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Women Want Platinum Engagement Rings. Here’s Why They May Not Be Getting Them, According to PGI

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LAFAYETTE, LA — While 77 percent of bridal customers say that platinum is their first choice — or at least a serious consideration — when contemplating the purchase of an engagement ring, only 15 percent of women receive a platinum ring, according to Platinum Guild International research.

Kevin Reilly, vice president of Platinum Guild International USA, urges retailers to view this large gap between desire and reality as a growth opportunity and give their whole company culture  a second look, when it comes to platinum.

Reilly spoke during a seminar called “Working With Platinum” during Stuller’s Bench Jeweler Workshop March 23-25.

Platinum WILL sell if associates are trained to sell it and if the bench jeweler is trained to work with it, Reilly says.

To begin with, customers are looking for expert guides, not order takers, when they come to your jewelry store. If you don’t mention platinum, they may not be confident enough to bring it up.

When they walk into your store “customers see a sea of white, and in their head, they just see silver,” Reilly says. “They can’t discern between silver, white gold, palladium, tungsten. If eight out of 10 of your engagement rings and wedding bands are not platinum, you have the opportunity there for more profitability.”

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A Platinum Guild International research project found that while the average margin percent for platinum and white gold is similar and slightly in white gold’s favor even, platinum profit significantly exceeds white gold when looking at the actual dollar difference.If your sales staff needs talking points, Reilly suggests the following:

  • Nothing holds a diamond more securely than platinum.
  • The diamond is the most valuable component of the consumer’s investment.
  • The best way to protect that investment is by setting it in platinum.
  • Even if the rest of the ring is a different metal, the diamond should always be held in a platinum setting.

The Platinum Guild worked with the GIA to develop the Platinum Quality Assurance Benchmark, a free system for evaluating finished and semi-finished platinum jewelry.“A lot of times what we find is if there are performance issues with a ring people will blame the platinum, when in fact it probably happened because there is something wrong with the engineering of that ring,” Reilly says.

The PGI Platinum micro-topics allow bench jewelers to plot their design against objective benchmarks and prevent structural failure. For more information about the program, see http://us.platinumguild.com/platinum-training/training/technical-education.

For more information about training your staff to sell platinum, contact Kevin Reilly at kreilly@pgiglobal.com.

This story is an INSTORE Online extra.

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Possible ‘Diamond in a Diamond’ Is the Strangest Thing Ever

This bizarre specimen was found in Yakutsk, Russia.

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RUSSIA’S ALROSA DIAMOND mining company may have discovered a diamond in a diamond.

Alrosa’s Instagram page features a video of a 0.62-carat rough diamond with a curious void in its center. Rattling around in that cavity seems to be another rough diamond.

In a caption accompanying the video, Alrosa wrote, “A diamond in a diamond? We couldn’t help but share this very special find with you.”

Alrosa goes on to describe how the smaller crystal seems to move freely within the larger one. The curious gem was discovered in Yakutsk, Russia.

“We are not sure if the smaller one is a diamond,” wrote Alrosa. “Our scientists are looking forward to studying the crystal. It will be researched with non-destructive methods.”

Please check out Alrosa’s video below:

 

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A diamond in a diamond? We couldn’t help but share this very special find with you. Watch: the smaller crystal moves in a cavity inside the larger rough diamond. The larger diamond weighs 0.62 carats. We are not sure if the smaller one is a diamond. Our scientists are looking forward to studying the crystal. It will be researched with non-destructive methods #diamondscientistsbestfriend #ALROSA #diamondsALROSA #realisrare Алмаз внутри алмаза? Не можем не поделиться с вами своей находкой: внутри этого алмаза в 0,62 карата передвигается в полости другой кристалл. Наши учёные пока не уверены, что внутри находится именно алмаз. Они с нетерпением ждут, когда интересная находка попадёт к ним в лабораторию. Изучать будут не разрушающими методами #алмазылучшиедрузьяученых #АЛРОСА #алмазыАЛРОСА #

A post shared by ALROSA® (@alrosadiamonds) on

In an unrelated Instagram post, Alrosa honored the 115th anniversary of Russia’s TASS news agency with what the mining company is calling “the world’s most expensive diamond hashtag.”

Alrosa created a mural with the hashtag “TASS115” rendered in natural white diamonds. The precious stones weigh 4,000 carats and are valued at $350,000.

The mural is being displayed at Alrosa’s diamond sorting center in the Siberian town of Mirny.

In its congratulatory message, Alrosa wrote, “On [the] occasion of the 115th anniversary of the legendary TASS, we [are] giving our friends the most expensive hashtag in history as a present.”

Alrosa unveiled the mural on its Facebook and Instagram pages.

The TASS news agency was founded on September 1, 1904, as the St. Petersburg Telegraph Agency (SPTA). It was renamed the Russian Telegraph Agency (ROSTA) in 1918. Seven years later, the agency would become TASS (the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union). Today, it boasts 63 bureaus in 60 countries.

