July 20, 2016
We surveyed the experts speaking at the JA New York Show during Jewelers of America's Education Program on July 24-25, to get their advice on how jewelers can and should optimize their businesses. Their tips cover sales, marketing and the importance of establishing a web strategy. Learn what jewelry companies should start doing today and the best areas to invest in to improve your business. Here’s the breakdown.

Sell Color & Custom

Jewelers of America's two-day education program includes speakers with expertise in sales and jewelry product categories, presenting in sessions on boosting margins, colored gemstones and the new bridal landscape among other topics. See the full schedule here >

"I would advise jewelry professionals to focus on non-comparable products so they’re not price point driven, such as the colored gemstone category." - Harry W. Stubbert, Owner & President, Chatham Created Gems & Diamonds

"Treat your eyes to the wide and wonderful world of colored gemstones. Fall in love! Begin to introduce your staff and customers to gems and colors they've never seen before." - Nancy Schuring, President, Devon Fine Jewelry, on how to boost margins.

"Sell custom! This isn't just about Millennials. Yes, millennials expect a custom product and a custom experience but Gen Xers and older generations also love having something unique and customized to them. We can't kid ourselves, even if your vendor of choice isn't on Amazon, chances are that something that looks just like it is. But, here's the kicker: what isn't on Amazon? A custom creation, something that you and your customer designed together. That's what today's buyers want and Amazon doesn't sell that." - Travis Isaacson, VP, Sales & Marketing, Lashbrook, discussing the new bridal landscape.

"Jewelry stores can't afford to let a couple make some of their first jewelry purchases somewhere else. It's critical that they establish themselves as their lifelong jeweler. First, 47% of couples buy his ring somewhere other than where they bought her ring. That's a problem. When a store loses the gents band purchase they aren't just losing the $600 ring sale. They are losing half of that couple's spending future. if we let him walk, they now have TWO jewelers instead of just one. That's a huge loss. We estimate it to be a $6,000 loss." - Travis Isaacson on bridal jewelry sales.

"The most valuable investment is education. This includes product knowledge, sales strategy, and knowing the consumer market." - Harry W. Stubbert, Owner & President, Chatham Created Gems & Diamonds

Marketing, What to Do & Where to Invest

Speakers at the JA New York Show also include some of the top experts in branding, digital marketing and e-commerce. They shared the areas they think jewelry companies must invest in now to stay ahead of the curve and reach the next generation of shoppers.

"Start focusing on content, content, content -- everyone today is a media company. It’s the most effective way to gain traction and build relationships digitally that result in revenue." - Benjamin Smithee, CEO, The Smithee Group

"People should invest time in better understanding how to build their personal and professional brand, because that will live with you for your entire career." - Dave Kerpen, CEO, Likeable Jewelers

"To build a relationship with the next generation of shoppers, you have to go beyond the traditional forms of marketing. Creating an integrated social media presence allows you to connect with your customers in an authentic and creative way." - Jay Gerber, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, WR Cobb Online

Web & Digital Strategy

"Take time each day to understand what is actually going on in the world of digital and social. You need to be reading blogs, news sites, etc. to understand how the world of business is evolving….rapidly!" - Benjamin Smithee

"I suggest jewelry pros experiment with livestreaming now, especially using Facebook Live. It's going to be huge, soon!" - Dave Kerpen on social media marketing 

"It is essential that jewelry professionals have a mobile-friendly website. Millennials predominantly use smartphones to connect to the internet, and they expect your website to be fast, informative and visually appealing, whether they’re on a desktop, smartphone or tablet." - Jay Gerber

To hear from these experts and more, don't miss the Jewelers of America Education Program, July 24-25, 2016, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York, NY. See details on all the session topics and schedule here >
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