Digital marketing has permeated into every single industry over the last decade. In order to keep up with this ongoing trend, luxury brands have also started embracing the opportunities of the connected and mobile world. In particular, the shift in how fine jewelry is being sold illustrates how even unlikely industries can take advantage of e-commerce and online sales.
The online presence of the fine jewelry market currently only accounts for 4%–5% of the total value of the industry. However, this number is on the rise and it’s estimated that online sales of fine jewelry will make up 10% of the market by 2020 as more luxury brands establish their presence and begin selling their pieces online.
Regardless of prices, the demand for fine jewelry and other luxury pieces has always been high. There were 30.49 million people who purchased fine jewelry in 2017 in the US market alone.
In an open-ended survey, jewelry retailers and suppliers, who are Jewelers of America members, expect 79% continual industry growth.
Today, e-commerce and connecting with millennials put forth a number of challenges for players in the fine jewelry market. Only 34% of retailers and even fewer suppliers have e-commerce enabled websites.
Below are 5 compelling reasons why those operating in the fine jewelry market should look to digital campaigns and e-commerce solutions in order to connect with today’s tech-savvy consumers.
The online presence of a luxury brand can add to the overall brand image, reinforcing the branding and style that is already present in a physical store. The content presented on a jewelry site, along with its User Interface (UI) components and User Experience (UX) patterns, can make or break the first impression users leave with after visiting a jewelry website.
Delivering an impressive application to consumers allows jewelers to drive brand awareness and grow engagement with a wider audience, reaching beyond their brick-and-mortar stores. Brand continuity that flows from in-store to online helps establish a loyal consumer base, regardless of the engagement point.
People use their mobile devices at all hours, wherever they might be. Building a mobile site allows jewelry makers and sellers to provide consumers with access to their pieces on the fly. Having a convenient, mobile option available helps to make jewelry shopping accessible to even the most socially awkward consumer.
Integrating proper business logic into a digital solution serves as both a marketing tool and as a sales engine, converting potential leads into paying customers. By means of calls to action (CTAs) such as “Join our email list”, “Reserve”, “Add to wishlist”, “Add to cart”, “Contact us”, “Book a display”, “Subscribe”, “Shop now” and more, users are encouraged to interact with the site which, in turn, provides them with an engaging, yet comfortable shopping experience.
In today’s highly digitalized world, purchasing power exists directly in the hands of consumers via a handy mobile device that is constantly with them. Shoppers have become accustomed to doing their own research, often thoroughly reading product descriptions and reviews before committing to making a purchase, especially a more expensive one.
Luxury retailers that make use of tools and insights from the multi-screen world have an increased opportunity to bridge the gap between the tech-savvy online consumer and the offline retailer.
While clients appreciate the service that an offline jewelry store provides, they also enjoy their online interaction with a luxury brand. An increasing number of clients seem to even prefer the digital option to do their shopping!
Digital marketing strategies and tools allow jewelers to keep their client base up to date with all of the products available, both online and in-store. They also help retailers identify high-value customers that deserve special attention, allowing them to adjust their product supply and offers based on actual client feedback.
Fine jewelry is oftentimes purchased or received as a gift (43%) than as a self-purchase (22%), according to Jewelers of America’s 2017 Fine Jewelry Industry Consumer and Retail Market Report. For example, in terms of Google search volume, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day are the occasions when the highest number of people search for jewelry online.
Appealing to self-purchasers can become a powerful move. Targeting the next generation, millennial women especially who are also high earners, can help increase the market share and encourage people to buy outside of the traditional holiday seasons.
Combining business goals with digital solutions can help jewelers boost sales, while delivering brand continuity and new ways to engage with consumers. Through personalized digital marketing campaigns, luxury jewelry retailers can highlight new, similar, or special offers to entice customers to come back. They can also alert consumers about last calls for orders and can keep new and old clients interested in the brand via regular newsletters that are delivered right to their inbox.
