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If you were watching the ball drop to ring in 2023, and you were thinking about the sheer weight of those 2,688 Waterford Crystals encompassing that ball, you might be a jewelry brand manager. Will this be a good year for jewelry sales, or a down year? Unfortunately that 11,875 pound crystal ball can’t tell the future, but some of the trends we’re seeing may be able to.
To start, jewelry and watch sales ended lower to end 2022 due to general caution about the US and global economy. The jury’s still out on whether we’re in for a Recession in 2023, but we all know that even the specter of one is enough to curb and slow sales of luxury goods across the board. And a recent survey of CEOs suggests that most business leaders are expecting at least a short recession this year.
This means that jewelry brands need to focus on better marketing tactics that have high ROI. Research shows that brands overall perform stronger if they continue to do intelligent marketing through a recession, so where can your jewelry brand focus your limited marketing spend?
The answer is clienteling, which is the practice of delivering more intimate customer experiences to drive more sales through data-driven personalization.
In fact, there are three jewelry trends in 2023 that dovetail perfectly with clienteling tactics. Let’s dive in and see what they are.
1. Jewelry Customers Crave Personalization
Jewelry has always been a personal purchase, and even when mass marketed, customers always want to feel that what they are buying is truly meant for them. One area of growth in jewelry sales for the next few years is wedding jewelry and accessories, with consumers looking for unique and cross-cultural pieces that speak to their personal tastes.
For younger shoppers, we’re seeing a growth in sustainable jewelry that echo the values of the next generation of consumers who care greatly about the environment. They too want pieces that are as personal as the values that they hold. We’re even seeing this in the return of “mood jewelry,” (hello 70s!) items that literally show off the current emotions and feelings of each individual wearer.
And the idea of personalization in retail has been an increasingly driving force for the past few years, and there’s no signs of slowing in 2023. To capture an audience looking to connect with a brand on an intimate level, jewelry brands need to leverage their customer data inside their CRM to personalize their marketing to a more focused segment of their audience.
While some brands may still rely on mass email showcasing a slew of general items, many brand's today target their promotional emails by curating specific items based on a shopper’s browsing history on your site, what they’re viewing on social media, and their past purchases. A robust CRM can help teams make this type of customer data actionable; creating personalized marketing messages that speak to their values.
2. Growth of Big Jewelry Brands
While the market for jewelry seems to be getting more personal, that doesn’t necessarily mean that smaller brands are connecting with their audience any better than the large, legacy brands. In fact, the data shows that it might be quite the opposite.
Ten years ago, high-end brands (Tiffany, Cartier, etc) controlled only about 20% of total jewelry consumption. Smaller brands and retailers controlled the vast majority of the relationship to customers. But in 2021, branded jewelry represented 25 - 30% of the jewelry market. Experts say that this is due to visibility, especially online. The large brands have the cache, and marketing dollars, to show up across all jewelry searches.
In order for today’s smaller jewelry brands to win back market share from the bigger names, they need to improve their relationships with their audience and become the go-to brand when their customers think ‘jewelry.’
Clienteling is all about keeping top-of-mind with your audience by communicating with them regularly, where they are, in a 2-way conversation. This has worked for brands like Judith Bright, who leveraged their CRM to improve their client outreach and be available for questions. This helped improve their conversion rate on messages to 8.5%, as well as to see a higher customer return rate.
For another jewelry brand, gorjana, they leveraged their CRM for a conversational SMS strategy, reaching customers via their communication method of choice. This helped improve their conversion rate from communications to 20%, and shortened their days-to-conversion to just seven days.
By using clienteling methods to connect with their audience, these brands improve customer relationships to drive more sales.
3. The Rise of Gen Z
Heard of them? They’re the new young adults just coming into their own, economically. The oldest Gen Zers are over 25, and will be the dominant consumers of luxury goods in the next five to ten years. Not only that, they are discovering a taste for more expensive items:
Bertschy of Vontobel says younger, Gen Z consumers are more than ready to invest in fine jewellery pieces. “The younger generation or the Gen Zs prefer to save a bit of money to buy their first luxury product and to have something very iconic and something very high end.” He notes that many were incentivised in the Covid-19 pandemic to treat themselves as a reward or an act of sheer indulgence. - Vogue Business
Catering to Gen Z sensibilities is a key component of how your jewelry brand can keep up in today’s marketplace. Your clienteling methods already incorporate an authentic brand voice, personalization, SMS messaging (Gen Z’s favorite communication method, even with retail brands), and 2-way conversations. But there’s another big component to keep in mind: social video content.
Yet it can be hard to leverage third-party platforms for transactions and targeting, especially since the death of third-party cookies.
That’s why CRM systems like Endear have features like Shoppable Stories:
Shoppable Stories act similarly to the videos and swipeable images on social platforms, but work on first-party data from your CRM. That way, not only can you target the right Stories to the right customers, they can transact right from the Story with a tap of a finger. This lowers the bar for shopping engagement and increases conversion rates.
Catering to Gen Z with the right clienteling tools will be a winning strategy for 2023 and beyond.
Endear can help your jewelry brand start clienteling today.