During the COVID-19 shut-down and shelter-at-home initiative this year, jewelry artists and sellers had to learn new ways to sell and connect. Video has taken center stage, largely as a result of the sudden inability to connect face to face. Here are 9 Tips for Jewelry Artists Doing Business During COVID-19.
Although customers can’t visit any jewelry shop or in-person during COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions, we connect with customers through video formats.
9 Tips for Jewelry Artists Doing Business Amidst COVID-19
Tip #1. If you can’t go out, go live.
There has been a sharp uptick in live video in Instagram stories during the pandemic as jewelry makers addressed followers from their studios.
Often the clip was a simple demo at the bench, setting a stone or brush-finishing a ring shank.
But some designers addressed the audience directly, explaining what was done to maintain safety in the studio and disinfect shipments.
Tip #2. Connect with customers on their form of video.
Increasingly, makers turned to tools such as Zoom, Skype, and Facetime to discuss custom designs and hold workshops.
If customers know Skype better than Zoom, meet on Skype.
If they know Facetime, you better have access to an Apple device.
Connect with customers however you can.
Sometimes none of these high-tech options work, in which case email and phone suffice.
When it comes to customer communication, you have to meet on the same stage, whatever that may be.
So far, most meetings with customers have been via phone even though we’re offering video options.
For jewelry design work, sending emails with a photo of the piece in progress, and getting feedback that way.
Tip #3. If you teach, add virtual jewelry-making classes.
When COVID-19 hit, artisan gallery including popular jewelry-making workshops should move fast to set up virtual classes on YouTube channel and posted kits of beads and wire, pliers, and flush-cutters for sale on a website, so students had the tools and materials to take them.
Tip #4. In times of crisis, provide guidelines.
Most jewelry makers offer shipping info on their websites during the holiday season when getting items to customers before the holidays is imperative.
During the pandemic, many put up something similar, a COVID page outlining their protocol to protect customers and disinfect products, offering alternative ways to communicate with customers.
Tip #5. Donate to charity.
Donating a portion of sales to charity is always a good practice, but during the COVID shutdown, many independents got behind causes that helped in a more specific way.
Tip #6. People get sick of practical COVID messaging.
An industry publication aimed at retailers held a panel webinar in late March offering practical advice to jewelers, such as avoiding the hard sell when people are losing their jobs.
At least one expert advised jewelers to post practical information or what they were doing in their daily lives.
But some makers who were posting infographics instead of jewelry during this time told their likes and impressions took a dive.
At a certain point, we all hit overload on talk of masks and Clorox wipes, etc.
Tip #7. Don’t stop posting beautiful jewelry.
While sheltering from home, kept posting rare statement jewels in your main gallery.
Dig deeper into archives to do that, since it could no longer photograph jewelry at shows or auction previews.
If your numbers had been spiking on Instagram before COVID they will continue to do so.
Never stop posting beautiful pieces of jewelry and surely you can attract customers.
Tip #8. Don’t assume people won’t buy jewelry in hard times.
Many of us were losing income and assets, but it was also springtime and we were stressed.
We needed retail therapy: a new dress, a couple of trinkets. “People want to indulge right now,”.
This is not the time to stop posting your jewelry for sale.
“People want to buy”, let us think and assume it in this way.
Tip #9. Offer incentives.
By early April, sales began to appear everywhere. Retailers were picking up that we were hungry to buy but would only do it if we believed we were getting a deal.
Jewelry artists began to offer their own sales. One designer posted videos of herself announcing a one-day 20% off sale, with an extra 10% if you “shared the love”.
Through that, she cleared out some inventory and picked up new customers in the process. Best-case scenario, especially in hard times, is win-win: win for the seller, win for the buyer.
People want to support local business and creative independence. Nobody really wants to see the big chains take over the world, except maybe the big chains.
If you were selling face to face before, work on your online presence. Make it as easy and attractive as possible to buy.
But if people aren’t buying, keep showing beautiful new images of jewelry of your work. When they’re ready, you’ll be on their radar. 9 Tips for Jewelry Artists Doing Business During COVID-19
P.S. Royi Sal Jewelry, as a decades-long leader in silver jewelry design and manufacturing, invites you to download our latest magazine here and profit from the exceptional jewelry designs at affordable prices you will find in the magazine. Click here to download it now.