Meeting Millennials Where They Are
Eighty percent of today’s marrying couples are Millennials, and jewelers who wish to court them need to understand how they shop to reach them.
Research from Weddingwire’s 2019 Wedding Report and industry thought leaders reveal key data to consider while developing your strategy for success.
Millennials want help. Millennials are looking for checklists, budget tools, and help on where to start in order to be efficient in the planning process. Sixty-six percent use a wedding planning app. Give them the tools and information they need to select their rings and the jewelry gifts that are part of their wedding story.
Brides love Pinterest. Pinterest boards are wildly popular on wedding planning portals, so why wouldn’t jewelers capitalize on this playful and engaging platform in their community. Sixty-four percent use Pinterest throughout their wedding planning process. In fact, among the top pre-engagement actions taken by two out of three brides, nearly a third create a Pinterest board for inspiration.
Couples value shopping local for the personal experience. Research finds the term “near me” to be among the most searched phrases having to do with wedding planning. Despite the majority of research and planning occurring online by Millennials, half make their purchase from a brick and mortar store.
Reviews are important in deciding where to shop. Millennials say they are more likely to consider a company with both positive and negative reviews on their website than one with no reviews at all. Encourage customers to share a review and refer a friend, and reward their efforts with jewelry cleaning, battery replacement, gift, discount with future purchase.
Capitalize on Millennials social media sharing of engagement. Research shows that 64 percent of couples share their engagement on social media within a few hours of the proposal, and more than half send a photo of the ring to loved ones after getting engaged. Consider how you can be part of the sharing, like special presentation box and packaging, #hastags, photo wall, ring cam.
Work with trusted brands. Roopam Jain, president of the branded team at Renaissance in New York, which brings to market its licensed Disney Enchanted Bridal collection, underscores that Millennials have an affinity for brands they can trust, like Disney and Hallmark, for which it holds licensed jewelry collections. The message reflected in such wholesome, well-liked brands is one of happiness, goodness and living your best life. He underscores that jewelry is an iconic keepsake that embodies the people, moments and sentiments that are a part of our personal stories, and that is what the industry must promote.
Embrace more color. The use of color stones as a center and accent stones in engagement rings and wedding bands has been growing for years. Most popular are sapphire, ruby, emerald, and fancy color diamonds. Research finds 71 percent of brides choose a natural, mined diamond, suggesting that color stones and other non-traditional options appeal to nearly 30 percent. Jain cites that in the Enchanted Disney Bridal Collection of engagement rings, each princess that the various styles pay homage to has her own gem. Popular have been morganite, tanzanite, aquamarine, and amethyst, as well Disney’s Villains styles in black diamonds and rhodium.
Recognize lab-grown diamonds as viable choice, as many wedding-planning outlets have proclaimed among their top ring trends. Millennials are telling the jewelry industry this is a product they’re interested in and will to come into the store to look at it,” says Marty Hurwitz, CEO MVI Marketing. “To ignore that opportunity is a mistake, for an industry struggling to get Millennials in the door.” Jonathan Goldman, CEO of Frederick Goldman, which acquired the Love Earth lab-grown diamond last year, believes lab-grown diamonds are one of the innovative ideas that the industry needs to excite the consumer and compete with other discretionary purchases. A.J. Tosyali for Benchmark in Tuscaloosa, Alabama concurs, describes the category “on fire”, especially interesting to men.
Promote the sentiment, fashion and versatility of bands. Tosyali cites tremendous excitement in the wedding band category, with so much variety to choose from for women and men. “Ladies stackable rings are crushing it, the daintier the better,” he says, in styles with stones and without, as well as diverse textures and patterns. And men, he adds, are open to a range of options, including alternative metals like black titanium and tantalumin in their rings.
Customization is key for engagement rings and wedding bands. Research shows that more than half of consumers opt for some kind of customization for their rings, with nearly a third designing custom rings from scratch. Theresa Namie, merchandise manager for the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Ostbye that styles that offer options in metal, stone, and details like gallery work, halos and other accents that allow couples to personalize their jewelry.
Increase outreach beyond the engagement ring. With the average age of marrying couples today 33, jewelers need to lay the groundwork long before the engagement if they want to grow the popularity of fine jewelry by focusing on its role as a marker of love. “I don’t want to define love, I want you to define love,” says Bruce Pucciarello, CEO of the wedding ring brand Novell, a subsidiary of Continental in Rahway, New Jersey, slated to launch a new commitment jewelry program for independent jewelers. He believes that healthy growth for jewelers will come by making more jewelry desirable to more consumers. It’s about providing options that consumers can purchase the way they are comfortable.
Consumers buy things that make them happy! The key question: How can your brand, products and services deliver more value for the asking price? How can you enhance a consumer’s happiness, comfort and reward for their spending?