How Independent Jewelers are taking on Chain Stores
Updated: Jul 15
When you start a jewelry business, the focus is usually on getting the first group of customers. You may rely on the traditional forms of advertising, such as coupon mailers and print ads. You may also advertise on billboards to attract customers. While such strategies have been considered adequate for many years, advancements in technology have transformed how businesses in the jewelry industry market themselves. The internet, social media, and digital marketing have opened doors for businesses to market products more efficiently, posing a significant threat to chain stores.
Rise of Niche Marketing
Niche marketing is a type of advertising that focuses on a unique target market. The target is a specific demographic of potential customers instead of marketing to everyone who would benefit from the product. We can define the niche in terms of geographic area, culture, occasion, lifestyle, profession, need, or style. It can even be something as unusual as a jeweler that focuses on jewelry for Guns and Roses fans, providing them with everything they need to complete their Axl Rose look.
Niche marketing focuses on segments of a larger market with unique needs and preferences that make them different from the larger market. For instance, you may become a jeweler specializing in men’s jewelry, hip-hop jewelry, wedding jewelry, or victorian styles. Instead of casting the net wide like in the case of mass marketing, the focus is on a smaller group that aligns perfectly with your products.
Niche marketing allows independent jewelers to set themselves apart and meet their customer’s needs better than conventional retailers. Any group of potential customers found online is usually more extensive than what could be attracted locally. Independent jewelers can reach geographically distributed but broad audiences in their niche more cost-effectively and measurably with digital and social media marketing strategies, which translates to a faster market growth rate and steady profits. Niche marketing is also associated with a higher ROI, less competition, and better customer loyalty. The only significant drawbacks are that higher ROI is not always guaranteed, and the overall size of the market is usually smaller.
Threat to Chain Stores
With the rise of the internet and social media, the last few years have threatened traditional chain stores. Several brands have withdrawn from the market and others forced to change their business model. Big global names have closed their stores, while others have restructured their operations and implemented e-commerce platforms as part of their business model. On the contrary, niche-specific businesses have been on the rise. Jewelers selling niche products can command higher prices and maintain loyalty amongst their customer base, who perceive them as experts in their niche.
Experts blame the slow decline of chain stores on the emergence of e-commerce brands that focus on niche markets. Through online sales and marketing, independent jewelers can deliver millions of items to customers while maintaining reasonable margins. On the other hand, chain stores have stuck to the conventional marketing methods that are no longer effective with modern customers. Most of them struggle with physical storefronts, inefficient operations, and massive debts. The situation became worse with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which accelerated changes in consumer preferences to online shopping.
The internet, social media, and digital marketing offer independent jewelers the opportunity to market and sell their products in a way that gives them a competitive edge over chain stores. Through niche marketing, independent jewelers can focus all their energies on specific target customers, allowing them to satisfy the customers’ needs better. Since satisfied customers will always come back, this leaves chain stores in a dark spot.