If jewelers choose to embrace e-commerce to complement brick-and-mortar’s strengths, increase digital promotions, and potentially create a national online campaign, they can remain competitive and see future growth since mobile-friendly sites worldwide get top rankings from Google. The search engine has adjusted its algorithms where mobile-friendly sites are prioritized, while sites that are not mobile-friendly see a negative impact on their rankings.
A successful jewelry app should be tailored to meet the brand’s goals, while also addressing user needs and demands.
Some of the top features that should be part of a great jewelry app include:
- creating an account;
- adding products to a “favorites” list or a wishlist;
- reserving a piece;
- browsing through the product catalogue;
- viewing product descriptions (and reviews);
- booking an appointment at a physical store;
- booking a display at a client’s location;
- filtering search options;
- adding items to a cart for checkout;
- viewing item availability and/or supply numbers;
- integration with popular social networks and social sharing buttons;
- worldwide store locator/lookup;
- easy customer service contact options;
- engaging calls to action.
Besides these fairly standard features, luxury jewelry retailers that are developing an app could also consider the following optional features to include:
- leaving feedback as a customer;
- multi-language options;
- video display;
- newsletter signup;
- 3D viewing of pieces via 3D modeling and rendering;
- ordering a replacement in case of item damage or loss;
- requesting cleaning services;
- searching for directions to a physical store location;
- virtual fitting (may require a dedicated app of its own);
- requesting an urgent jewelry display at a client’s location.
By combining some or all of these features into an app, a fine jewelry retailer can develop a mobile solution that has a rich, elegant feel to it, going hand in hand with the luxury aspect of the brand and its pieces.
A number of factors go into developing an online presence that maintains the luxury and branding of a fine jeweler including styling and layout of the site, presentation of the products, and additional resources available. Let’s take a closer look at some of these factors.
Luxury jewelry often exudes a sense of elegance and sophistication. When coming up with an app or site design, choosing a deep, yet subdued color palette works best. Bright colors are not a great choice for gold jewelry with gems, for instance, as the website’s color palette may distract users from the beauty of the pieces themselves.
Raisin Black, Raw Umber, Platinum, Plate Gold, Acajou, Tuscan Red, Eerie Black, and Pastel Gray are considered to be some of the most popular colors for this industry. Different shades of white are also often used by luxury brands.
Fonts also add to the way a brand is perceived. Selecting chic, old-fashioned, cursive fonts for the written details of the website or app can create a delicate and elegant feel as well. Keeping font families consistent throughout the brand’s online (and offline) presence helps establish and maintain the image put forth to consumers.
App publishers shouldn’t try to save money by sacrificing the quality of the content. Products that look just as good on a screen as they do in real life will capture the attention of customers, especially when engaging with a luxury jewelry brand online.
Luxury sites should ensure that the images displayed online properly convey the quality of the products on offer. Photos of jewelry pieces should be taken against a neutral background to showcase the item properly. It’s good practice to use small thumbnails on a category page, allowing users to see larger images of a product from different angles when navigating to the specific product page.
Product photos that feature models wearing the jewelry are another great way to market luxury pieces. This type of imagery showcases the product as part of a particular lifestyle that often resonates with the customer base. Photos with models can be featured on the homepage and could contain a CTA beneath them to entice visitors to further explore the content of the site.
Video is another medium that can help showcase products well. Video content should be used either as a pillar of the homepage, portraying the overall brand, or on product pages to highlight each product. Leveraging video to create a lasting impression on consumers allows luxury brands to get creative in how and what they share with their customer base. Pandora’s Products page has great examples of how to use video to engage customers, featuring short films that show glimpses into the brand, such as The Making of a Charm.
Planning out the navigation and layout of the site or app is another important factor of online presence. For luxury jewelers in particular, dividing products into logical categories is critical for intuitive customer exploration. Having categories that are too broad could confuse the customer’s search, leaving them frustrated or disinterested. On the other hand, having categorization that is too narrow could clutter design and further frustrate users.
