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Jewelry Shopping Trends: 5 Ways Consumers Have Changed Since COVID-19

Jewelry Shopping Trends: 5 Ways Consumers Have Changed Since COVID-19
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How did COVID-19 change consumer mindsets in jewelry and jewelry shopping? Let’s take a look at the latest jewelry shopping trends more than a year since the health crisis started.

Jewelry Shopping in the Time of Pandemic

Did the pandemic alter consumer mindsets and spending habits? Absolutely!

As some jewelry stores have been forced to close temporarily and with different restrictions imposed, jewelry consumers have been forced to shop differently. Others had to reprioritize—focusing mainly on essentials like food, medicines, and other necessities.

You’ve also seen events canceled one after another when restrictions on mass gatherings came. Like other sectors, the wedding industry had to bear the brunt of the pandemic. One study has shown that 66% of polled engaged couples in the USA postponed their wedding to comply with physical distancing guidelines. Many expected the effects of this event cancellations to trickle down to the jewelry industry, yet the latter has shown the opposite.

In fact, the latest diamond reports by De Beers showed 2020 a strong year for diamond jewelry. People are still buying jewelry amidst the pandemic, proving that diamonds are forever even in the face of an unprecedented challenge.

Was it boredom or a diversion of their unspent travel budget?

Let’s take a glance at jewelry shoppers mindset to see how you can take advantage of the trend.

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Jewelry Shopping Trends: 5 Ways Consumers Have Changed Since the Pandemic

Trend #1. Online vs In-Store Experience

Jewelry Shopping Trends #1: online vs instore experience

Although some jewelry brands, like Signet Jewelers, have introduced or ramped up their virtual consultation offering, studies by De Beers have shown that the majority of their polled consumers still prefer the in-store experience over online. However, in-store experience only wins over online provided that the in-store environment is safe.

Another reason for this preference is the possibility that there’s a lack of technological adoption. For instance, in the study, 62% preferred in-store experience because that’s where they could get expert advice and personal attention from independent jewelers. This doesn’t mean that virtual consultations don’t work. In fact, Signet Jewelers have completed over 100,000 virtual consultations and have reached millions of customers digitally.

The key here is to mix online and in-store experiences seamlessly rather than treating the former as a total replacement for the latter.

In any case, providing a safe in-store experience requires measures reiterated many times by health experts. These measures include the following.

  • Provisioning spaces for hand sanitizers.
  • Wearing face masks and gloves at all times.
  • Limiting the number of shoppers in the store at any one time.
  • Physical distancing.
  • Cleaning each jewelry piece after being handled.
5 Ways to Combine Physical and Online Jewelry Shopping

Trend #2. Travel Industry’s Loss is Jewelry Industry’s Gain

Travel Industry's Loss is Jewelry Industry's Gain

The jewelry industry has been raking the benefit of travel restrictions. Without destination engagement parties and usual domestic and international vacations, people have a lot of unspent travel budget diverted to other meaningful purchases—jewelry.

With travel restrictions put in place last year, 70% of polled consumers turned their attention from spending on experiences like travel to material things but meaningful and investment-quality, like diamond jewelry. Considered timeless classics, diamonds are beyond their material value for buyers. For them, it represents love and connection. If you’re romantic and sentimental, the representational quality of diamonds is easy to see.

Diamonds are the hardest material on earth because of the carbon atoms in them. These atoms bonded so strongly that they created a giant covalent structure. In the face of extreme heat and pressure, instead of breaking, the atoms bond to form one of the most stunning creations on earth. There are no weak bonds in this structure that you’d want your relationship to be as strong as the carbon atoms in a diamond.

Knowing buyers’ diamond perception is critical for jewelers to take advantage of this significant opportunity. To do this, you must focus on a marketing message that connects with the buyers and their relationships with their loved ones to allow them to see the meaning and value in your product offering.

Trend #3. Flora and Fauna in Jewelry Designs

Amber photographed with GemLightbox
Amber pendant, photographed with the GemLightbox and a smartphone

Perhaps to ease anxiety during the pandemic, people have turned to handcrafts, but handcrafting in the jewelry industry has been nothing short of inspiring.

Jewelers have launched competitions encouraging their social media followers to design their dream jewelry pieces. Further, other brands have introduced handcrafting-focused initiatives to spark people’s creativity. This creativity is visible in the rise of jewelry specialist and non-jewelry specialist collaborations that have brought back to the limelight old jewelry-making approaches like quilting, macramé, and other textile applications, among many others.

Those collaborations also put the spotlight back on nature-themed jewelry designs. Maybe it’s the growing awareness of environmental and other sustainability issues that jewelry designers have found a way to reconnect people with nature through the flora, fauna, and other natural element references.

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Trend #4. Engagement Ring

Jewelry Shopping Trends - Engagement Rings

It looks like wedding cancellations didn’t make a dent in the diamond industry.

Anecdotal evidence shows that engagements are increasing since COVID-19 started in Spring 2020. Relationship therapists explained that while the pandemic is keeping people physically apart, it’s actually bringing people closer together, but it’s a double-edged sword. People are realizing that they are not immortals; they don’t have the luxury of time so it’s either they get engaged and get married or divorce. Hence, you’ll see spikes in breakups and divorces, but you’ll also witness the beautiful unification of couples.

De Beers‘ Study has shown that people are still spending on engagement rings. And why not? Without travel to spend on, couples have a lot of budgets to purchase their dream engagement ring. In the study, 86% of women looked for ring ideas and inspiration online. Of this figure, the shape of the stone, size, metal, stone quality, and the setting of the ring are some of the most important features for consumers.

Additionally, people still consider compliance with physical distancing guidelines. More than a public gathering, they now prefer a private, intimate proposal with just the two of them present.

Trend #5. Gifting Behavior

Gifting behavior in the pandemic

Last in our jewelry shopping trends is the way the pandemic has changed the gifting behavior of consumers.

Now more than ever, people are more inclined to give meaningful gifts to their loved ones. A De Beers’ Study showed that 65% of those 500 polled US consumers have found more value in gift-giving now compared to the pre-pandemic period. This figure increased to 77% for those in a relationship.

The most popular diamond jewelry gifts are a diamond ring, a diamond necklace or pendant, and a pair of stud earrings, in that specific order.

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How are you keeping up with these jewelry shopping trends?

Have you observed your customers exhibiting these trends? What other jewelry shopping trends have you recorded since the pandemic started? Let us know in the comment section below!

Picup Media Family

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