Alrosa is the world’s leading diamond producer in terms of volume, accounting for nearly a third of global rough diamond production. The company manages mines in Russia’s Yakutia and Arkhangelsk regions, as well as Africa.

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David Geller

Here Are a Few Tips You Haven’t Seen to Make the Most of Your Bridal Custom Designs

They’re simple yet brilliant.

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IT’S 2019, AND it’s not your daddy’s jewelry store anymore. No more high margins on diamonds. Where’s the money now? The mounting.

Keystone is the goal, and many get it on the mounting, but comparison shopping can make it difficult. That said, the really big problem with selling from the showcase is the amount of inventory you must carry.

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On the other hand, custom designing an engagement ring has many advantages:

  • Higher profit margins
  • You pay for the item after you’ve collected money from the customer.
  • The customer feels like they are directing the process rather than being “sold.”
  • If you share the process of designing their ring with the customer, they will likely share with their friends and family. It’ll be on social media, texts and emails.
  • You can adjust which components go into the ring to more fit their budget.
  • Selling from the showcase has a closing ratio of 30 percent in most stores, but custom design has a closing ratio of 70-80 percent.

The downside? Someone must know how to design the ring, how it comes together and pricing. Training is essential, or having someone specific to sell the ring and lead the customer through the process. Figuring out how to price the item requires particular skills.

Here are some additional tips to make the most of your custom design process:

  • While designing the ring, if you use CAD/CAM, take a snapshot of the model on the screen and send it to the customer, saying something like, “Well, Jim has gotten started on your beautiful design.” If you hand-carve the wax or mill it, take a picture and send by text or email. Same goes for the casting process and another of the jeweler finishing up the ring.
  • When appropriate, send out a handwritten thank-you note.
  • Go to Office Depot and buy a pack of 100 sheets of do-it-yourself business cards. Make yourself a master blank company business card with no logo, just everything else about your store. Take a good picture of their new ring and paste it on the card, then print a sheet of 10 and have it in the envelope when you deliver the ring.

After they “ooh and aah” over the ring, tell them, “I’m glad you love it. You know, we have more customers come in from referrals than anything else and would love for you to refer family and friends. Here are some of our cards.”

Then plop them down on the showcase face up.

They will be so excited that they will not only place one on their refrigerator door, they’ll give them out to friends and show everyone how their ring is on “my jeweler’s business card.”

Isn’t this a fun business?

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Do You Have a Content Curator?

Depending on your objectives, digital marketing now consumes between 40% to 60%+ of most retailers’ marketing budgets.

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DEPENDING ON YOUR OBJECTIVES, digital marketing now consumes between 40% to 60%+ of most retailers’ marketing budgets. As digital continues to shift our marketing strategies, it also demands an increased level of personalization. If you do digital marketing, it’s fair to say you probably want or expect it to deliver results, and to do so means rethinking the roles of in-store team members. A key in-store role can and should be the Content Curator. Here’s why.

Social Media is becoming highly specialized. Even if you are working with an agency, there is only so much a third party can provide based on time and money. While they can be essential in driving strategy and managing advertising placement and buys, more and more retailers have someone internal to supplement those efforts, the Content Curator.

What is a Content Curator?

A Content Curator is an in-store person who leads the charge to collect and cultivate original content.

  • Produce content in-house
  • Engage with employees to create content
  • Post or share content with your marketing partner

It’s All About Content.

Each social channel has its own unique purpose and should have original content. Programs that share the same content over different channels isn’t an effective way to approach social media.

What Channels Should You Use?

If you’d like to run effective social campaigns, start by assessing what you can do… and do well. Also, understand what the channel should be used for and develop content to match. While there are many choices, most retailers will find the best opportunities in:

  • Facebook – Brand positioning, general news, all age ranges
  • Instagram – Lifestyle, younger
  • YouTube – Great if you can create video content…custom?

Equipment. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to be able to produce great content. You can easily get set up for under $200.

  • Newer Smartphone or Camera w/ Video
  • Camera Rig with LED lighting
  • Editing software such as Photoshop
  • Share and Store. As the Content Curator, you collect and create content that can be used socially, but also on your website or other opportunities.Save all your content on Dropbox or Google Drive
  • Save by category and monthly folders Ex: 2-19
  • Save images at the highest resolution. Images can be scaled down but not up.

Video. Video typically shows better user engagement as well as costs when doing social advertising.

  • Facebook promoted posts
  • Facebook Live
  • Facebook “Video Creation Kit” – Create Video from Still Image and Text Assets. Built into Ads Manager and your Page Publishing tools
  • YouTube Channel

Facebook GIF Advertising. Like video, GIFs tend to have much lower CPA. They stand out and don’t require the same investment as video.

How to make a GIF… the simplest way is to use giphy.com/create/gifmakerRemember, if you want to compete online, everything should be as personalized as possible. It will set you apart from your competition and better position your store in your local market. A Content Curator is a core key to that success.

Remember, if you want to compete online, everything should be as personalized as possible. It will set you apart from your competition and better position your store in your local market. A Content Curator is a core key to that success.

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