Victor Halvarsson, CEO and founder of VANBRUUN tells us about wedding-related jewelry and the impact of Covid on his business.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Victor Halvarsson: We are coping well since both I and my wife got it last year and only had mild symptoms. We are awaiting the vaccine to be rolled out so things can get back to normal.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded VANBRUUN.
Victor Halvarsson: I was looking to purchase an engagement ring myself 8 years ago, I saw a gap in the European market for a brand like us. So the process after that the idea popped into my mind was quite quick where I just quit my old bank job and ran with full force into this venture that today is VANBRUUN.COM which is the largest online retailer of fine jewelry in northern Europe.
How does VANBRUUN innovate?
Victor Halvarsson: We are eager to try new things. As far as I know, we were the first brand who on a large and structured scale started to offer “home try-on” for rings. A program where we let our customers try 3 rings for free for 3 days at the comfort of their home. This has been especially appreciated during times like this since we are able to move the shopping experience to the customer’s homes. We are also very prone to keep on offering the most environmentally friendly metals, shipping alternatives, packaging materials, and alike and rest assured that you will be able to follow our journey into a pioneering brand when it comes to all of this in the near future.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Victor Halvarsson: We have been heavy affected due to the number of weddings have decreased by around 25% so have our potential customers but still we are doing quite ok, to be honest.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Victor Halvarsson: Yes, we stopped all of our marketing campaigns in an effort to stop money going ut as much as possible, what we learned was that in the end what happened was that it did cost us much more since our traffic and in the end, revenue dropped and cost of lost revenue was far higher than the money saved.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Victor Halvarsson: I had to trust my gut feeling, we did not use any specific tools really.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Victor Halvarsson: Mostly the big online retailers like James Allen, Blue Nile but also traditional bricks and mortars store selling brands
Your final thoughts?
Victor Halvarsson: I am eager to learn how all of this has affected customer behavior in the long run and how the customer will interact with brands in the future. Of course, we know that customers transition to more online shopping is permanent but by how much?
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