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Future focussed: jewellery retail design changes & challenges!

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

This time last year we were preparing our panel discussion group for the International Jewellery London (IJL) trade show at Olympia. Twelve months on, our topic of conversation - Jewellery Retail 2028 - remains just as pertinent and pressing as ever. What does the future of jewellery retail design look like? What about the retail sector generally? And how do retailers need to change to survive the challenges facing the retail sector?

With over 30 years experience designing for retailers and retail brands ‘change’ has been a constant theme and challenge for our retail clients as well as for us as designers. So when the IJL organisers approached us we jumped at the chance to pull together a discussion group of retail jewellers to discuss their commercial success as well as their challenges.

We wanted to shine a light on the strengths of their jewellery and watch retail businesses that operate both online and on the high street. It was an opportunity to celebrate their combined passions for their sector and to hear how their businesses are embracing the retail reality facing all retailers today. It was a fascinating session with valuable insights that can be applied right across the retail sector.

You can read the full download from the IJL panel discussion here but if you’d prefer the edited version, here are some of the strategies we highlighted to help tackle the current changes and challenges in jewellery retail design and across the wider retail sector:

Invest in getting to know your brand. Many retailers have fallen because they didn’t understand their own brand. They had no vision for it and therefore couldn’t express it to their customers. Differentiation for retail brands is absolutely critical. If you haven’t already done it, invest in getting to know what makes your brand stand out from the crowd. Then dig deep to express yourself clearly through vivid and authentic brand stories both online and in store.

Trust in your brand is extremely important for customers today. You need to carefully consider how you express this both digitally (on your website and throughout your social media) as well as physically in store. Are all your staff clear about how important this value is to your customers?

Connecting with your customers only happens when you properly engage with them. Review all the types of customer interactions you currently have. How do customers feel about them? What are you doing well and what could you be doing better now and in the future? Plan carefully and be strategic about how you need to develop your customer journeys.

Consistent brand and marketing messages reassure customers, create desire for what you are selling and help customer engage more deeply with you. So make sure that in your multichannel communications you are clear about what your customers love about you and shout about it from the rooftops! And don’t forget to transfer that sense of passion for what you do to your staff too!

Experience both in store and online may seem like an over-used term but it really matters to your customers. With so much choice and competition in the retail market, vying for your customers’ attention should be a full time strategic job for you and your staff. Review what you are doing now and think plan ahead for frequent, new and exciting ‘on brand’ experiences.

Listen to your customers – they are leading the direction of travel currently in the retail sector. It sounds simple but unbelievably many retailer owners lose sight of their customers. How then can they drive future change or innovations that will satisfy what their customers want? Understanding and regularly listening to your customers will enable you to prioritise the changes that really matter to them and that will deliver positive commercial results for you.


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