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Selling

Ultimately, it’s about what sells. Here we look at best-performing brands, categories, channels and strategies.

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21. What are the 3 best-performing brand-name jewelry lines that you carry?

The Big Survey 2021: Selling

The Big Survey 2021: Selling

22. What are the 3 best-performing watch brands that you carry?

The Big Survey 2021: Selling

23. What do you think will be the next breakout category in jewelry?

  • Lab-grown diamonds is the winning category here, closely followed by “yellow gold everything.” And although both categories are already popular, respondents believe they will continue to flourish and find their way into new markets. “Lab-grown diamonds are going to avalanche all over the industry,” said one. “Lab growns will have to be standardized and probably require some level of regulation.”
  • “We have seen engagement rings in yellow really take over,” said another.
  • Diamond shapes mentioned include oval, pear, marquise, elongated radiants and cushions. And when it comes to the setting, “Simplicity in engagement ring design is what we are mainly selling,” said one respondent. “1.5 mm shank, thin, delicate eagle prongs and maybe a hidden halo.”
  • Other popular answers: Custom design, colored gemstones, minimalism, layers and petite pieces, stackable bracelets and personalization.
  • “This is the million-dollar question,” said one. “I would say identity jewelry. Not an ID bracelet, but something that says something about you that you want to broadcast.”
  • Other interesting predictions: flexible diamond bangle bracelets, evil eye jewelry, stackable bands that are chevron or crown-shaped, spinner rings, and men’s pearls.

24. Please rank your product mix, from biggest generator of sales volume to smallest.

The Big Survey 2021: Selling

*Please note the figures refer to the weighted average out of a full score of 10.

25. How many customers who buy engagement rings come back to buy wedding rings?

More than half
61%
About half
18%
About a third
9%
About a quarter
8%
Less than 10%
3%
Almost none
1%
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Note: At 61%, independent jewelers are doing better than the Knot’s figure for the industry of about half who miss out on the follow-up sale. Still, four out of 10 jewelers appear to be leaving money on the table.

26. In engagement ring sales, where’s the money?

In the stone
42%
In the setting
37%
In the design work
11%
In the follow up sales
9%
In the choice of metal
0.3%

27. What proportion of your engagement/wedding ring sales are to same-sex couples?

None
6%
Less than 5%
59%
6-10%
18%
11-15%
7%
16-20%
6%
21-25%
2%
More than 25%
2%
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28. How would you describe the contribution of e-commerce — via your website, Facebook, Instagram, eBay, etc. — to total sales?
The Big Survey 2021: Selling

It wasn’t dramatic, but by the end of the pandemic, about one-third of jewelers were earning 11-25% of ttheir sales from e-com.

29. If you have a website that is now generating significant revenue, what did you roughly have to invest in total (lifetime) to get it to this point?

Less than $10,000
39%
$10,000 to $25,000
25%
$25,000 to $50,000
10%
$50,000 to $100,000
10%
$100,000 to $250,000
7%
Over $250,000
2%

30. As a business owner you’re always selling. What’s the hardest sale?

Selling goods to a customer
32%
Selling yourself to a bank
14%
Selling your store to a vendor
5%
Selling your ideas to your staff
26%
Selling your ideas to family and friends
23%

31. In 2019, Apple Watch sales surpassed those of all Swiss watchmakers combined. What’s been the impact of smartwatches like the Apple Watch on your watch sales?

They’re killing traditional watch sales
26%
It’s had a moderate negative impact
30%
No impact really
34%
My traditional watch sales get better every year
9%
Smartwatches have become a nice littler earner for us.
1%
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32. Open or closed?

The Big Survey 2021: Selling

33. What’s the oddest question a customer has ever asked?

The most common odd questions jewelers get seem to involve making small diamonds into one big diamond.

Others included:
  • “Can you make a ring with my kidney stone?”
  • “Can you make a charm for my wife from my gallstone?”
  • “If I bring you a belt buckle, can you turn it into a ring?”
Special requests for the repair department:
  • “You repair lawnmowers?”
  • “Can you fix my toaster oven? The guy at the appliance store wants too much.”
  • “Can you clean my toilet bolts in your ultrasonic?”
Questions for the owner:
  • “Can I take it now and pay you over the next two years?”
  • “Do you really earn a living?”

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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