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The Jewelry Industry’s Biggest Trends

Being on top of these trends is crucial for any jewelry professional.

The jewelry market is steadily growing, and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. While online jewelry marketplaces and trendy brands are growing in popularity, brick and mortar jewelry stores are trying to adapt to the changing landscape. Here are 5 of the top ways the jewelry industry is evolving in recent years.

Increased Online Sales

Jewelry retailers are slowly making the shift to expanding their online presence, and their customers are becoming more likely to shop online. While shopping for high-end jewelry online was once considered risky, it’s now becoming commonplace. Traditional or mom-and-pop retailers who neglect their social media and e-commerce presence will likely not be able to compete with large online marketplaces in the coming years.  

Along with Pinterest and Instagram, YouTube is becoming a hot platform for smaller jewelry companies to entertain and attract customers. Online jewelry retailers are embracing the site’s 1.3 billion users and producing quality video content like designer interviews to target their clientele.

A Focus on the Modern, Independent Woman

It’s important to note that the industry is experiencing a major shift in terms of the way jewelry is marketed. Traditionally, the focus has been on men buying jewelry for women, typically for engagement rings, but also as gifts. While this still accounts for a huge portion of jewelry sales, one of the major trends of the past few decades, and 2018 in particular, is an emphasis on the self-buying female.

More and more women are shopping for their own style and satisfaction, and this means a much different approach to marketing. Stores that are targeting luxury female shoppers need to make sure to change their copywriting and photography, in order to put less emphasis on romance and more on her individuality, freedom and personality.

To learn more about varying your inventory with different kinds of jewelry, read our blog on making your jewelry store more attractive to the modern buyer. 

Woman Wearing a 14k Gold Bangle

The Jewelry Retailer as a Fashion Consultant

Going along with this trend, jewelry retailers are expected to act as “fashion consultants” for the younger generations. The emphasis for self-buying women is to find jewelry and fashion approaches that help showcase their unique style, personality and values, and traditional sales techniques used to sell engagement rings just doesn’t match this kind of demographic.

If millennial shoppers don’t feel a personal connection to a brand, story and values, it’s not likely to attract them as loyal customers. Although a brand story isn’t as important to Gen X and Boomers, retailers and brands need to make sure not to neglect the independent woman in 2018 and beyond.

The Rise of Custom Engagement Rings

Expect to see an increased interest in custom jewelry, especially when it comes to engagement rings and bridal jewelry. The millennials getting married right now are increasingly interested in making sure their engagement and wedding rings are unique, and match the bride’s personality and even interests.

It’s not uncommon to see engagement rings made to match one of her favorite movies or hobbies. Of course, this kind of highly specific bridal jewelry is not available off the shelf. Retail stores looking for new business would be wise to incorporate custom jewelry creation into their business model.

While online jewelers have the advantage in terms of accessibility and convenience, a real-life studio or store where clients can meet the designer and jeweler behind their engagement ring adds that special personal touch to the experience, and offers a lot more peace of mind.

Even if a retail store doesn’t have a custom design team on staff, it can always partner with a full-service custom jewelry studio for its production needs. These studios are highly skilled at crafting complex custom pieces, and everyone from the CAD designer to the diamond setter already has the experience of working seamlessly to craft custom pieces. 

To learn more about the custom jewelry process, see our blog here. 

Solitaire Custom Engagement Ring

An Emphasis on Casual Daily Wear

One of the biggest trends of 2018 and beyond is an emphasis on daily, casual wear jewelry. The younger generations are big on fitness, yoga, and an active lifestyle, and for them it won’t do to be wearing a large flashy ring or earrings when they’re out and about. Because the millennial generation’s main focus in jewelry wear is expressing their personality, they tend to prefer jewelry they can wear casually any day of the week, not just on a special occasion.

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While the outlook for the jewelry industry is strong, the overall trend towards millennial and younger generational values is sure to be a major focus as we move into the next decade. Retailers, e-commerce stores and others in the industry would be wise to keep this in mind for 2018 and beyond.


By Peter Vey on 09/04/2018


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