Independents

From Conclave: 5 Retail Trends to Watch

IndependentsMay 02, 2022

From Conclave: 5 Retail Trends to Watch

From Buy Now, Pay Later to livestream shopping, these are the retail trends jewelers need to follow.

Communications and public relations consultant Jen Cullen Williams hosted a panel on retail trends during AGS Conclave with gemologist and influencer Benjamin Guttery and Emili Vesilind of The Zing Report. Here are five important takeaways.
Oklahoma City—The retail world kept spinning throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, pulling only the most adaptable retailers into its orbit.

Going forward, adaptability will continue to be key.

To help jewelers stay in the know, communications and public relations consultant Jen Cullen Williams hosted a panel on retail trends during American Gem Society Conclave, which took place last week in Oklahoma City.

Gemologist and jewelry influencer Benjamin Guttery of Third Coast Gems and Emili Vesilind of The Zing Report joined Williams to share insights on what’s new in retail.

Here are the trends they discussed.

1. Buy Now, Pay Later.

For jewelers working with customers to help them afford that dream piece, consider adding a buy now, pay later option, the panelists said.

From Klarna and Affirm to Afterpay and Sezzle, these short-term financing platforms are popping up all over e-commerce sites. They allow shoppers to pay off an expensive purchase via several smaller payments.

In addition, layaway, a popular holiday financing offer, could be made available year-round.

“Layaway is coming on strong. You can reach an entirely new demographic by offering layaway,” said Vesilind. “You reach people who are jewelry lovers but not in an affluent stratum.”

For some, that $500 bracelet is more accessible when paid off in five installments of $100.

Though with layaway shoppers don’t get the item until it’s paid in full, an installment plan could appeal to a wider demographic of customers in terms of income.

The set monthly payments also provide jewelers with a steady flow of income, Vesilind noted.

2. Slow jewelry wins the race.

#SlowJewelry has been gaining traction on Instagram, said Guttery, who has amassed a following of more than 130,000 on the platform.

“Jewelers, designers, and stores are sharing the process of making a piece of jewelry,” said Guttery. “It shows all the time that goes into it.”

#SlowJewelry content walks viewers through the process of creating a piece of jewelry, from the stone selection, to the sketches and wax molds, to the final product.

Sustainability is of growing importance to consumers, particularly to younger shoppers, and #slowjewelry highlights the quality and staying power of fine jewelry.

“When we’re talking about transparency and sustainability, [consumers] want to know their jewelry is forever. They want to know that they’re not going to buy something that will go out of style in two years,” said Vesilind.

She recommended stocking classics in your cases, noting that jewelry “is not really susceptible to fickle trends like fashion is.”

 Related stories will be right here … 

3. “Kidcore” and “Grandmacore” are all the rage.

The panelists also talked about what’s new on the fashion front.

The color purple was popular at the Tucson gem shows, said Guttery, while toi et moi rings are also having another moment.

Oval and marquise-shaped diamonds, as well as skinny bands, are dominating the ring scene.

American gemstones and jewelry made in America are also gaining popularity, said Guttery, due in part to supply chain issues.

“Ten Thousand Things has had success with their pearls from the Mississippi River. Parlé [Jewelry Designs] has had a lot of success with Montana sapphires,” he said.

Vesilind delved into two popular styles taking over the jewelry world, “kidcore” and “grandmacore.”

“Kidcore is essentially the idea of play and fun in jewelry and style,” said Vesilind.

Beaded bracelets, neon enamel, and smiley faces are hallmarks of the kidcore look, she said, noting designers Alison Lou and W. Rosado are spot-on with this trend.

“People want to invest in pieces that have some levity,” said Vesilind, noting the difficult last few years.

Shoppers are also looking for pieces that remind them of older generations; think big, gemstone-heavy pieces and lots of pearls.

“Jewelers have been inspired by the look of more is more is more,” said Vesilind.

Everything old is new again, remarked Guttery, noting the rising popularity of estate jewelry.

Rather than ordering new inventory, he recommended jewelers look through their estate jewelry for pieces that are on-trend.

“Every jeweler doesn’t have to jump on every trend. You have to decide what’s best for you and your market,” Guttery noted.

4. Shoppers still want that luxury experience.

The pandemic put in-store events on hold, but many customers are ready to celebrate again.

“Customers want to see you,” said Guttery. “A lot of times, that’s the reason why they shop with you, because they like you, your salesperson, your store.”

While some customers are ready to dive in, others are only ready to dip their toes in, so be mindful of their comfort level and offer both large and small gatherings, he advised.

Trunk shows are a classic way to draw in customers, but retailers should also consider partnering with local non-jewelry retailers to hold joint events and potentially reach new customers.

Guttery shared some fun event ideas, like a gemstone roundtable or a yoga night.

“Remember, our No. 1 competitor in the jewelry industry is travel because it’s an experience. So, we need to create an experience for our customers.”

5. Livestream shopping is the new QVC.

In a separate session at AGS Conclave, jewelry marketer Laryssa Wirstiuk of Joy Joya held a session on livestream shopping.

Consumers are looking for digital innovation, she said, and livestream shopping blends the convenience of online shopping with the in-store perk of expert guidance.

Throw in the entertainment factor provided by a lively host and it may be just the thing customers are seeking out.

The authentic, real-time interactions are what separates livestream shopping from home shopping, she noted.

