Though fine jewelry sales persisted through the pandemic, the wedding industry took a hit since couples could not throw in-person weddings. Now that things seem to have taken a turn for the better, we anticipate seeing a rise in weddings once again—but before that, of course, a rise in proposals. As a jeweler, there’s never been a better time to make a digital pivot into eCommerce if you haven’t already. Here are some of the things to keep an eye on in terms of trends, news, and things you should consider when adding an eCommerce element to your business.
Virtual Try-Ons and AR
One of the most interesting and exciting innovations to hit the jewelry industry is the introduction of virtual try-ons. Jewelers both large and small are embracing this trend, using tools like Gemfind’s RingBuilder® app. The application gives customers the ability to build customized ring designs using a number of factors like carat size, metal, and setting. Customers who use this feature can then virtually “try on” the ring until they find the right fit.
Another trend in this space is the use of augmented reality (AR). Trueview AR is a turnkey system that handles a multitude of customization options. Using Trueview, customers can swap jewelry features and try on their creations using AR.
You’ve heard of 3D printing, but what about 3D jewelry printing? It’s a rising trend in the jewelry industry. 3D printing has made waves by significantly reducing the time it takes to produce fine jewelry and has made it possible to create jewelry out of more malleable metals like bronze, copper, and brass. 3D printing also makes creating jewelry from a wider range of materials possible—materials like ceramics, alumina, and polyamide. This allows for a simpler manufacturing process and a reduced retail price. 3D printing can be especially beneficial in terms of reducing lead times and supply chain issues, which we all know is a very real problem as we move toward a post-pandemic world.
These days, everyone has a smartphone and most people have at least one other “smart” item like a watch or an activity tracker. With new technologies, some jewelers are beginning to pair the beauty of jewelry with the functionality of wearable technology by manufacturing “smart” jewelry that you wear just like you would an Apple Watch. These new pieces of jewelry allow you to pair your smartphone to a ring, a bracelet, or a necklace and track your steps, receive phone calls, and do other things you’d normally track using a smartwatch or fitness tracker.
While “smart” jewelry might not seem like an immediate benefit for eCommerce jewelers, consider it as a “know your audience” product. Millennials and older Gen Zers are becoming the target demographic for jewelers, and they are always looking for new, innovative, and convenient products. Adding this type of jewelry to your eCommerce store is a good way to stay ahead of the curve and ensure you’ve got the inventory that consumers are wanting.
Increasing Payment Options
During the pandemic, many businesses had to close their doors and pivot to a digital strategy. This meant ensuring that people could still easily buy the things they wanted—and for many companies, this looked like adding payment options.
In the past, companies typically only offered one digital payment option—credit card. But in recent months, online retailers have expanded their options to remove buying barriers and close more sales. These options include the ability to pay via PayPal and Buy Now, as well as Pay Later functionality from third-party companies like AfterPay, Klarna, and Affirm. These options allow people to order the products they want, make a down payment, and then pay over time in installments. For qualifying buyers, these payments are often interest-free, which is immensely more appealing to a consumer than using their credit card and facing interest fees.
Jewelers have a clear advantage when it comes to visual commerce: jewelry is, by its very nature, beautiful. That’s why people buy it! Ensuring that your jewelry is visually appealing is essential in ensuring digital success. Make sure you’re using high-quality product images (hiring a photographer is a great way to ensure your visuals are cohesive and appealing), leverage user-generated content (this is when a person snaps a photo of your product and gives you permission to use it on your digital marketing channels), and consider using 360-degree images and videos of your jewelry.
Ethically Sourced Jewelry
As the population ages, a younger generation has begun reaching the age where people typically buy jewelry for themselves and others. In the past, people didn’t think too hard about where their diamonds and gems came from—but that’s just not true for Millennials and Gen Z consumers. This generation of buyers wants to know that they can feel good about the products they’re buying and the brands they’re supporting. In a recent survey, a whopping 70% of buyers reported that they’d like to buy jewelry items that were produced ethically, with minimal environmental impact and fair working conditions for miners.
Going Beyond Just Having a Website
Adding an eCommerce component to your business is only part of the process. Once you have your website established and everything is in working order, you have to begin thinking about how to reach new people and audiences.
There are several components to successful digital marketing, including:
- Social media marketing
- Paid advertising
- E-mail marketing
- Word-of-mouth marketing (utilizing Google reviews and other digital review sites)
These are just a few of the pathways you can utilize to ensure digital marketing success. Creating a cohesive, omnichannel digital marketing strategy is key to ensuring your brand-new eCommerce website doesn’t just sit around in cyberspace without getting any traffic! Jewelers today are embracing this new digital marketing trend to ensure they’re reaching the right buyers, with the right messaging, at the right time.