Our very first Bridge event of the year ended yesterday with attendance at an all time high. Approximately 100 jewelry professionals from across the country walked the halls over the past two days. But it’s not about quantity, but about quality. The jewelers we continue to meet at these events are some of the most amazing folks we’ve ever had the honor of calling our friends. We hope they leave Bridge inspired to make positive changes in their businesses.
We offered a variety of classes from bridal, customization, and social media to SEO, web tools, diamonds & gemstones, and visual merchandising. With each passing year, we refine these sessions to ensure we’re providing the most we can to our guests. Here are five takeaways we felt were pretty prevalent at this event:
- Know your business and customer needs.
When it comes to implementing customization, you need to understand your business and customer needs. If you’re planning on getting CAD software, know the different options that are available to you and evaluate which makes sense for your store. Make a list of pro’s and con’s to help you work through each solution.
- Trends are powerful.
Trends affect business whether we choose to acknowledge them or not. Make sure you’re aware of what’s going on in the industry. What styles are celebrities wearing? What’s being displayed at trade shows and on the runways? Leverage existing inventory using trends.
- Visual merchandising is more than just visual.
Visual merchandising is speaking to customers without using words. Analyze your store and review the message you’re conveying. The way you display your merchandise is a silent sales tool, and if displayed right, it can be very powerful. Make sure you have the correct lighting, displays, tagging, signage, product groupings and collections that are easy to understand.
- Consistency is key.
If you want to rank well on Google local searches, consistency in your business’ location information is extremely important. Make sure your location information is consistent across all web platforms your store appears on (e.g. Your Website, Local and Industry Directories, Internet Yellow Pages, etc.). Your name, address, and phone number (NAP) should all be formatted exactly the same. For example st vs. street or ste vs. suite, make sure you stick to only one of these. Having too many variations of contact information can negatively impact your Google ranking.
- Use social media to your advantage.
Social media like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest can help boost your sales, and keep customers aware of your brand. Although Facebook is still the most widely used, Millennials like to follow businesses on Instagram, making it one of the fastest growing social mediums. People also look through Pinterest boards for inspiration. Make sure you have a presence in these mediums. Don’t let those customers go to another site, show them that you have adapted to times.
These are only a few of the many takeaways from Bridge, but if you’d like to learn more, come down to Cajun country. There are still four more Bridges left this year. Remember that Stuller pays for your hotel and meals, all you have to do is find a way to get here, and we’ll take care of you. To register for Bridge, click here.
Have you attended a Bridge event? What other takeaways do you have? Tell us in the comments section below.