Rapaport Magazine

Retail Scope

Retailers to Focus on Mobile Growth
Retailers are focusing their digital marketing budgets to capitalize on the surge in mobile traffic, according to “The State of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing and Merchandising,” the latest research from Shop.org and Forrester Research. The study surveyed 65 companies from industries including apparel, footwear, general merchandise, home furnishings and personal care. According to the study:
  • Nearly 87 percent of online retailers surveyed either already have implemented or are planning to implement mobile email optimization programs this year, while 71 percent will optimize paid search programs for smartphones and 73 percent will optimize paid search for tablets.
  • On average, 28 percent of emails that are sent to customers are first opened on a smartphone, while small retailers said that on average, 42 percent of their emails are first opened on a smartphone.
  • Personalization, omnichannel integration and product detail page improvements will be a top focus this year. Around 72 percent of study participants reported that they will integrate video into their sites.
  • Another 62 percent indicated that recommendations and personalization features will be a priority, including integrating capabilities to create different home pages and creating unique pages for their customers based on purchase history.
  • Forty percent of retailers surveyed plan to hire for open positions in marketing analytics in 2013, reflecting the need to consolidate the volume of marketing data to create more effective interaction and an improved customer experience.

Stuller Debuts “Create Bar”
Stuller Inc. launched its “Create Bar,” a turnkey custom design solution that will encourage brand-building by independent retail jewelers and enhance the customer sales experience. According to Maren Rosen, executive director of bridal and jewelry, Create Bar combines Stuller’s top-selling services, including prototypes, CounterSketch Studio and marketing, into one easy-to-use solution.
   The concept was developed after extensive consumer-based market research that revealed that while shoppers respond positively to separate interactive selling tools — prototypes or custom design programs — they still wanted a more connected shopping experience. Using that premise, Stuller built the Create Bar solution that married low-cost inventory and an elevated customer experience through its digital tools, Stuller.com and CounterSketch Studio.
   Rosen pointed out that Create Bar offers jewelers a way to connect with tech-savvy consumers and the tools they can use to develop a long-term customer relationship. The Create Bar concept includes all the furniture and lighting, personalized signage, jewelry prototypes and loose gemstones, tools, the computer, TV, iPad, keyboard, mouse, color printer and CounterSketch Studio software, Stuller Showcase and marketing support and training.

Mouawad Creates Online Certificate
Luxury jeweler Mouawad launched its new online customer service feature, the Mouawad Certificate of Authenticity (COA), which can be accessed at any time by anyone who owns Mouawad jewelry. The COA attests to the origin and full details of every piece of jewelry.
   To access the platform, customers enter the item’s reference number and the COA immediately appears on screen. Certification details are accompanied by a picture and description of the item, details of the collection the piece comes from, as well as authentication of the gemstones and precious materials used — type of stone, metals and carat weight.

GemFind Launches “JewelCloud”
GemFind introduced a new “JewelCloud”™ platform for independent retailers which enables them to connect with vendors and share product information in real time. To date, JewelCloud features more than 200,000 products from more than 200 participating manufacturers and brands, including Hearts On Fire, A. Link, Andrew Meyer, Color Story, Eli Jewels, Gem Platinum, Memoire, Peter Storm, Precision Set, Rembrandt Charms and Stuller.
   According to Alex Fetanat, the CEO of GemFind, this new platform simplifies the way retailers can access content and images and eliminates the need for multiple passwords. With JewelCloud, retailers can log in, connect with all of their vendors and invite vendors not in the cloud to join as well. Through JewelCloud, retailers communicate with vendors and schedule appointments. They can access vendor marketing materials and upload product data to their own website in real time. Vendors can also monitor their products’ performance on the retailers’ sites.

Chopard Partners with Happy Hearts Fund
Chopard kicked off its partnership with the Happy Hearts Fund at its New Bond Street, London boutique with a special edition of an 18-karat rose gold “Happy Diamonds” bracelet featuring a mobile pink sapphire in a heart, created by Caroline Scheufele, the copresident and artistic director of Chopard.
   Priced at $1,600 (EUR 1,200), the bracelet is currently available in London, but Chopard expects to offer the piece for sale worldwide in the future. The company pledged approximately $262 (EUR 200) from the sale of each bracelet to the Happy Hearts Fund.
   The Happy Hearts Fund is active in seven countries where it has built 72 schools and kindergartens in less than seven years. Since 2006, its programs have benefited more than 44,000 children and 450,000 community members.

Helzberg Creates “iamloved.com” to Benefit Make-A-Wish
Helzberg Diamonds created a new website — iamloved.com — to capture love stories and to benefit Make-A-Wish for children with life-threatening illnesses. The new site allows consumers to share their love stories online. For each story, Helzberg Diamonds will donate $1 — up to $5,000 per month — to Make-A-Wish.
   The website features children who have been granted their wish and tells their unique stories, allowing consumers to meet the children who have benefited from having a wish experience.
   Helzberg Diamonds has supported Make-A-Wish since 2009. “Now, with iamloved.com, we hope to ignite the sentiment of these three little words to grant even more wishes,” said Beryl Raff, company chairman.

NJ Lures David Yurman with Tax Incentives
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority approved a $631,223 tax break for David Yurman Inc. to establish a logistics center in Lyndhurst. The jewelry manufacturer anticipates spending about $5 million developing the facility, which it stated would eventually provide cost savings and much needed work space.
   The company estimated that it would create 85 jobs during the first year of operations, followed by 35 new jobs in the second year, with an average wage of about $45,000.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - August 2013. To subscribe click here.

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