For a long time, it seems that the jewelry market has been separated into two halves. On one side, there is ‘fast jewelry’—as fast fashion transformed retail, malls around the world became abundant with trendy, mass-produced pieces that won’t break your budget. On the other side, there is fine jewelry, almost entirely exclusive to brick-and-mortar stores, fine jewelers, and jewelry boxes of grandmothers everywhere.
Currently, however, the global jewelry market is undergoing a shift. Consumers are increasingly refusing to stick to one side of the spectrum, and are demanding pieces that combine the affordability of fast fashion jewelry with the quality of finer, high-end jewelry. Here are three major trends in the global jewelry market that are helping to lessen the divide:
- E-commerce: The increasing popularity and use of e-commerce around the world (and especially in APAC countries) has given consumers greater access and convenience to the purchasing of fine jewelry and products in other niche segments of the market. They’re also better able to compare prices and shop around for the best deal. The e-commerce marketplace Etsy, for example, offers a wide selection—from inexpensive costume jewelry to antique fine jewelry—at an even wider range of prices that are set by registered sellers. Similarly, Amazon now offers its own collection of jewelry, including wedding bands and engagement rings.
- Customization: Consumers are increasingly becoming interested in ways to make the items they purchase unique. Though this is perhaps currently easiest to do through e-commerce sales, brick-and-mortar stores are also offering an array of customization options for rings, necklaces, bracelets, and more. Jewelry retailer Links of London is offering personalization at its newest US location in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the introduction of an engraving and customization bar. Customization allows consumers to make mass-market pieces their own, increasing the sentimental value the item holds as well as the chances that consumers will make repeat purchases.
- Social media: The use of platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook is allowing more smaller or independent manufacturers to thrive. Social media campaigns are a good way for companies to attract new consumers and build their brand’s reputation. For example, Alex and Ani has made a name for itself on social media by replying to every single Tweet that it receives. Its approach to social media has helped the brand to build customer loyalty and has revolutionized the way that consumers talk about the brand on social media—Alex and Ani was reportedly able to raise its social sentiment score from 5% to 85% in the span of just a year.
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