The CUSTOM DESIGN ERA
Just yesterday I took the family down the road to “get out of the house,” and ran into an old friend of mine in the jewelry business. We both worked together 10 years ago or so in the corporate world! My friend now manages a $2,000,000.00 a year jewelry store for a very well known corporate jeweler, “selling engagement rings mostly.” My friend also went on to explain that a lot of their customers would stop in the store and try on different rings, gather info and knowledge then buy online. Some would show back up in the store with their purchases and have the store size their rings or maybe even see if they had something else similar. As you can probably suspect, the store employee’s do work partly on a commission based pay, so seeing your customer come back in the store with an online purchase can be somewhat upsetting after you had spent time with that customer in the store just a few days earlier.
The ERA of online shoppers has increased exponentially in the past few years! As more and more online stores pop up with their own brands & unique styles, it will become even more complicated for the brick and mortar stores to compete. Even malls are seeing their comps (compared to last year sales) fall each and every day. If you think about this for a second, there are only a few stores in each mall that are what you call “the draw” for people to come to the mall. These stores are huge players like Nike, Best Buy Mobile, etc. These stores draw the consumers into the malls and the other stores hope that they get some of their foot traffic. Now what would happen to those other stores if the huge players decided to just go out and build a stand-alone somewhere in the same town? The traffic of the mall would decrease, that’s what would happen! I am a COFFEE NUT you might say, and just recently in our local mall, Starbucks that had been our mall for a long time decided to buy an old auto repair/gas station that had been right next to the mall for years. The repair/gas station had gone out of business a few years prior but the remains were still there. So now Starbucks buys the land, and renovates the building creating a stand a lone store! Not relying on mall traffic anymore, Starbucks now has a larger space and even more traffic than before! Oh and their still getting that “mall traffic” too, because their still right outside the mall parking lot!
THE CUSTOM DESIGN ERA:
Recently speaking with Guy Stimpson, the owner of Wholesale Moissanite, we also confirmed that the Brick and Mortar stores are also hurting in the bridal category if stores do not offer some kind of custom design. There are only a few select stores that offer “FULL CUSTOM”. When I say FULL CUSTOM design, I mean from paper drawing to JCAD design in house, to a wax model of the design done in house, to casting done in house, to setting all the stones in house and to polishing and finishing out the entire ring IN HOUSE! There are a lot of stores either online or brick and mortar that offer what I like to call, SEMI CUSTOM! Semi Custom is where a store may have the ability change the style of an already designed ring, but just slightly. There are a handful of sellers on Etsy, Bonanza, Amazon, eBay and marketplaces alike that offer FULL CUSTOM! Most however offer semi custom and do not have the ability to offer FULL CUSTOM. We will get into this in another blog post on a later date. But what Guy Stimpson said, was “there is a surge of newly educated consumers who are accessing independent retail jeweler web stores and buying in epic numbers. Not since 2007 have these numbers been seen. If you have CAD or custom designs and an online presence you are sitting on a local community gold mine!” Port City Jewelers however offers both FULL CUSTOM & SEMI CUSTOM designs! If you are looking for “THE RING” like we all have heard before, then Port City Jewelers can create it for you! Port City Jewelers offers FULL CUSTOM design! But if you love one of our styles but just want to see if you can have that ring set with a princess cut instead of a round cut, then we can surely accommodate you. However our specialty is creating FULL CUSTOM design. I will get into the entire process with you on another blog post.
Thanks for reading today and stay tuned for even more!
Disclaimer: Port City Jewelers does not condone or take part in copyright infringement and respects the rights of other retailers intellectual copyrights and designs. Port City Jewelers will not out right copy or re-produce copyrighted items by persons or brands! If you send Port City Jewelers a design from one of our competitors we cannot and will not re-produce the exact copy of that design. Port City Jewelers will go to work with our own CAD design software and create you a similar design. Port City Jewelers does not have the ability to copy any items or jewelry items based off an image and have it be 100% exactly like the image. Port City Jewelers cannot load an image into our CAD design software to create an exact copy of the design image you the customer may send us. By contacting us you are in compliance with this disclaimer