By George Murray
Today’s retail environment is witnessing the convergence of competition and innovation evidenced by the growing trend in “show-rooming.” Every company is looking for ways to make the consumer’s omni-channel shopping experience more convenient, and while the keys to achieving this are fairly universal the journey to integrating them in a relevant way is not.
At Sterling Jewelers, we launched ecommerce for our Kay® Jewelers and Jared® the Galleria of Jewelry brands as an additional means of meeting our customers’ evolving needs. Since the introduction of our online platform, we have worked to develop a true digital eco-system, which is focused on how a shopper experiences, interacts with and ultimately purchases our products.
As part of this ongoing initiative, we recently focused on advancing our existing multi-channel retail strategy. This effort included a redesign of our Kay.com and Jared.com websites, the launch of new transactional mobile sites for both brands and the implementation of a social media strategy focused on engaging consumers in the spaces that are most relevant to them. We also launched a mobile app through the iTunes App Store and Google Play, and introduced our catalogs on the Google Catalogs app to offer mobile shoppers even more opportunities to interact with our brands.
Our goal was to deliver a more consistent, branded and personalized experience to Kay and Jared customers everywhere they shop – whether in a physical store, online or via mobile. To achieve this we leveraged our expertise in customer service and merchandising with the experience of strategic partners in terms of optimized navigation, functionality and mobile retailing.
To help define our roadmap, we commissioned research that included a customer segmentation analysis, voice of the customer surveys and in-store observations. With deeper insights into customer needs and distinct shopping scenarios, as well as the capabilities required to support them online, we were able to deploy an integrated omni-channel solution that extends the Kay and Jared in-store shopping experience online and into the mobile channel.
The initiative has already resulted in bottom line growth for our business, with consistent increases in year-over-year online sales for both brands. More importantly, it has also created new opportunities for us to continue to evaluate, improve and evolve our customers’ overall shopping experience.