Six ways to sell jewellery
With some 20 years in the jewellery world under my belt, you’d think I’d be well placed to comment on the jewellery world, but even now, every day is a school day. Twenty years on the market is, as it should be, still evolving, maturing and developing – which along with trends on the high street makes for an ever shifting target.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there are six main ways that jewellery is marketed, displayed & purchased.
Firstly, by colour (this applies mainly to boutiques, matching jewellery with clothes or accessories) and also by seasonal colour – an Indian summer requires Turquoise jewellery as we all know…
Secondly by brand. This is the big numbers section, with everyone fighting to create themselves as a brand (Note: this becomes easier the more money you have) So we have top end brands such as Gucci and Chanel, medium brands such as Pandora and Thomas Sabo and so forth along the spectrum based on price, availability and perceived value.
My third option is by style. Here I’m thinking of chokers, long necklaces, chandelier earrings for example. You can’t display fine chokers alongside chunky monkeys because the message is lost, the eyes of the consumer have no time to adjust and you confusion is the end result.
Option four is by era. Is it vintage, or simply retro? Is it an antique or last seasons? Are we talking 1920’s or 1980’s? There’s a huge difference in price and usually in materials. Vintage jewellery is a much maligned term comprising everything from Chanel flea market finds to paste sparklies.
Price is an important factor in marketing. Every market has a top and a bottom and every conceivable niche in between. It’s important to figure out where you are on the spectrum as a store/brand as this will affect your marketing and displays.
Finally, my last category is by materials. All materials are not born equal, so you cannot display gold jewellery alongside costume jewellery, or resin alongside platinum – It denigrates the more expensive product and confuses the consumer. Hence more expensive jewellery is usually in locked cabinets, thus giving out the signal, ‘Hey’ I cost more than the stuff on the table’
So far, so clear, and as I’ve already alluded, the goal posts are in permanent flux when you factor in that jewellery is more fashion led than most products on the market. so this Summer’s hot shade of Coral pink is most definitely not going to be the colour of Summer 2017 – That we can all agree on.
Within the silver jewellery world, my little corner of a vast industry. We’ve noticed a couple of new trends, as well as new styles of photography and marketing of those trends. The first of these is ‘message’ jewellery or ‘Indicia’ jewellery as we’ve named it. This is essentially a cross between jewellery as fashion and gifting jewellery – so the jewellery might have a message on it, inscribed upon it, or the message can be on the supporting branding and artwork (ie the card behind it) Rising silver prices created this trend. As silver got smaller, the cards got bigger. Although lately, we’ve also seen this trend with plated jewellery, which is a bit confusing for consumers.
We’re prophesising a rise in jewellery for special occasions such as birthdays or for bridesmaids for instance. Here we don’t mean engagement rings or the like, but quirky occasions. So now, if you want to tell your bestie that you think Cornwall rocks for instance, you’ll be able to. Of course this won’t appeal to everyone, but with the laws of supply and demand, as consumers become more cognisant of how to create an emotionally driven piece of jewellery, this will become more attractive to end consumers (and therefore retailers) Think of this as an unexplored avenue in a busy town, or in estate agents parlance, up and coming…
The latest trend to hit the market, and it is driven in no small way, by the runaway success of the Not on the High Street brand, is that of personalisation. Personalisation is huge for NOTHS, in fact their brand is pretty much built upon it. In some ways this overlaps the message jewellery trend, but in others it’s stand alone.
From all the trends in jewellery at the moment, we’d argue that this is the most exciting because it offers so many options for a great customer experience. If a customer comes into your store for a personalised product, you are entering into a different relationship to the traditional pick a product and hand over some cash, model.
This transaction takes more time for sure, but anyone who’s gifted a personalised present will know that it gets an amazing response with shares on social media and everyone asking ‘where did you get that done?’ I’m not saying you should replicate the NOTHS model for success, but as a point of differentiation and an access to new consumers and return consumers this new style of jewellery gifting offers so much more on its investment than simply selling a blue bracelet.
What do you think ?