This week, Jennifer traveled to Las Vegas for the JCK show. JCK is a jewelry industry event for retailers, designers, suppliers and brands; many of the challenges fine jewelers face are similar to those other industries are experiencing. For that reason, we’re sharing the highlights from a panel discussion Jennifer participated in, along with Scott Lachut of PFSK and author and columnist Deep Patel.
Multi-Generational Shopping Habits – Highlights & Insights
Gen Z & Millennials are NOT the same!
Taken together, Millennials and Gen Z represent nearly half of the buying public. Yet the two generations are very different from each other. Millennials derive enjoyment from shopping in physical spaces, and expect an in-store shopping experience to add value to their overall interaction with the brand. For Gen Z, the shopping experience isn’t as vital as the amount of feedback they get from their peers when they post a picture of their purchase to social media.
Everybody is Influenced – But Different Generations Listen to Different Voices
Baby Boomers and Gen X make purchasing decisions based on what they hear from trusted friends and family members – especially if those individuals have relevant experience. Celebrities are also powerful influencers for Baby Boomers and Gen X. Millennials appreciate celebrities as well, while Gen Z has embraced the “micro-celebrity”: most often top YouTubers or Instagrammers.
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Business As Usual Really Isn’t Working
91% of women buy jewelry for themselves, but many women dislike shopping in traditional jewelry stores. The atmosphere is often intimidating, with a focus on colorless bridal jewelry and too many men present for comfortable browsing. Changing retail to meet the needs of today’s customers will address these issues but will also need to integrate tech to facilitate a higher level of personalized service. For example, the gift recommendations that used to be made in person can now be discussed over text – great news for Gen Z shoppers who prefer to keep in person interaction to a minimum.
Customers Use Search & Social To Find Brands & Retailers
Almost two-thirds of the customer’s journey takes place in digital spaces. Instagram and Pinterest are top traffic sources for jewelry brands, and it’s important to note that luxury brands consistently outperform all other brands on these platforms. That’s because people spend time on Instagram and Pinterest looking for the lifestyle they’d like to have: brands and retailers must strategically share images that feed into that dream.
It is important to prioritize optimizing for local search because three-quarters of shoppers search for stores near them. They want to know what’s in stock and pricing information. Retailers who provide this information accurately outperform those that don’t. That being said, make sure your digital presence entertains and informs: if your website & social media posts are too sales oriented, customers – especially members of Gen Z – will be turned off.