It’s best to have categories within separate jewelry groups that are based on the product type (rings, necklaces, earrings, etc.) or on the material used (gold, silver, platinum, etc.). A sidebar with additional filters (like material, size, style, etc.) can also be incorporated to help users narrow down their search results.
Minimalist design provides a natural elegance that is sought after by many luxury brands. When using minimalist design as the foundation of a luxury app or website, it’s important to display content in such a way that no single element distracts the user’s attention. Tiffany & Co. is a luxury jewelry brand that has effectively maintained its minimalist design throughout the years.
Blogging is a popular way to provide consumers with essential information. Some jewelry brands have begun leveraging a blog section on their site to help customers learn about how to choose, wear, and maintain their jewelry pieces. A dedicated blog that has useful, well-written content can help draw more traffic to the website, boosting audience reach and increasing search engine optimization (SEO) rankings.
A website or app should enhance the brand’s image and maintain brand continuity through selecting appropriate color palettes and fonts, showcasing quality product photos, videos, and pages, implementing smart site layout and design, and providing additional resources for consumers that want more. Creating a complete experience for customers, especially as a luxury brand, is an important piece of establishing a strong and successful online presence.
We were asked by a representative of Swiss-based Roman Mayer Jewelry to fully redesign their corporate website. The old website wasn’t living up to the company’s reputation, nor was it able to entice repeat visitors through its existing design and content.
Our team’s main objective was to create a presentable and neat application that attracted customers to visit the store to view product displays. Besides improving the structure of the existing catalog, the client also requested the addition of two new features: the ability to create a wishlist of the items a customer would like to try on and the ability to book an appointment with a Roman Mayer representative in a physical store.
We chose Platinum, Raw Umber, Plate Gold, and Tuscan Red, also adding luxurious Raisin Black, Raw Umber, and other similar tones which corresponded to the look and feel of the offline store. In an effort to create that same luxurious feel on the homepage, we wanted to remove all distractions, placing CTAs in obvious, but not obnoxious spots. We also added a background video that is blurred, providing a sense of elegance and sophistication that draws the attention of the visitor without being distracting.
We created search categories based on price, type, and material and made sure to use a fixed header so that users can see the CTA and add items to their wishlist quickly, no matter what page they are on. The website also has multiple language options (English, Italian, and French) to cater to Switzerland’s multilingual population.
To suit the existing business process of the company, a control panel with file upload capabilities was added to the backend. This allows Roman Mayer administrative staff to easily upload comma separated value (CSV) files that contain detailed descriptions of each piece, making the uploading and updating process for new and existing products much easier and faster.
Our developers worked in close collaboration with our UX/UI designers in order to build this beautiful jewelry website that contributes to the brand’s online presence. Our experience allowed us to put a greater emphasis on imagery that drives conversion, convenient search/filter options, and useful additional features that ease the client’s workload, making big improvements on the old website.
There’s no doubt about it - technology has taken over the market. No matter how traditional and reluctant some jewelers may be, adopting mobile solutions to maintain and enhance their brand is a critical step to attracting the attention of 21st century consumers.
Building a dedicated app or simply creating or updating an existing website can be of considerable advantage to luxury jewelry brands and retailers. Making the online presence interactive through well-placed CTAs, useful features, and an overall look and feel that reinforces that sense of elegance and luxury, yet resembles the same attentive in-store shopping experience, is a great way to establish yourself as a modern fine jeweler.
The SteelKiwi team knows what it takes to define a particular business need, as well as what it takes to fulfill that need through an app or website, be it for marketing purposes or for driving consumers further down the purchasing funnel. We’d be happy to offer our services and assistance to help you build a jewelry app that looks chic and addresses your business’s particular goals!
Contact us with your request and we’ll be in touch shortly to see how we can help.