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Repair sales should be fully maximised
Repair sales should be fully maximised

Sell more with jewellery repairs

A store’s repair department is an often overlooked contributor of revenue and generator of future sales. DAVID BROWN explains how retailers can take advantage.

It is an old retail saying that repairs increase when the economy slows down, and it makes sense that consumers would repair if they don’t have the cashflow to replace.

Over the past few years, jewellery sales have been healthy and the tendency to focus on repairs has decreased; however, this is ignoring the benefit that an active repair business can contribute to a store’s overall sales performance.

As a means of marketing, repairs can be one of the most effective ways of driving foot traffic. Unlike other forms of marketing, there is the benefit of no upfront spend and the added bonus that repairs are immediately profitable. What other form of advertising brings in money without any upfront cost?

To know the effectiveness of your store’s repair business, it helps to firstly know how significant a part of the existing business it currently is.

Where do your repair figures sit as a percentage of your total sales? Do you process your repairs through your POS system? If you don’t record them, how can you measure them and, consequently, learn from them?

A well-managed repair department can generate:

  • Healthy profit

  • Good traffic flow – busy stores attract customers

  • Opportunities to build trust and develop relationships that lead to sales – after all, customers generally won’t leave their treasured items with a jeweller they don’t trust.

Smart jewellers know to treat repairs as new items. That is, repairs are not price sensitive in the same way that new jewellery purchases are.

Customers already own the piece that is to be repaired so a repair transaction is not seen as a purchase; it’s seen as maintenance and the brain handles the thought process differently.

Know your competition

To have a strong and profitable repair department, you don’t have to be the cheapest in town. When did you last check the repair prices of your competitors?

How do your prices compare and, if they are cheaper or more expensive, why?

If your repair prices are dearer, what validation can you give to customers to justify that?

One method is to underline the in-store expertise with statements such as, “We have highly qualified experts on the premises” or “Our watchmaker is Swiss trained”.

You should be able to give a credible answer to customers who ask why prices are higher. Sincerity and transparency will build trust with customers just as a lack of honesty will dilute it.

There are dozens of stories about how a simple repair led to a good sale and you probably have some of your own. When you take these additional sales into consideration, it becomes difficult to put a true dollar-value on the worth of the repairs department but you should be aware that it is probably contributing more than you realise.

Think about it: if a customer goes ahead with a repair, there is a strong likelihood that same customer will visit the store twice – once to drop off an item, once to collect it when the repair is done.

Each time they enter, they view your product range and interact with your sales staff, both of which can lead to new sales if this opportunity is approached correctly.

Wait time is sell time

Even if customers come in just once to wait for a watch battery to be changed, they have a good five minutes to explore the store while they wait – most advertisers would kill to have a prospect’s undivided attention for five minutes! Even if a customer doesn’t proceed with a repair, a perfect opportunity emerges to offer them a replacement item.

Another way to improve your repairs division is to determine how you are perceived in the marketplace. This is the perfect time to have someone go and ask passers-by where a good place would be to get a repair done.

Some mystery shopping will also help you to establish the prices at competitors in your local area. Stores who do this generally receive feedback that they can use to improve their businesses.

Repairs may seem like a necessary evil sometimes but when they are maximised to their fullest potential, repairs will not only provide immediate revenue but can boost sales without expensive promotion. In this way, they can become a key driver of your business.












ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Brown

Contributor • Retail Edge Consultants


David Brown is co-founder and business mentor with Retail Edge Consultants. Learn more: retailedgeconsultants.com









Tuesday, 21 August, 2018 10:34am
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