As a result of the digital revolution, the way businesses interact with and appeal to customers has changed drastically. As we welcome new technologies and digital platforms, these changes are likely to become even more prominent.
Although the jewellery industry is typically associated with tradition and heritage, it too has had no choice but to embrace the digital world. In fact, most brands operating in this space have not only embraced digital, but have actually harnessed its power by exploring new avenues to reach customers, building their brand presence and creating a competitive advantage.
Speaking to leading branding and marketing agency Champions UK plc, we’ve picked out three of the latest trends and technologies that are likely to shape the jewellery industry in the years to come.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Along with virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) is one of the most ground-breaking technologies we’ve seen in recent years. By combining computer-generated images with a real-word environment, AR creates a composite view that enhances a user’s perception of whatever they see.
This all sounds far too techy for jewellery, right? Wrong. AR is now being used by brands to solve one major issue with online jewellery shopping – showing how the product looks when you are actually wearing it.
Imagine you are scrolling through the website of your favourite jeweller, you click on a piece of jewellery that catches your eye – let’s say a ring. You like the look of the ring, the style, detailing – it all looks amazing in the picture. But what you really want to know is how it looks on you. With AR technology, you can do exactly that.
With the potential to provide a more engaging shopping experience, brands such as Gabriel & Co have taken the leap to create an AR app that allows customers to get a better idea of how their products will look in real life, without having to step foot in the store. By simply selecting the item and placing their smartphone over their body, the app will project an augmented view of the user wearing the jewellery.
A trend that is still in its early stages of development, AR is surely about to change the way we interact with a lot of products, especially through online shopping. Brands that sell wearable items such as clothing, jewellery, watches should be preparing for how they can utilise this technology to satisfy the demand for improved consumer convenience.
The Information Age
Arguably a synonym of the digital age, the information age represents the period of time we all currently live in. Characterised by the rapid shift from the traditional industry to an economy based on information technology, we are living in an age where we are exposed to more information and data than ever before.
With this, comes a change in consumer experience. Nowadays, consumers are showered in information about products they need to buy and have plenty of choices for where they can buy them from, because we are often overwhelmed by the choice we naturally tend to delve deeper to find out valuable information that gives us confidence when making a purchase decision.
This is especially true in the jewellery world, as jewellery products are premium, high-ticket items that require a lot more thought before making a purchase. But how can brands provide consumers with information that instills trust and credibility to their target audience? It’s simple – create information that is both relevant and accessible.
It’s likely that most customers are going to make a physical purchase in store, but by implementing an omni-channel marketing strategy, you accelerate their customer journey and provide a seamless shopping experience. Whether they are browsing online at home, shopping on their phone or looking at your product in-store, they can connect the dots and gather all the information they need to get to the point of purchase.
In order to facilitate this, brands must firstly ensure they are well connected on social media. Having an active presence on core platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is key to engaging with target consumers, building relationships, and providing them with the information they need to trust your brand.
Secondly, your website copy. Does the content on your site embody the true tone of your brand or is it a load of waffle? When writing the copy for your website, email campaign or social channels, it’s needs to be transparent and honest. You don’t have to make bold declarations to be persuasive, you need to evoke emotion, build trust and showcase what makes your brand unique.
By playing to the strengths of your brand, meeting the needs of your target audience, and drawing attention to what it is that makes you different from your competitors, you can build value that lasts.
The Rise of Influencers
Influencer marketing is defined as a partnership between a company and an influential online figure, formed with the intention of increasing brand awareness or engagement and conversions among a specific target audience.
Now one of the most profitable and widely used digital channels, influencer marketing is simply too good to ignore, especially for brands operating in retail. In fact, it’s predicted that in 2019, 65% of brands will increase their influencer marketing budget, whilst 89% say that ROI generated from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels.
Whether it be an online blogger, Instagrammer or YouTuber, influencers can have a huge impact on people looking to buy jewellery. Considering the fact that 62% of consumers will make a purchase if someone they respect on social media recommends a product, influencer marketing presents an opportunity for jewellery brands to place their products in front of the right audience, and through smart partnerships, encourage more consumers to buy them.
Find out more about How Influencer Marketing Will Build Your Jewellery Brand Online here.
As touched on previously, in terms of buyer behaviour, jewellery products are typically high-involvement purchases that require a longer decision making process. By utilising influencers, brands can build awareness, value, and most importantly, trust; thus simplifying the purchase decision and reducing risk in the eyes of the consumer.
If carried out in the right way, and with the help of an influencer marketing agency, working with influencers can be an incredibly powerful channel that every jewellery brand should be looking to exploit.
User experience (UX) essentially refers to how a person feels when interacting with a product, service or system. There are many components that contribute to a user’s overall experience, but UX expert Peter Boersma’s T-model breaks the concept down into 8 key elements:
- Information Architecture
- Marketing & Communications
- Usability Engineering
- Visual Design
- Information Design
- Computer Science
- Interaction Design
In an increasingly digitised world, it’s never been more important for brands to create a positive user experience across all digital platforms. For the most part, it’s all about your website. A website that is accessible, easy to use, and visually engaging is far more likely to convert users than one that is difficult to navigate, slow and generally not very easy on the eye.
This is especially the case for jewellery brands who rely heavily on e-commerce sales. In a competitive market, it’s imperative to attract and retain users, and creating a good online shopping experience certainly plays a huge role in doing this.
The key to developing a great user experience is to design a digital interface that operates exactly how your users would expect it to. More often than not, the simple interfaces where the user doesn’t have to think too much about what they are doing, are the ones that are the most enjoyable.
Whether it be on a desktop or a mobile device, it’s imperative that your jewellery website provides a seamless customer journey – allowing users to easily browse and explore the different categories of products in as few clicks as possible. Couple this with a hassle-free checkout process and customers will be far more inclined to come back another day.
Good UX doesn’t have to be complicated. There are several simple things you can try to improve the UX of your website, including:
- Improve page speed – most users will wait an average loading time of 3 seconds before abandoning the page.
- Include eye-catching CTAs (calls to action) – engage the user andguide them through the phases of the buyer’s journey.
- Create white space – a staple of good web design, white space can make your website feel open, simple and easy to use.
- Ensure your site is responsive for mobile – it’s absolutely essential for websites to be responsive for mobile devices – it’s now a necessity if you want your website to convert mobile users.
- Minimise data entry – bombarding users with forms and questions can put them off!
A Digital Future
Like most industries, the jewellery industry is undergoing a digital transformation. Whether it be related to a shift in technology, processes, or even consumer behaviour, it’s crucial for brands to adapt to accommodate these trends if they want to stay ahead of the game.
So when the time comes to review your marketing strategy, why not consider how you can follow the trends and enhance your digital offering?
This article was written and supplied by brand communications agency Champions (UK) Plc. Find out more about their services here: https://championsukplc.com/