If they don’t feel invited, safe, and comfortable to reach out to businesses in the outside world, it doesn’t much matter who wants to say what’s real or who dropped what ball or what nasty internet meme is right.
Your customers need encouragement, and one of those methods is retaining your personality (and personability) online. Your jewelry website needs to go beyond the “Welcome to x Jewelers,” that everyone’s used to. It has to be, figuratively, “Welcome to x Jewelers and we’re going to be doing everything we can to make you feel like the world isn’t ending, and your shopping experience is in flux.”
As MyTotalRetail.com*** rightly pointed out, your website is being visited by people both familiar and brand new to its place in the web. And keep in mind: that doesn’t mean they are brand new to you completely. You will always have customers who are longstanding who prefer to come in; those loyalists will still patronize you, but they’ll visit your jewelry website for multiple purposes:
• Reassurance. One way people are coping is by holding onto what they can of their everyday. This includes people who are wanting to keep their traditions alive, from browsing their favorite shops to keeping birthdays and special occasions as close to the expected as they can. They will come to you because they know you, trust you, and likely also want to make sure you stay in business because they like you.
• Freedom. We were already on our phones a whole lot, so it seems to reason we’re looking at them at longer hours, different hours, and without the fear a boss or superior will catch them in act at their own home desk taking a look at a feelgood or necessary gift for themselves or others.
• Boredom. We scroll and scroll, looking at things to pique our interest. They’re going to see what they’re used to maintain normalcy, and to see what might be new and exciting from people they trust.
• Necessity. Life goes on; people are still getting married, celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, holidays upon holidays, and with social distance, folk are sending mementos to each other to make up for lost real time.
I’ve known about BOPIS for years now because I’ve been working on websites for jewelers for years now making sure that their ecommerce jewelry websites provide that service to their clients. This way their customers make the sale online, and come to their store to pick it up, and salvage that day filled with everything else uncertain, scary, and mean. It’s about providing that encouragement, that certainty you’re still making their moments important.
It’s now, or legit never, for jewelry stores to come to terms with this, and jump in. You no longer have time to ponder if you should or should not have a website with ecommerce and BOPIS. Don't you think it's time that you start fighting against all the sales you are losing to the internet and be a part of what your customers already want? I’m glad to walk you through that. Call me at 973-413-8211 and ask for me or Matt or email me at George@JewelerWebsites.com and let’s get your products online and your customers coming curbside.
* "NAPCO Research fielded an anonymous, web-based survey to retailers in Q2 2019. Respondents with less than $10 million in annual revenue were screened out of the survey."
** Shopkick surveyed 24,400 consumers across America between March 16 – 18, 2020 to gain insights into changing consumer behavior in light of the current health and economic crisis.
*** "You're seeing — and will be seeing — shoppers visiting your site for the first time."