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Eileen McClelland

Are You Missing Bridal Jewelry Sales Opportunities?

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According to The Knot’s 2015 Bridal Survey, about half of jewelry retailers are NOT reaching out to engaged couples after the engagement ring purchase, often inexplicably forfeiting myriad sales opportunities and the possibility of forming a long-term relationship with clients.

Only 51 percent of brides heard from retailers after the big purchase.

Perhaps not surprisingly then, only about 53 percent returned to the engagement ring jeweler to buy their wedding bands.

Meanwhile, bridal jewelry is more popular than ever. In addition to wedding bands, couples are increasingly purchasing wedding day ceremony jewelry and bridal party gifts, as well as exchanging their own wedding day gifts. The average spent on bridesmaids’ jewelry gifts alone is about $500 per wedding.

And 40 percent of grooms are buying additional jewelry for the ceremony, spending an average of $443 on cuff links, watches and tie clips.

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The Knot also reports that the band purchase has become even more important to establishing a relationship with clients, since collectible, stackable wedding bands are in demand. Additional bands are being purchased for important occasions, such as a first anniversary, to add to the wedding set.

Of brides who did hear from their retailers, 23 percent provided information about cleaning and care, 21 percent followed up to inquire about their satisfaction with the purchase, and only 18 percent sent information about upcoming sales or new purchases. All of those numbers are trending down, according to the Knot.

How They Shop

The Knot surveyed 12,844 brides and 1,276 grooms from all over the United States, and released the results during a seminar at the American Gem Society Conclave in New Orleans on Friday.

They found that grooms spend about 4.8 months on ring research, visiting five retailers on average. Grooms are interested in style and setting and stone quality, while brides are most interested in cut and shape followed by style and setting.

Sixty one percent of grooms use the Internet in their research and as many as 67 percent of brides-to-be are looking at rings BEFORE the proposal, so there is an opportunity here to reach out to brides as well as prospective grooms.

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In fact, 66 percent of brides-to-be were involved with shopping for a ring and nearly one third of grooms reported shopping together.

So if all of your engagement ring marketing is directed at prospective grooms, it might be time to broaden that approach.

Engagement Ring Styles

Ninety-seven percent of brides say they love their engagement rings and describe them as gorgeous, timeless, elegant, classic and unique, the five top ring descriptions chosen in the survey.

Of brides who received engagement rings, 86 percent received a new ring and 39 percent said it was, at least in part, custom designed, which means they had some degree of input in the design of the setting.

Eleven percent received heirloom rings and another 3 percent, vintage rings.

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Brides still favor clear diamond center stones, but as many as 8 percent are now choosing another precious stone for their solitaire or their center stone. In addition, while round cut center diamonds are holding steady at 49 percent, mine cuts (6 percent) and rose cuts (1 percent) have started showing up on the survey as the bride’s diamond-cut choice, while princess cuts, at 22 percent, have been declining in popularity.

Halo designs are continuing to boom, rising from 7 percent in 2011 to 22 percent in 2015.

And here’s some good news for independent jewelers: Three out of four couples purchase engagement rings from a local or a national jeweler. The percentage of couples purchasing their engagement rings from an independent jeweler has risen from 40 to 43 percent since 2011.

The average amount spent on an engagement ring has risen to $5,978.

Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

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