How are you investing in your customers’ jewelry shopping experience?
The global gems and jewelry industry was projected to grow at a rate of 5.5% for the forecast period 2018-2023. This growth, especially digitally, has been driven by numerous factors such as the thriving jewelry market in the Asia-Pacific, the increasing demand for distinctive pieces of jewelry and cross-cultural designs, and the escalating desire for comfort and convenience.
If you think you’re already offering ‘comfort and convenience’, don’t rest on your laurels. In fact, the proliferation of advanced technology in retail has only made customers demand more and more in terms of quality of experience.
But what else do they demand, you ask?
In this post, we’re going to be customer-centric and show you how you can invest more in your customers’ jewelry shopping experience.
Read on and get ready to redesign the way your customers interact with your jewelry brand.
Jewelry Shopping Experience and Shopping Expectations
To be able to design a frictionless jewelry shopping experience for your customers, you must first understand the kind of experience they are demanding. Once the demands have been identified, re-assess whether your brand is currently meeting any of these or otherwise. For every demand that is unmet, you must design a strategy that addresses that need.
Are you satisfying any of these jewelry shopping expectations?
1. A digital way of living
The Global Consumer Insights 2019 revealed that of over 20,000 respondents, 25% buy products online weekly and 36% monthly while the percentage of those who never buy online decreases by 3 points at 7%.
Inclusive of this growth is the jewelry and watches category. In fact, it accounted for 29.6% share of the top 100 luxury goods sales. What contributed to this performance was the emergence of a new consumer class called HENRYs or High-Earners-Not-Rich-Yet consumers, but are likely to be rich in the future.
Millennials who fall in this category are, of course, internet-savvy. They love to shop online and are typically big spenders. Hence, jewelers must strategize to get them onboard by considering the level of digital encroachment into every facet of the consumers’ lives.
2. The quality of jewelry shopping experience encourages positive shopping habits
According to Wolfgang Digital’s KPI Report 2019, 53% of online store traffic comes from mobile devices but it’s only equivalent to 32% of revenue; whereas desktop revenue is at 56%. This tells us that while online shoppers love browsing on mobile devices, they complete their purchases via desktop.
These statistics tell jewelers to understand their customers’ pain points when jewelry shopping and eliminate those barriers to encourage customers to shop. For instance, if your jewelry website is not optimized for mobile devices, it will be difficult to influence your consumers’ buying behavior, especially if their purchase path involves mobile searches.
3. A blended experience of physical and digital interaction can boost your return on customer experience
Just because jewelry shoppers are digital savvy and the internet is their constant companion, it doesn’t mean that everything happens online. In fact, 75% of customers in the global luxury goods market conduct product research online before going to a store to purchase.
This goes to show that offering a blended experience is a potential customer experience booster as it will help you close the gap between your in-person and digital sales acquisition.
4. Your jewelry brand success is driven by authentic brand purpose
With the continuously growing attention focused on sustainability, it would help your customer onboarding approach if you would use technology in telling your brand’s story.
In the jewelry industry, the discussion about sustainability is geared towards ethical sourcing and trading, especially that jewelry shoppers are demanding more transparent exchanges with jewelers. If you can meet the needs of the ethically-minded jewelry consumers; you’re ready for the future.
5. An immersive jewelry shopping experience reduces the burden brought about by lack of tactile affordances
Sixty-five percent of offline purchasers shy away from online shopping because they prefer to see or touch the product.
The lack of tactile experience in online shopping has always been a barrier, but with the right technology, this could be eliminated.
5 Ways to a Frictionless Jewelry Shopping Experience
Now that you already got an idea about jewelry customers’ expectations when they put you on their radar, it’s time to re-assess and recalibrate the way you operate.
Here are 5 different strategies for designing a frictionless jewelry shopping experience.
