Jewelers of America (JA) released the results of their US “Fine Jewelry Industry Consumer and Retail Market Study” conducted by Provoke Insights. The study surveyed two groups, the retailers and the consumers, and Michelle Graff listed some of the key findings.
According to the surveyed retailers, of all the challenges identified, their ability to evolve and compete in the rapidly changing retail landscape seems to be the most daunting. Particularly with regards to having an updated website which is both responsive and e-commerce enabled. Those who have an ecommerce site, need to strengthen their in-store experience with well-trained, knowledgeable sales personnel and exemplary customer service.
The surveyed consumers shared their insight on what they believe the industry is missing in their current marketing and sales strategy. Consumers prefer seeing a piece of fine jewelry in-store prior to making a purchase, even if their initial research is conducted online. The preferred place of purchase for their luxury goods are national chain stores or local small businesses, rather than websites, big-box stores or duty-free shops. For stores that are online, those who also had some sort of physical presence were preferred.
Consumers are getting engaged and married at a later stage in their life, or not at all, so retailers should rethink their strategy for marketing this sparkling product as something exclusively related to a romantic relationship. An example would be the marketing for self-purchasing consumers, particularly women, this should be present throughout the year as these are usually linked to personal achievements rather than a specific holiday. According to the survey 43% of the respondents purchased or received jewelry as a gift in the last year, but only 22% bought jewelry for themselves. Other industries do not face this issue as consumers frequently buy themselves other (designer) accessories such as handbags, sunglasses, watches or leather goods.
Jewelers tend to market their products for the time leading up-to the major gift-giving holidays such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. As the survey says: “Focusing marketing efforts outside of major gift-giving holidays is more economical because of off-peak media costs. It can be easier to get one’s promotion or message heard by consumers when they are not inundated with holiday promotions.”