Think Thursday: Is The Modern Fine Jewelry Buyer Considering the Online Retail Market?
It seems the debate is still open on where this generation of jewelry seekers will make their next big buy. Are millennial's even into fine jewelry in the same way that the Baby-Boomers or Gen "X" were? We read three articles that have us questioning which direction Gen "Y" is looking to pursue their jewelry purchases; IN STORE vs. ONLINE.
What we understand is that today's shopper has a much different agenda than of those in the previous decades. "The younger generation had come to value experiences over accumulating stuff," says contributor at Forbes, Barry Samaha. "Most would rather go to an exotic locale and post about it on Instagram, than to buy a new gold bracelet." His research on online fine jewelry retailer Flont explores their concept of jewelry "borrowing" for a monthly fee of about $300, much like what Rent-the-Runway does for clothing and accessories. This provides the modern shopper with options as opposed to the longer-term and more expensive commitment.
Fashionista.com reported a case study of mega-brand Tiffany & Co's successful efforts to reach millennial shoppers through social networking and, for the first time, selling on online platforms beside their own like Net-a-Porter.
To shut down all the rumors, however, is Rob Bates, news director at JCK. His article, Why Jewelry Consumers Prefer to Shop in Stores, written earlier this year, is the opposing of all the considerations mentioned above. His survey of just over 1,000 participants proves in the numbers that in-store consumption still takes the lead. 59% of the respondents prefer in-store shopping because they like to be able to see and feel the merchandise. It also gives a social aspect not provided by the impersonal online shopping experience.
So we have some follow-up questions for you:
-To the jewelry retailers: Are you purchasing for your consistent client, or are you trying to engage with a newer, younger audience?
-To the jewelry designers: Are you trying to create a trend for the next round of purchasers, or do you look to the past trends to get a source of inspiration?
-To the diamond dealer: How do you consider which shapes, colors, sizes will be in trend for your inventory? By what previously sells, or by your predictions?
Overall, how does each function of the jewelry supply chain consider its up-and-coming market?