How Buckner Gold and Silver Successfully Grew Their Business During COVID
Jul 19, 2021
Conventional wisdom suggests that a pandemic would not bode well for jewelry sales. But Buckner Gold and Silver in Dallas, Texas defied the odds and had their best year.
Buckner Gold and Silver has served the Dallas area since 2009 and offered the Acima leasing option for the past 4 years. In 2009, they only bought gold from customers, but started selling jewelry in 2013 when they saw the market was viable. The addition of an LTO option made an immediate impact on their business. Many of their customers would rather make smaller, optional lease renewal payments than be committed to one large purchase payment. And it shows, 65% of their customers choose the Acima Lease-To-Own offering.
Thousands of merchants use the Acima LTO option, but how has Buckner Gold and Silver been so successful throughout the years? Check out these 6 tips on how to optimize your LTO program to reach more customers.
1. Utilize Social Media
The Buckner Gold and Silver team does all of their marketing via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Their social media frequents some of their best pieces, happy customers and sale content. Each post is accompanied by details of the Acima LTO offering and a few posts even feature the Acima POP. “Most of our customers come in just because they saw the social media posts,” said Samantha, the Sales Manager, “and are interested in the pieces we are posting.” Highlighting happy customer experiences has proven to be most impactful, in some cases creating viral posts. The customers featured in those posts often share it to their social media channels and it creates referral business for Buckner. Meaningful content about your product combined with customer testimonials can create the kind of authentic engagement needed to reach new buyers and drive traffic.
*If you are looking to better utilize social media, the Marketing Resource page can be accessed through your merchant portal! Every single merchant location can go to their portal, click on resources, click on digital media, and can find custom graphics and the application link just for your location.
2. Treat Every Customer with Respect
One of the things the Buckner team prides themselves on is their customer service. Their mantra in the store is to treat everyone with respect, no matter what. The Buckner team comes from diverse set of backgrounds, so they know exactly how it feels to be treated differently based on race or ethnicity. It is their number one goal to make sure no one ever feels that way in their store. To them, it’s obviously working because 70% of their business is repeat buyers or referral business.
Along with treating everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve, they also spend adequate time with the customer and fit product selection to the specific need of the customer. Jewelry is something consumers are quite particular about, so they make sure to invest the time in these customer engagements, even if it takes an extra 30 minutes or an hour. They strive to ensure guests always have a great experience in their store.
3. Put Your Employees First
Buckner Gold and Silver is a family run business with a small staff, which means they are putting in long hours every week. The owner, Sam, makes sure he puts his employees first, stating “Because if your employees aren’t happy, they won’t treat your customers right.” He tries to make sure his employees are enjoying their jobs and feel empowered and confident when talking to customers. The Sales Manager, Samantha said, “This is different from any job I’ve ever had, you can tell he really cares about us and that makes me want to show up to work every day, do my best and treat my customers with the same respect Sam shows us.
4. Be Transparent About Shopping Options Early On
Talking about shopping options and terms can sometimes be daunting to the customer, but the Buckner team has found that talking about shopping options, and specifically the Acima lease-to-own option, at the beginning of the interaction has actually made customers more comfortable in their store. As soon as a customer starts looking at a piece, the salesperson will ask how they want to pay and if the customer is interested in a flexible lease transaction with Acima. And, if interested, they have them apply immediately. “We have seen that if the customer applies and knows from the beginning what they might be able to get, it makes them more comfortable throughout their shopping experience, rather than disappointed at the very end because they found a piece out of their approval range,” said Samantha. Once they began discussing the Acima leasing option early, they have seen larger ticket sizes and deals closed the same day because of the flexibility and value provided by Acima’s LTO solutions to customers.
5. Highlight the 90 Day Purchase Option
Anytime the Buckner Gold and Silver team talks to a customer about the Acima leasing option, they highlight the 90 Day Purchase Option. “Any emergency can happen tomorrow, so I tell my customers that the lease option form Acima allows them to keep more of their money upfront, while still having flexibility, if they want to eventually own the item, to purchase the jewelry from Acima by the early purchase option deadline and enjoy savings compared to acquiring ownership at a later time,” said EZ, a Buckner Sales Representative. Highlighting the 90 Day Purchase Option has been very successful for the Buckner team, as nearly 70% of their customers utilize this option. The Buckner team also sees a huge portion of this group return shortly after the 90 days to create a new lease and shop for a new piece of jewelry to add to their collection.
6. Don’t Underestimate the Empowerment Your Customers Can Experience
Cash and credit constrained customers often have to do without, buy used, or can be subjected to very undignified processes to acquire the items they want. The Acima leasing option creates a more inclusive process allowing more customers to leave the merchant with their desired items. The Buckner team makes sure each customer understands the benefits of considering a lease with Acima before walking out of the store. Sales manager, Samantha, pulls on personal experience having used a different type of leasing transaction herself. “I tried to finance a car and they denied me because I had no credit history and it made me feel bad, but when a company took a chance on me, even with no credit, it made me feel good and gave me some joy.” Even though Samantha hadn’t gained her personal experience from using the Acima leasing option, she knows it’s the exact same thing she experienced and doesn’t want any of her customers to go through what she did.
These are just a few ways the Buckner Gold and Silver crew ensures their success day to day. If you are looking for new ways to spruce up marketing or sales tactics, try these tips!