In order to remain competitive in the marketplace, diamond jewelers need to be aware of, and leverage, the latest trends. This can range from knowing the most popular current and coming jewelry styles, to staying abreast of the ever evolving methods of reaching new customers, such as we do today with social media.
Keeping up with trends can be quite an investment and risky too, especially if you are investing based on a trend that you don’t know how long will last or how popular it will be. These risks can hold back some jewelers from moving with the times, but there is a way to overcome these risks at a minimal cost – by having a virtual inventory.
Within the jewelry and diamond market, Gemfind has ready-made jewelry on offer that you can put on your site, and RapNet Instant Inventory® is the leading solution for showcasing diamonds on jeweler websites. Check out this video to see how RapNet Instant Inventory works.
Here are five top benefits to implementing a virtual inventory:
1. Offer more with less risk.
With a virtual inventory, your diamond offering grows far beyond what you have in stock at your brick-and-mortar location, warehouse or online store. As this article from way back in 2006 states, “Merchants can add items to their online product databases at little cost, taking advantage of the breadth of inventory a virtual-inventory model makes possible.”
A virtual inventory allows you to expand your diamond and jewelry offering to include any specific diamond or jewelry styles you may not carry yourself, but that you can immediately access if customers demand them. By expanding your diamond jewelry offering with a virtual inventory rather than by carrying the items in-store, you’re able to offer these styles without tying up capital in new inventory.
Along with this benefit comes the advantage of being able to gauge which items are performing well from your virtual inventory, so you will know the general level of risk you're taking if you want to start offering them in-store too. You’ll see the proof in the pudding.
2. Get ahead of competition.
As we know, virtual inventory immediately widens your product line and your ability to offer the latest trending diamond jewelry styles to customers who want what’s popular right now. This gives you an edge over the competition because not only will you have a more up-to-date offering than they will, you’ll also be able to better meet the unique needs of a larger consumer audience then they can.
3. Better engage in-store customers.
Having a virtual inventory also increases your chances of getting business from in-store customers that are looking for something very specific.
How many times has a customer arrived at your brick-and-mortar store with something extremely specific in mind, only to leave empty-handed? With a virtual inventory, you can engage these customers with the expanded offering in your online store, and they may just find exactly what they’re looking for.
Here’s an example: A customer comes into your store looking to select a specific diamond according to exact specifications to update a piece of jewelry. It has to be a 1.5 ct, round VVS2 to use in a family heirloom ring that he’d like to give to his fiancée upon his proposal. With a virtual inventory, you can source the diamond immediately and show an image of it along with its grading certificate to your customer, live on your own site, as if it was yours all along. Done deal. It’s a sale.
4. Ease your insurance burden.
Offering an expanded product line using a virtual inventory alleviates the need to carry such a large inventory in-store.
A virtual inventory allows you to expand your offering without having to account for equivalent storage space and related insurance costs, saving money and the additional burden this could carry.
5. Be more flexible.
Accessing popular items quickly and keeping abreast of jewelry style trends can be difficult with an in-store inventory, which in turn can impact on your sales. A virtual inventory allows you to alter and update your stock with more ease and flexibility, allowing you to meet your customers’ needs on a regular basis, which should translate to building a great reputation and making more sales.
Having a virtual inventory in today’s competitive marketplace is a no-brainer. This article, “Virtual Inventory a Key Piece of Omnichannel Success” states it well: “[A] virtual inventory lets retailers and brands compete against the likes of online giants Amazon, eBay, Google and others who continue to push the same-day/next-day model, by enabling them to offer fast and cheap fulfillment.” Embracing a virtual inventory allows you to compete with the large diamond jewelry stores without incurring huge expenses and major risks – if you haven’t considered it before then now is the time!