SURVIVE & THRIVE: I hope you are all doing well. We survived––did better than survive–– as we had a nice increase after experiencing a couple of lean months during the shutdown. I think many of our clients fared well despite the pandemic. Traffic slowed but the average ticket was up for many to offset this.
MARKETING YOUR MESSAGE: The tenets of retail remain the same. You need customers to sell to and product that is right for them. However, the way you market has changed. Used to be that your message on radio and TV or in the newspaper or direct mail would bring customers into your physical store. Now it is largely digital message via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, email, and text that attracts potential customers to come to your store or visit your website. BTW, direct mail has its place in today’s environment as it is millennials preferred way to be marketed to, and QR codes on direct mail pieces can drive them to your website.
UPCOMING DEVELOPMENTS & IMPROVEMENTS: Our CRM/Clienteling solution continues to get better. The last phase, Opportunities, is on our development plate now and will round out the solution when combined with Tasks and Appointments.
The Edge has evolved functionally and technologically for years. In 2021, we will put an emphasis on improving the user experience through a new UI. You’ll experience the same functionality and then some with a cleaner, easier-to-use interface. We also have a high priority emphasis on making the transition to a 64-bit program this year, which will open up a plethora of development options, including giving us the ability to develop mobile capabilities for Clienteling and POS purposes.
PARTNER NEWS: Podium has developed a text payment system that will be incorporated into the CRM which has a huge upside potential and adds a level of convenience that consumers are looking for. The combination of robust clienteling and integrated text payments is a powerful tool. Give customers a reason and make it easy for them to buy.
WEBSITE SOLUTIONS: Today’s retail jeweler needs both a physical location and a website to realize their business’s full potential. We have a few ways jewelers can implement a website into their business model. We are partnered with two website development companies for more customized solutions. We have also developed an integration to Shopify that will upload your customers and inventory, and record the sales made from the Shopify website into The Edge. The price for this feature is $95 per month. We are happy to help you whichever way you choose to go with your web presence.
INVENTORY MANAGEMENT: What has me most excited is the Virtual Marketplace that we are working on. I cannot stress enough the benefits of good inventory management, not only to you but your customers and vendors. As trends change at light speed and decisions need to be made quickly and accurately, this is more important than ever.
The Virtual Marketplace will give you the ability to source and order product from your computer that has a high probability of selling. The weekly buying plan in The Edge points you to the categories and cost ranges of product to order. Your screen will fill out with images of product that meet your needs; a simple click of the mouse will drop your selections into a purchase order. What is more, if you subscribe to Edge Pulse, the paid or free version, you will see what items are selling best for a few thousand other jewelers in the categories/cost ranges. Big data being put to good use!
Once again, I urge all users, old and new, to be or get familiar with The Edge inventory management philosophy and our reporting. It is built using proven inventory management formulas and best practice methodologies. It is the most accurate and effective tool I know of for managing jewelry store inventory.
DATA INTEGRITY is essential for making decisions. That integrity only exists in The Edge. Please be aware that we are aware of others who are extracting data from The Edge only to produce divergent reports that are not factual.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS FOR 2021: I look forward to seeing you at a trade show or one of our seminars in the very near future. We will be exhibiting at JCK in August if that show is not cancelled. Unfortunately, there were too many unknowns to be able to do our seminar prior to the show but we are planning a two or three-day seminar in October at our facilities in Shelton.
All-in-all we are looking forward to good things happening in 2021. We will not stop innovating and evolving. We are grateful for your business and want nothing more than for you to achieve the full potential of your store through the use of our best practice integrated solution. Your success is our reward.