“When you’re starting this, it’s going to be awkward,” she said, but encouraged jewelers to try their hand at it anyway.

Even the majors are getting into it, with Swarovski offering one-on-one consultations and Jared hosting virtual appointments.

Jewelers can host livestream shopping sessions on a variety of platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Amazon Live and YouTube.

Wirstiuk recommended live streaming on whichever platform is the most active in terms of customer interaction.

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.
tags:

The Latest

ColumnistsJan 31, 2023
Squirrel Spotting: How About a Word for the New Year?

It begins with a “t” and ends with a “c” and is imbued with warmth and positivity, Peter Smith writes.

Policies & IssuesJan 31, 2023
Rio Tinto Issues Apology After Radioactive Capsule Goes Missing

The tiny capsule, which is believed to have fallen out of a truck, was lost somewhere along an 870-mile stretch of desert road.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Indian Jewelry Brand Tanishq Opens First U.S. Store, More on the Way

The jeweler’s expansion plans include 20 to 30 more stores in North America and the Middle East over the next two to three years.

Brought to you by
Bringing Over 130 Years of Diamond Expertise to Modern Grading

De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.

Events & AwardsJan 31, 2023
Gucci Is Getting a Gem Award

The Italian luxury brand will receive the first Gem Award for High Jewelry Excellence.

Weekly QuizJan 26, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
MajorsJan 31, 2023
Martin Flyer Names New VP of Business Development

Industry veteran Kevin Lane has stepped into the role.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
Researchers Uncover Bejeweled ‘Golden Boy’ Mummy

The ancient Egyptian teenager was buried 2,300 years ago with 49 amulets to guide him through the afterlife.

Brought to you by
De Beers Institute of Diamonds Expands to Offer Education

De Beers is sharing over 130 years of experience and expertise through the De Beers Institute of Diamonds with a selection of courses.

SurveysJan 30, 2023
Consumers Embracing Non-Traditional Ways to Mark Valentine’s Day

The NRF’s annual survey shows that consumer attitudes about how, or even whether, to celebrate Feb. 14 continue to evolve.

Events & AwardsJan 30, 2023
JA Is Searching for the Next Retail ’20 Under 40’

Nominations are open now through March 24.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
10 Jewelry News Stories You Might Have Missed

A column detailing how independent jewelers did last year and the top watch brands of 2022 were among the most-read stories last week.

FinancialsJan 27, 2023
Tiffany & Co. Shines for LVMH in 2022

Acquired in 2021, the brand’s high jewelry sales have doubled and its new “Lock” collection was an instant hit.

MajorsJan 27, 2023
Diamond Council of America Appoints Treasurer, Board Member

Executives from Fred Meyer Jewelers and Riddles Jewelers have filled the roles.

CollectionsJan 27, 2023
Piece of the Week: Heavenly Vices’ Lock Necklace

The Victorian-inspired design is a functional lock and key.

Supplier BulletinJan 26, 2023
JA New York Spring Brings the Industry Together

For over 100 years, JA New York has played an integral role in facilitating the evolution of our industry, while also honoring past traditions.

TrendsJan 26, 2023
At Vicenzaoro, Paola De Luca Gazes Into Jewelry’s Future

The trend forecaster and her guests explored unconventional jewelry designs, NFTs, AI art, and more during her Trendvision presentation.

CollectionsJan 26, 2023
NDC and Lorraine Schwartz Announce New ‘EDDI’ Class

The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative provides diamond credit and mentorship to young brands helmed by BIPOC designers.

Policies & IssuesJan 26, 2023
Diamonds Do Good Names 10 to Board of Directors

Stephanie Gottlieb, Jewelers Mutual’s Mike Alexander, and Craig Rottenberg of Long’s Jewelers are among the new board members.

WatchesJan 25, 2023
These Were 2022’s Top-Selling Watch Brands, Chrono24 Says

Rolex remained No. 1 while a brand known for its pilot watches slipped into the No. 5 spot.

MajorsJan 25, 2023
John Hardy Names New CEO

Luxury retail executive Frédéric Levy has taken on the role.

Events & AwardsJan 25, 2023
Couture DAC Accepting Applications for Mentorship Program

Jewelry designers have until early February to apply to take part in Couture's Diversity Action Council program.

CollectionsJan 25, 2023
Stephanie Gottlieb Announces First President, CCO Hire

Morgan P. Richardson joins from La Perla.

Policies & IssuesJan 25, 2023
PGI’s New Portal Wants to Teach You About Platinum

The new portal will share information on responsible platinum sourcing and how it’s used beyond jewelry.

SourcingJan 24, 2023
Tiffany Buys 35 of the Last Diamonds Recovered From Argyle

Purchased directly from Rio Tinto, the collection consists of pinks, purples and one red, none larger than 1.52 carats.

ColumnistsJan 24, 2023
On Data: Here’s How Independent Jewelers Did in 2022

Sherry Smith breaks down retailers’ performance last year, including how natural diamonds fared vs. lab-grown.

GradingJan 24, 2023
GIA Launches AGS Diamond Light Performance Supplement Report

The AGS Ideal Report by GIA is a digital-only addition to GIA diamond reports.

MajorsJan 24, 2023
WJA Announces New International Board Members

The seven newcomers include executives from David Yurman, De Beers, and GIA.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy