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Commentary: The Business

Why Bridal Jewelry Sales Are Stronger Than Ever

Consistent ad spending creates opportunity, even in tough times.

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IT HAPPENED IN a flash. COVID-19 hit the news, cases grew and, before we knew it, the country was on lockdown. When abrupt events like these happen, the knee-jerk reaction from small businesses is to cut ad spending.

However, that approach can be premature and full of missed opportunities.

Data showed a drop in local jeweler ad spends from about March through July 2020, while during the same timeframe, consumer search increased in one key category: bridal. In all paid search campaigns, bridal was the clear leader, with click-through rates improving by double digits and cost per click falling by double digits, in some cases by 50 percent. Fewer advertisers equal better positioning, which equals higher click-through rates.

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The net result is that your budget gets more clicks and thus more web traffic.

Why bridal? Unlike shoppers in other jewelry categories, the bridal consumer is in the market for two to four months and spends a lot of time on research. COVID-19 increased this behavior because consumers were unable to go anywhere and also transitioned to working from home. A lot of retailers, whose quick reaction was to cut ad spend, missed this opportunity to potentially increase market share, and therefore sales, once the market opened back up.

Why Engagement Ring Sales Are Soaring

In addition to pent-up demand for rings, other factors have played a role in the engagement ring sales boom retailers are reporting.

Many couples decided to shelter in place together during the lockdown, and that may have contributed to the decision to get married. Even for those who didn’t shelter in place together, it likely meant spending more time together and therefore pushed up the timeline.

For Americans who were already in the bridal market and who didn’t lose their jobs or see significant salary decreases, stimulus checks might have been the impetus to pull the trigger. They also factored into the decision to buy bigger rings, as retailers continue to report higher average sales. High-ticket luxury experiences like travel fell off a cliff, meaning more discretionary income spent elsewhere.

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Will the bridal boom continue? That’s still to be determined. However, we are certainly in a “new normal,” which continues to mean less group social interaction and more one-on-one time. Maybe that’s not a bad thing.

After all, it’s easier to find The One when the world is quieter and, for retail jewelers, that might spell opportunity.

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Wilkerson Takes the Worry Out of Closing

MSG Jewelers has always treated its customers like family. When owner Mike George decided to retire and close the doors of his St. Louis, Missouri jewelry store, he selected a company to manage his going-out-of-business sale that treats its customers like family, too. That’s why he chose Wilkerson. “Wilkerson was able to do all the things that we needed,” says George. In the end, the bittersweet store closing was so much easier with Wilkerson at the helm. From marketing to pricing to inventory, Wilkerson does it all. “It’s a package deal,” says George.

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