Committing to curbside pickup — or breaking up with it

The pandemic forced Daniel’s Jewelers to change its sales approach.  

Daniel’s Jewelers, founded in 1948, was almost entirely an in-store retailer in 2019. 0.001% of its sales came from its ecommerce website that year, says Sam Sarullo, head of ecommerce and marketing.   

It launched a new ecommerce website in early 2020, just two weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. And shortly thereafter, it launched curbside pickup.  

“Whether it was divine blessing or a horrible baptism by fire … all that traffic flushed over to the website,” Sarullo says.  

As shopper behavior changed in response to pandemic restrictions, customers who previously only shopped in the retailer’s physical stores then fell into three categories, he says.  

One group embraced the retailer’s new online shopping experience. The retailer processed 200 orders a day in 2020, up from about two orders a day in 2019 he says. 

Another group did not want to go to physical stores because of health concerns but also did not want to purchase jewelry online, he says. The third category still wanted an in-store shopping experience.  

There came a point in the pandemic when retailers could bring staff back into stores, but shoppers still could not enter. 

“So we started to pivot toward a curbside pickup model when we could get staff into the stores at a reasonable time,” Sarullo says. 

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