In this article Marc "Hostovsky, 31, ended up buying his fiancee's engagement ring online, after being bombarded with targeted s on social media. Marc Hostovsky
Before proposing to his fiancee last fall, Marc Hostovsky spent weeks scouring the internet for information on the "4 C " of diamonds - cut, clarity, color and car to - and rating certifications.
The 31-year-old had never made such a large purchase in his life, he said. He wanted the engagement ring to be very special, of course. And he went further, including contacting the owner of the online jewelry market directly Rare " Carat , before committing to purchase the final product online.
"The ringwas by far the most expensive thing I have ever bought. It was scary, "said Hostovsky, an entrepreneur based in the New York area. " I feel like I'm an expert in buying jewelry now. "
Younger consumers, like Hostovsky, are playing an increasingly important role in helping propel the jewelry category. This is in part because many are thinking or preparing to get married. According to " a forecast from The Wedding Report , next year should bring 2 , 5 million weddings, which would mark a high in four decades. Couples will splurge not only on engagement rings, but wedding rings and other accessories for the big day as well.
Meanwhile, other buyers are looking for ways to show their appreciation towards loved one during the pandemic, and jewelry is a great way todo.
"People really love giving lasting gifts that emphasize love and commitment, and especially during times of challenge, which I think everyone else does. world can certainly relate [right now], "said Beth Gerstein, CEO of the jeweler Brilliant Earth .
Last holiday season, starting in October From December 11 to 24, sales of the jewelry category dropped by approximately 4.3%, according to "data from Mastercard SpendingPulse . Although this is a decline, the results were significantly better than sales at clothing retailers and department store chains, SpendingPulse said.
This holiday , however, jewelers expect a much more solid finish for the year. During Thanksgiving week, which includesnd on Black Friday but not Cyber Monday jewelry sales are expected to increase 39.7% from last year levels, SpendingPulse " said . Total retail sales, excluding automobiles and gasoline, are expected to increase by around 10% over the course of this year. this period.
'Feel-good purchases '
According to Marie Driscoll, general manager luxury and fashion at Coresight Research, some consumers were able to accumulate money during the pandemic because they weren't spending on travel and other experiences last year. She explained that these consumers were putting in the extra dollars. into their bank accounts and could save for ambitious purchases.
"If people still had jobs and worked from home ... expand this Zoom , luxury has become a way of celebrating life, "she said. " And one of the best wellness buys in luxury is jewelry, because there is Often has stories behind [that]. "
Younger consumers also claim to care more about sustainability than their elders, Driscoll said, and they are fueling the growth of lab-grown diamonds. more jewelry companies are adding eco-friendly options with this in mind and this is helping the category grow, she said.
A lab-grown diamond is made rather than to be mined from the ground. It uses a technology that mimics the natural process of diamond growth, but deals less damage to the environment. The stones are also less expensive and offer the guarantee that this " is not what is called the diamond of blood, which prThey come from a conflict zone .
"They have avatars, they live in a virtual world, they live in the verse " Driscoll said of millennials, a demographic that encompasses the ages of 25 to 40. "A lab-grown diamond is not as off-putting to someone under 30 as it is to someone over 30. And then there is no problem in terms of diamond ethics. "
De Beers, once a vocal critic of synthetic diamonds, in 2018 launched his own brand of lab-grown diamonds called Lightbox. And Pandora, the jeweler best known for their silver charm bracelets, said earlier this year that he "would stop selling mined diamonds and focus on more affordable, durable, lab-grown gemstones.
Meanwhile, Tiffany , who now belongsto European luxury conglomerate LVMH, started country "of origin of its diamonds over 0.18 carats. The high-end jewelry chain also used a number of other tactics to reach young consumers. In April, it began selling its very first men's engagement ring , capitalizing on the rise of weddings homosexuals. And he's recruited celebrities like Jay Z and Beyonce to star in his ad campaigns.
"If you don't capture the millennial customer, you're putting your business model at extreme risk to the business. 'future,' said Oliver Chen, retail analyst at Cowen & Co.
Social media at the heart
Brilliant Earth, a jewelry chain founded in San Francisco in 2005,said about 87% of its active consumer base is either Gen Y or Gen Z, which includes ages 9 to 24.
According to Gerstein, many Brilliant Earth customers find the brand through social platforms such as Instagram . "The company s Mainly relies on her website to sell engagement rings as well as a large assortment of lab-grown gemstones. She only has about a dozen showrooms where people can try her products in person.
"S Social media has been at the heart of our concerns from the start," she said. "It 's just the mindset of young consumers . " Brilliant Earth said its zodiac-inspired jewelry collection has been popular with young consumers and will be one of the top sellers this holiday season. Source: Brilliant Earth
The company offers virtual dates on its website and recently launched a gift portal for holiday ideas. Among the items expected to top buyers' wish lists this year are zodiac-inspired pieces and tennis bracelets, Gerstein said.
"This generation wants to buy from brands where they are. may feel good. about the port, "she said of millennials.
Brilliant Earth, which listed its shares on Nasdaq on September 23, joined d 'other jewelry chains such as Mejuri , Studs and Kendra " Scott who market their businesses online to younger consumers. Some are more parts-oriented than all.es days rather than fancy jewelry.
David Yurman, a private jewelry chain known for its iconic cable bracelet and more upscale pieces, said it also attracts buyers of the Millennial thanks to its have amplified digital marketing efforts in recent months.
"The brand is feeling very relevant right now " said Lee Tucker, head of merchandising and marketing at David Yurman. "We see in our data an influx of new customers to the David Yurman brands, many of whom have joined us during the pandemic through our e-commerce channels.
Hostovsky said he had ended up buying his fiancee's engagement ring only online because he was bombarded with so many brand ads following his first diamond inquiries on the internet. He has already started shopping online for another piece of jewelry. y to give it pend the holidays.
"A few of the friends [of my fiancee] who are now considering proposing a marriage proposal contacted me and said:" Where did you get What was your process like? ' "he said. "I had a very good experience.
- CNBC 's Melissa Repko contributed to this report.