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Social Media Emerges as Jewelers’ Top Strategy

Online competition is number-one challenge facing industry, according to survey.
Jun 17, 2019 4:58 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The US jewelry industry sees social media as instrumental in overcoming digital challenges, a recent report by JCK found.

Of the 500 respondents surveyed in the JCK’s 2019 State of the Jewelry Industry Report, 46% identified connecting with clients via social media as their top digital strategy. Some 39% chose non-traditional advertising as the most effective approach and 37% considered changing inventory-buying habits to be most important. Other considerations included improving the in-store buying experience, which ranked highest in last year’s survey, and investing in technology innovation.

However, confidence in the effectiveness of social media marketing fell 10% in the past year. The report said 72% expected social-media marketing to be one of their most successful business practices, compared to 57% traditional and 44% digital advertising.

Survey participants ranked the top challenges facing the industry in a similar order to 2018. Online competition placed first, at 28%, with 23% citing the overall economic climate, 15% choosing lack of consumer demand and 11% lack of millennial demand.

The research sample comprised manufacturers, designers and wholesalers, 81% of whom have been in working in the trade for more than 11 years.

The US jewelry industry is strongly upbeat, with an overwhelming majority of members saying they were either somewhat or very optimistic about the next 12 months, just 2% less than in 2018, JCK said.

“The consistency of positivity in the industry is exciting, with an 86% JCK Jewelry Industry Confidence Index,” said Yancy Weinrich, Reed Jewelry Group senior vice president.

Among top jewelry trends, the report listed stacked rings, alternate engagement rings, layering and heart-themed jewels. Gaining in popularity were custom-design pieces and colored stones, while charms were declining for 2019.

As for lab-grown diamonds, 86% reported price as the leading consideration when deciding whether to buy. Reasons for refusal to purchase lab-grown diamonds were fairly evenly split between preference for “real,” “natural” and enduring “value.”

Among the types of jewelry that produced most customer concerns, 61% of participants pointed to lab-grown diamonds, while 60% specified conflict diamonds and 37% responsibly sourced jewels.

Image: Woman shopping for jewelry. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: JCK, JCK Jewelry Industry Confidence Index, Rapaport News, Reed Jewelry Group, US jewelry industry, Yancy Weinrich
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