The fourth quarter has officially landed, meaning that the gift-giving season is happening now. Sure, there’s beautiful jewelry to buy and give—and plenty of makers outline what’s moving now—but retailers need other types of support from accounts, too. Think in terms of professional images, which are the foundation of every ad, social media post, flyer or catalog, Duratran, and any other type of marketing imaginable. These visuals are the reason why clients are lured into your stores, making them a key driver of sales and happy holidays for all. Read on to learn how peers are providing retailers with all the gift-giving and holiday promotion essentials they need to succeed.
Hot for Holidays
Despite some turbulence in the market over diamond prices—both lab grown and mined—many in jewelry are looking forward to a robust season of sales.
“The popularity of diamond jewelry during the holiday season remains consistent due to its enduring appeal as a symbol of love and celebration,” says Nancy Italia-Gajera, director of Aneri Jewels. “Compared to the 2022 holiday season, we anticipate stronger sales in 2023. This projection is influenced by increased consumer confidence in lab-grown diamonds and a desire for meaningful gifts after a challenging year.”
Monica McDaniel, vice president of Chatham, a lab-made gems company, has a similar holiday outlook. “Most of our customers don’t seem to think that a recession has taken full effect,” she explains. “They don’t think it will be as big a holiday season as last year, but it will be a positive nonetheless.”
Italia-Gajera expects mid to high price points to do well because the holidays are a time when clients tend to splurge on higher-quality pieces. Meanwhile, Surbhi Jain, marketing director of Shefi Diamonds, maintains that his best-selling holiday price points range from $999–$2,999. Among those offerings are both mined and lab-grown diamonds, including bridal in the latter category, aquamarines, blue sapphires, and enamel jewelry. Chatham’s best-selling holiday price points are in the $1,500–$2,500 range.
In terms of style, Cuban and paper clip links, whimsical sea life-inspired jewels, and classics like cluster styles will do well for Jain. “Our classic jewelry pieces consistently maintain their strength in the market, and this is particularly evident during periods of economic conservatism,” he says.
In the arena of colored gemstones, birthstone jewels remain a quick turn in stores as well as a product that’s instantly personalized. “Gemstone studs and birthstone jewelry have truly emerged as remarkable favorites among our customers,” says Ryan Akhavanm, sales representative, Ryan Gems, Inc. “Birthstones not only showcase thoughtfulness but also allow for personalization and a meaningful connection.”
For McDaniel, two new colors aim to inspire 2023 holiday sales: minty green chrysoberyl and Paraíba-inspired spinel.
“We introduced those at JCK Las Vegas,” says McDaniel. “Those colors are rare to find in gemstones.”
Personalized designs are also expected to move. ODI/Original Designs’ vice president of design and product development, Valerie Fletcher, is prepared with pendants that can be customized with fingerprints. “They are great for new babies or memorial jewelry,” she explains.
Other personalized jewels include engravable dog tags, signet rings, and nameplate necklaces.
Still another winner from her line? The “I Love You to the Moon & Back” collection, a best-selling offering of sentimental jewelry. “It’s a universal expression of love that can be used in a variety of relationships, from romantic to familial to platonic,” notes Fletcher.
Finally, jewelry maker Marathon expects its timeless Cape Cod twist bracelets in sterling silver with 14k gold accents to do well. “Cape Cod jewelry is not just sold on the Cape, it’s sold nationwide,” says Barbara Barry, sales associate. “Plus, it’s a classic look that anyone can wear every day.”
Tools for Success
Beyond beautiful jewelry, successful brands know that it’s critical to arm retailers with other types of assets for fourth-quarter success. Think marketing and all that helps promote jewelry, from catalogs to professional images and more.
Shefi Diamonds offers its retailers a wide array of marketing materials, from window clings to Duratrans, and social media posts, among other items. Two of its biggest print offerings include publications to help bolster holiday sales. The first is a 52-page catalog titled “Hey You,” which has a wide display of offerings and a shelf life that extends beyond the last quarter of the year, and a 20-page Christmas-specific gift guide featuring a range of jewels retailing for under $2,499.
“We provide retailers with the flexibility to personalize these catalogs to align with their brand identity,” says Surbhi Jain, marketing director. “To further assist them, we offer free digital assets for their Facebook, Instagram, and website banners, enhancing their online presence and marketing efforts.”
Jewelry manufacturer Ostbye goes the extra mile for its merchants in a variety of ways. Through robust product flyers, social media content, complimentary artwork for ads, and free CADs for select designs, the brand ensures retailers have everything they need for holiday sales success. “If our retailers are successful then we are successful,” says Theresa Namie, merchandise manager.
Lab-grown gemstone jewelry maker Chatham also provides store owners lots of marketing tools. From co-op dollars to ad design, predesigned marketing campaigns, social media posts and website content, and live and Zoom sales training, the company strives to keep its clients “motivated and informed,” says Monica McDaniel, vice president.
The occasional piece of holiday memo doesn’t hurt either. “Sometimes we’ll memo out a statement piece for a VIP client’s window display,” she adds. Perhaps the company’s most significant incentive is a $25,000 raffle program for retailers’ sales staffs. Each time a salesperson sells a Chatham piece, his or her name is entered into the raffle for a chance to win prizes. Chatham pulls names at random during the JCK Las Vegas show. In 2023, there were 17 winners with the grand prize winner taking home $8,500 in prizes. “The more you sell the more chances you have to win,” notes McDaniel.
Still other tools exist in the form of trunk shows or personal appearances by makers. This is a staple for Aneri Jewels, whose director Nancy Italia-Gajera says the events “create excitement and help retailers drive foot traffic to their stores during the holiday season.”
Some of its other more traditional marketing assets are product images and videos, social media posts and website content, online ads, and custom marketing materials and display solutions “for retailers to enhance their in-store presentations,” Italia-Gajera continues.
Sales incentives and training help, too. In fact, the combination may be the company’s most successful tool. “Our most successful effort has been the combination of tailored marketing support and product knowledge training,” she says. “This comprehensive approach has consistently boosted sales during the holiday season.”
One final tool is when wholesalers have plenty of back inventory and/or stateside manufacturing. Companies like Ostbye have many items in stock and ready to ship quickly, while Marathon can also respond in a timely manner to requests for merchandise not yet made.
“We are the factory in Attleboro, Mass., that is a benefit,” explains Barbara Barry, sales associate. “If we don’t have something in stock, we can make it in a week or two. We also offer a lifetime warranty to repair or replace items should an issue arise.”