Preparing your jewellery business for the festive season

The Christmas decorations are up and the countdown to the holidays has begun. A large part of an independent jeweller’s annual revenue can be made in the year-end shopping rush – are you ready to take full advantage of the sales opportunities the festive season brings?

Email is a crucial marketing tool and your very first campaign should alert your database to your deadline for last orders of custom pieces, and highlight any extended trading hours (don’t forget to update your website and social media accounts to reflect this too). Adding a Christmas Day countdown to your website is an extra touch to generate excitement and send a subtle reminder to customers to buy soon, and can be echoed as “x days left” graphic posts on your social media channels. The same concept can be applied for final dates for online orders for delivery. All digital graphics should be updated to reflect the season and drive engagement. There’s a specific group of consumers who love the festive shopping vibe and will respond well to your participation in the holiday cheerfulness. Even those who are less Christmas-spirited will still have an active consumer mindset, so take the pain out of their gifting to-do list by making it as easy as possible for them to buy from you. You could create jewellery gift guides for your social media pages, reflecting a range of price points and ideal recipients. Giving a customer the opportunity to buy for a variety of family members all in one place will save them time and hassle, and will be appreciated. You could even incentivise them by offering a discount on several purchases or throwing in a freebie item.

Cape Precious Metals Refining Services

Have you noticed the jewellery advent calendars that established brands have promoted for the last few years? Check out the impressive offerings from Missoma and Tiffany & Co

People are on the lookout for ideas and bargains; so do post your items on your social channels often. A tactic to try is a “12 days of Christmas” campaign. Your posts can include free in-store cleaning for customers’ existing jewellery, or free gift-wrapping service on that specific day, interspersed amongst sale or promo items. Since margins are tight for independent and small business owners, if you can’t afford huge discounts you could try offering free delivery to sweeten the deal. Couriers will be very busy this time of year so there’s no harm in asking if they could offer you a reduced rate since their fleet is out on the road so much anyway. With the recent popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in South Africa, you will be competing with sometimes outrageously low prices by the larger chain stores in the very recent past, so consider using graphics that also frame your jewellery as high quality and good value rather than a cheap deal. (An emerging counterpoint to this big retailer-benefiting sale frenzy is “Small Business Saturday” which we’re hoping to see increase in popularity here.)

Those who prefer to shop with smaller businesses claim that it’s because it feels more personal, and if you have a dedicated client base, don’t forget them during this very busy period. Even small gestures like Christmas cards (which could be digital) show how much your customers mean to you, and will remind them to choose you for their gifting needs. Tell the stories behind your brand and products in-person and on social media so you become the human face that your customers enjoy supporting. You could also host an in-store event to perhaps thank your clients or give them a sneak peek into next year’s range. You could also use this event to partner with a champagne or spa brand for bubbly and foot massages on the night, or to collaborate on gift packages to increase reach via each other’s advertising channels.

Research suggests that decorating your storefront should increase interest from passers-by, and therefore sales. If you’re unsure of your display, take a photo outside of trading times when there’s no distracting activity or people blocking your view. Often the cold reality of a still image can reveal flaws that are overlooked in person in a busy environment. A retailer is only as strong as its staff, so plan your roster wisely over this stressful and busy time. According to financial services and mobile payment company Square, there is great value in reviewing last year’s sales from the weeks leading up to Christmas. Use this data to identify which days are likely to be busiest and put your most experienced and trusted employees on duty then. It’s also a good idea to schedule replacements to be on standby for unforeseen circumstances. Hold staff briefings in which you clearly communicate the demands of each role and set guidelines to be followed during the busy period, including how you’ll process returns, and ensure that all staff know exactly what promotions and offers have been made via digital advertising channels so there are no mixed messages in store. Consider spoiling your team by ordering them lunch on really busy days to boost morale. Crime is an extra concern now, so check out our previous article outlining how you can best secure your staff and stock. While you’re reviewing last year’s sales to determine your staff roster, also check what the best-performing product categories were and what items you may have sold out of. Ensure that you’re stocked up on fast-sellers and that employees know to re-order or alert you when inventories get low. Make sure you’re sorted for gift boxes and tags, receipt paper, jewellery cleaner and general in-store necessities.

Wishing all of our clients a safe and prosperous festive season! CPM closes at 1pm on Friday, 20 December 2019 and reopens on Monday, 6 January 2020. If you need any goodies from us, please
place your orders ASAP



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