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Learn how Tiffany increased her sales by $1.3 million in pandemic-era

Learn the secret behind a $1.3 million increase in pandemic-era sales for this Florida jeweler
Oct 19, 2021

One of the most talked-about presentations at this year's JCK show in Las Vegas was offered by Tiffany Bayley, owner of Avalon Park Jewelers in Florida.

Tiffany, a lifelong entrepreneur, turned to Facebook Live as a way to stay relevant during the challenging times brought about by pandemic-era shutdowns. "Sitting on my sofa at home like everyone else, I was trying to figure out exactly what I was going do to keep my staff employed and remain relevant to the customers that I had worked so hard to build relationships with over the years," she explains. She decided to go live on Facebook with the simple goal of remaining on top of her customers' minds. She recalls brainstorming with her son about the logistics and trying to figure out how she'd film herself demonstrating jewelry products while still holding the phone. This planning process led her to partner with a videographer who helped her realize her vision and produce professional-looking videos from the get-go. Still, she couldn't have possibly predicted how successful it would be and recalls, "We had really done our homework and studied the business model, but still we had no idea what we were walking into."

Their first event was held mid-day on a Friday. Her staff was gathered in the back, ready to process the orders while she filmed live from another part of the store. Unable to speak directly with them while she was live on camera, she listened intently for the phone to ring with customers calling to place their orders while she presented the merchandise live to the camera. She was devastated to hear the telephone ring only once. "I was so disappointed; I really thought people would watch," she remembers. It was only after the live event had ended that she realized that the reason she'd only heard the phone ring once was that subsequent customers had called and connected via call waiting. Rather than just one phone call, the staff had answered dozens, one after the next. The show was a hit!

With orders piling up and her phone lines jamming during live events, she began trying to figure out how to install additional phone lines and desks for staffers to process orders. "And then I talked to Anish. And he said to me, 'Tiffany; you are not going to need any more phone lines.'" Anish Desai is the President and CEO of Stargems, a market leader in custom jewelry designs for over 30 years. At the time, they had recently released a text message marketing platform specifically built for retailers called TextMeChat. "TextMeChat opened the doors to the world for us," Tiffany says "It was a real game-changer." She had tried other online texting platforms in the past, but nothing else made it as easy to get the product in front of the customers as TextMeChat and her audience loved being able to check out by text.

As pandemic restrictions loosened and people began returning to a routine, Tiffany's live events moved to Wednesday prime time. Thanks to TextMeChat, she didn't have to worry about losing her audience due to the scheduling change, "texting never fails," she notes, and it's easy to keep her audience informed. While many customers still call in by phone during the live events, it's usually because they enjoy connecting with Tiffany's friendly team. The vast majority of her sales are processed using TextMeChat. The platform also makes it possible to create custom catalogs that can be texted to customers with just a few clicks. One of her favorite features of these catalogs is that customers can purchase items right from their phones without allowing an oversell if the product is sold out. Now, having completed 63 shows over 16 months, Tiffany and her team have reached 357 thousand viewers and realized $1.3 million in revenue from this endeavor. She's so confident in the system that they have perfected that she's now launching coaching and training programs for other retailers who want to thrive with live. Her advice for business owners who may feel uncomfortable appearing on camera?

"Your customer already knows you. They know how you look and speak, and they care about you and are waiting to connect with you. Just speak with them in the same way that you would if they walked into your store. It's such an amazing opportunity." Shop with Tiffany Live airs every Wednesday night at 7 pm on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Learn more about Tiffany and her Avalon Park, Florida jewelry stores at avalonparkjewelers.com. Be sure to follow her so that you can grab a copy of her upcoming book!

To learn more about TextMeChat, the text message marketing platform built specifically for retailers, visit www.textmechat.com and schedule a demo!