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The Future Is Female

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    January 17, 2022 10:27 PM EST

    The Future Is Female

    In fact, Andrea Hill of Hill Management Group says jewelry is the last luxury product still targeted to men. “The industry has built an entire paradigm around the engagement ring, 4Cs and selling by certificate,” she says. And that can be alienating to women, who are attracted to ideas and relationships, dialogue and stories.To get more news about jewelry designers, you can visit official website.

    “Let’s stop stereotyping,” Hill says. “No more breathless ‘She said YES!’ advertising, unless you are only selling engagement rings and only to men.”

    The industry is taking notice. A year ago, the Diamond Producers Association announced the third wave of the Real is Rare, Real is a Diamond campaign. Titled “For Me, From Me,” the campaign is inspired by the natural diamond industry’s strongest growth engine, women self-purchase, a $43 billion market that grew by 4 percent in 2017, according to De Beers Group data.Kate Peterson of Performance Concepts devised the educational component of For Me, From Me. “The relevance to retailers is that more than 30 percent of diamond jewelry is being sold to women buying for themselves,” she says. “A lot of stores are not capitalizing on that. Most people have been blissfully unaware of how much business they are missing, not in percentages, but in raw dollars. And we’re not losing it to other jewelry stores. We are giving it away to other industries.”

    In fact, says Stephanie Holland, founder of She-conomy, women control more than $20 trillion in worldwide spending and $7 trillion in the U.S. alone. Women will control two-thirds of consumer wealth in the U.S. over the next decade. A total of 81 percent of jewelry is purchased in some fashion by women, either on their own or in cooperation with a partner.

    Harold Dupuy of Stuller, who spoke during an American Gem Society Conclave session in 2019 on “Jewelry Industry Insights,” said that the average sales ticket in that self-purchase diamond jewelry category is $1,300. Generally, women buy on impulse or for a personal milestone, but nearly half buy fine diamond jewelry with no specific occasion in mind.

    “Women today are not shy to buy things for themselves, and many women are not with someone and they still want to buy beautiful expensive jewelry,” says Maddy Rovinsky, co-owner of Bernie Robbins Jewelers, which has five locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. “There is no limit today. We have sold women six figures worth of jewelry. No woman should be underestimated, and they have a right to see the best of what we have.”In another significant development, Jewelers of America is working with the jewelry industry as a whole to grab the interest of affluent young women and focus it on fashionable, fine jewelry. The goal is to launch a generic advertising campaign called “Another Piece of Your Story” to generate consumer awareness that would be on the level of the “Got Milk” ad campaign. JA has assembled a Consumer Marketing Committee to raise funds to support a multi-year, national campaign.

    Why, then, are many retailers behind the curve? “I think there are two reasons,” Hill says. “The first is that our industry ‘personality’ is not particularly self-reflective. We don’t always recognize when we need to improve and change until very late in any given cycle. The second reason is that the industry still has a gender imbalance in both leadership and store ownership/management. It’s definitely improving, but we’re not there yet.

    “We (humans in general) tend to approach the world through our own lens. So the preponderance of men in leadership and ownership positions reinforced merchandising and marketing in ways that work for men.”That balance is shifting in some corners. At Adornment & Theory in Chicago, a business focused on millennials, about 85 percent of customers are women. “Our sales staff tries to readjust their values and tell them to ‘buy your own damn ring,’” says owner Viviana Langhoff.

    If you like it, buy it, rather than thinking out loud, ‘I’ll get this ring one day if someone comes along,’” Langhoff says. “Be your own hero. We have women who come in when they get job promotions. We serve them drinks, high-five them and wrap their present to themselves as a gift. You hit a goal, and you should be celebrated. The idea that jewelry needs to be tied to romance is outdated.”

    Peterson says one quick fix to sales strategy that could make a big difference in the bottom line is to rethink the approach to the tried and true wish-list concept. If a customer comes in to pick up a repair, peeks in a case and spots a diamond bracelet that she likes, the salesperson is likely to approach her not to close the sale, but to “make sure we get that on your wish list,” assuming she does not have the discretionary funds to buy it for herself. “And in most cases, that wish list goes nowhere,” Peterson says. “Then that customer might drive down the street and spend $1,200 on a Coach handbag. Instead of trying to close that sale, we fall back on the way people have traditionally behaved.”

    Jewelers have been in the gift business, says Peterson, which has always been about selling to men who are buying for women. “So what we consider to be good service ends up costing us money. If that had been a man who stopped at the case, the salesperson would have tried to close the sale. And once we, as sales trainers, point that out, the light bulbs go on.”
    Use your wish list after you have done everything you know to close the deal, Peterson says. And when you follow up on that wish list, follow up with her. Don’t assume someone else is going to buy that bracelet for her.