Amore vs. Darje Retailers Marketing Plan

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[. . .] Product and customer service

In any retail industry, particularly a small-scale effort such as a jewellery stores, service is more important than ever. In the case of purchasing an engagement ring or wedding ring, customers often want suggestions about appropriate styles. If the ring is custom-designed, the artistry of the store is even more forcefully at the forefront of the experience: additional services may act as a draw to select one store over another. Even if a store does not attempt to attract customers willing to pay premium prices, friendliness and knowledgeability is essential so the customer leaves with a positive experience.

One of the problems of Darje is that the store is so focused on offering 'value' that there is little in the way of customer interaction with shoppers. Even though it does not offer customized services, the 'specialness' of buying jewellery could still enhance the customer experience.

To assess the customer service component of this retail organization, I paid a visit to both establishments. I was immediately struck with the friendliness and focus on customer service exhibited at Amore even as a casual observer of the establishment. The stress upon customer service was clearly not something just proclaimed in detail on their website but something that was taken quite seriously by the enterprise. The staff was evidently very well-trained and knew a great deal about the services offered by the company. Even though I stated I was just coming there to browse, the staff still treated me as though I was an honoured guest. In contrast, I struggled to find assistance at Darje. The staff was extremely curt to me and unwilling to offer information.

Of course, attentiveness to customer needs is not the only consideration when buying jewellery, but it is an important one, given to the extent to which subjective impressions influence purchasing decisions:

People buy jewellery because they want it. Not need it. Want it! You may need one pair of cuff links. You may want more. People want jewellry be-cause it is beautiful. A simple, silly statement. But true. A subjective vulnerability to beauty, a mind-expanding magic compulsion worked on the emotions by sheer aesthetics, may well be one of man's most important "coping strategies." Add to jewels the belief that their intrinsic beauty will enhance the attractiveness of their possessor and the magic intensifies (Karo 1968: 49).

While jewellery does have other important attributes, such as wealth, in terms of the value it holds in the estimation of the purchaser, by and large there are other, more effective ways of saving money. There is thus a substantial emotional attachment that people bring to the experience of buying jewellery. It is not a simply transactional relationship between giver and receiver. Similarly, the experience of purchasing is not purely transactional. The actions of the staff at Amore clearly communicated this awareness in the sensitivity that they showed even to a casual shopper's needs. At Darje, however, little attention was given to me as a consumer and it was assumed that the appearance of the products sold themselves. There was no attempt to give the customer an 'experience' as he or she walked through the door. While it is possible that someone might still purchase an item at Darje because of its low price, this ultimately does not utilize all of the potential tools at a retailer's disposal in making sales. Furthermore, there may be lower-cost retailers such as big box stores of jewellery and even a budget-minded shopper likely comes to Darje in search of more than a transactional relationship with the jeweller.

Thus, I learned very quickly, upon shopping at Darje, that the treatment of its customers left something to be desired. Furthermore, better training of the staff members would accomplish additional social cache and likely better sales for the retailer at relatively few higher operational costs. Although Darje cannot change its location in the mall, it can change its attitude.

Recommendations: Feasibility and desirability

Amore

Amore currently has a strong brand identity as a luxury jewellery store offering customized services, particularly for romantic purchases. It has a good location in a high-end mall and strong customer service. However, its website is extremely weak, showcasing very little in the way of attractive offerings and is extremely verbally rather than visually dense.

Darje

Darje is struggling to balance its status as a discount jewellery store with the fact that jewellery remains a luxury product for many consumers they do not want to 'scrimp' on. It currently stresses the realism of is manufactured faux diamonds but given their falseness, they are not obviously a luxury product. Still, Darje is not a downscale jeweller in the sense they occupy the lowest echelon of the market. Improving store ambiance and in-store service would enable the store to market itself as a discount jeweller without a budget feel.

Conclusion

Branding is particularly essential to jewellery stores today, who struggle to compete with larger, discount stores. They must offer unique services, in the case of Amore luxury and customization, and in the case of Darje a unique costume jewellery technology for replicating diamonds. These different price points and customer target demographics affect store presentation and marketing but even a discount retailer like Darje cannot ignore the need for high-quality service.

References

Amore. (2014). Official website. Retrieved from:

http://www.amorejewellery.net/about-gold-coast-jewellers.php

Darje. (2014). Official Website. Retrieved from:

http://www.darje.com.au/diamond_Hybirds.ews

Grewal, D. (et al. 2014).The effects of wait expectations and store atmosphere evaluations on Patronage intentions in service-intensive retail stores. Journal of Retailing, 79 (40).

Gupta. S & Cooper, L. (1992). The discounting of discounts and promotion thresholds.

Journal of Consumer Research, 19, (3): 401-411

Janssen, C., Vanhamme, J., Lindgreen, A., & Lefebvre, C. (2014). The catch-22 of responsible luxury: Effects of luxury product characteristics on consumers' perception of fit with corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 119(1), 45-57.

Karo, M. (1968). The U.S. Jewellery Industry. Financial Analysts Journal, 24 (2):

49-56+88.

Luxury goods: The price of luxury. (2008). Brand Strategy, 46-n/a.

The Oasis. (2014). Oasis Shopping Centre. Retrieved from:

http://oasisshoppingcentre.com/visitor-information/

Sabrina, E. (2014). The influence of the store… [END OF PREVIEW]

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