1. Mobile optimization
Have you ever accessed an unoptimized jewelry website on a mobile device? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? The buttons and links are tiny and the forms are incomprehensible. More often than not, users would just abandon the site because not everyone has the time to deal with that. Customers are busy people and they are too impatient to stick with your slow-loading page when they can easily find another website that understands their needs. Hence, mobile optimization is critical.
The power of mobile optimization to increase customer satisfaction is undeniable. In fact, it was reported that 55% of purchase-related conversions happen within one hour of initial mobile searches.
Imagine how many sales you’re losing just because you make your customers work harder than necessary to buy the jewelry they want.
2. Digital payments
According to the Global Powers of Luxury Goods 2019, HENRYs prefer to pay online with mobile devices. This is not surprising at all, especially that the jewelry online sales growth is driven by the increasing demand for comfort and convenience. Digital wallets and mobile payments are extremely convenient because who wants to carry a bulky wallet all the time?! Definitely not your customers.
The good thing about digital payment is that it keeps getting more and more innovative. Aside from digital wallet and mobile payment, your customers can now wear their choice of payment technology. For instance, QIVOS’s jewelry payment collection, which includes men’s bracelets and women’s rings and bracelets, allows customers to complete a purchase with a simple tap. What a great time saver!
If you can incorporate a contactless-enabled terminal that accepts payments using wearable technology, it will improve your customers’ jewelry shopping experience and will surely add value to the buyer’s journey.
3. Authenticity in sustainability and ethical trading
Sustainability and ethical trading are two of the hottest topics in the recently concluded JCK Las vegas 2019. The discussion emerged in connection with the conversation revolving lab-grown diamonds and how its ethical trading and manufacturing would shake the natural diamond industry.
However, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do as a natural diamond jeweler to counter the risks. In fact, there are many ways of telling the purpose and values of your brand in order to build and strengthen customers’ trust and confidence. For instance, De Beers’ Tracr – a blockchain platform – hopes to track almost all-natural diamonds from the mine to the retail counter. Jewelers like yourself can use this to provide your customers with more information about the origin of the stone.
Remember, every little step towards ethical sourcing and trading increases customer confidence, which in turn, enhances their jewelry shopping experience and boosts your sales.
4. Artificial intelligence and augmented reality
AI and AR can be part of the many aspects of your jewelry business. For instance, other jewelers use AI-based diamond grading as it helps eliminate human errors. As you may know, diamond grading is a complex process and doing it manually given the limitations of the human eye may lead to diamond grading discrepancies. With AI-based solutions, diamond grading has become more reliable as it facilitates a non-biased standardized diamond grading accuracy – one that adheres to the industry’s diamond grading standards.
What’s more exciting here is the set of new possibilities offered by AR-based solutions. These solutions reduce customer frustration caused by the lack of tactile experiences when online shopping. For instance, Holojem is a platform that enables customers to select custom jewelry designs and virtually try them on through its patented rendering system. Jewelers can purchase the unit and pay a monthly subscription fee for full technology support.
It’s truly an immersive jewelry shopping experience as it involves your customers in the buying process.
5. Visual content is not a passing fancy
Studies showed that low-quality images and videos are one of the reasons behind cart abandonment. Further, 90% of polled Etsy shoppers revealed that the quality of the product images was extremely important when making a buying decision. This reiterates the need for studio-quality jewelry images and videos.
Of course, not all jewelers are professional photographers; hence, the arrival of a plug-and-play solution by Picup Media – the GemLightbox. This device offers functionality, simplicity, and convenience and while it’s compact, it captures perfect jewelry images and 360-degree jewelry videos, through its add-on jewelry turntable, every single time. See the results you could capture below.
Friction happens when there are barriers to sales conversion. If your jewelry shoppers have to jump through a hoop or series of hoops before they can check out, they feel friction. Every hoop they have to jump through to achieve their goal is a threat to your sales results. This means that the more friction your jewelry website creates, the less likely they will convert.
Considering all the points above, how do you fare against the competition? Let us know in the comment section below and feel free to share tips on how to design a customer-centric jewelry shopping experience