The Ultimate Top Trends Checklist For Diamond Retailers
The conclusion of every year always brings about long lists of predictions and trends that pop up in news feeds and inboxes worldwide.
At the end of 2021, perhaps more than any other year, we are looking to gain some more insights into what our new normal will look like and ponder on what will define luxury in 2022.
Read our glimpse-into-the-future list of the most important long-term transformations we'll see in the diamond industry, as well as some of the more fleeting trends and buzzwords that will be worth capturing in 2022.
Sustainability Certification Powered by Technology
Environmental and social responsibility is becoming an increasingly powerful driver for consumer buying decisions regarding diamonds. Evidence of ethical sourcing will be crucial to sustaining consumer trust and their desire for diamonds. Consumers want trusted, independent sources to credibly address the sustainability factors, and some are even willing to pay more for that.
According to The Diamond Insight Report 2021, "The next generation of responsible sourcing solutions are technology-enabled." Thanks to AI-driven technology and secure cloud storage, the diamond industry is now able to ensure provenance and traceability on a scale beyond any doubt and provide the clients with the peace of mind they seek. It also enables retailers to tell consumers a more data-rich story about the journey their diamond has traveled to strengthen their emotional connection to it and make the shopping experience even more unique and unforgettable. Our 2022 forecast for this matter states that human decelerations will no longer be accepted by the public. Instead, the way to gain the customer's trust will only be through verifiable data and technology-driven diamond journey reports.
Hybrid retail: Digital or Physical You Ask? Why Not Both?
"70% of Gen Z consumers plan to do most of their holiday shopping in-store this season, according to the 15th Annual Holiday Shopping Survey from Accenture. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, 54% of baby boomers anticipate doing most of their shopping online." - INSTORE Magazine.
The diamond value chain is changing; it's becoming more digital, although brick-and-mortar stores still have value for many reasons. "Despite an increase in online sales and a strong preference for online research before making purchases, nearly all consumers (90%−95%) still prefer to buy diamonds in brick-and-mortar stores. "- BAIN: The Global Diamond Industry 2020–21.
Brands and companies need to resonate with their consumers' values and motivations. To meet them where they are and where they want to be mentally and physically. This is especially important in terms of physical and digital shopping experiences. The new generation of customers buying engagement rings and other milestone gifts is more tech-savvy than previous generations, although previous ones are also catching up. The modern consumer expects the purchase journey to cover all the channels and devices they spend their time on, including social media, apps, smartphones, and email. While they still crave the tactile sense of the diamond, the traditional in-store experience alone won't be enough in 2022. Engaging and interactive digital experiences will become a must-have for every retailer.
Engaging Digital Diamond Certification
The emergence of digital experiences is transforming luxury retail:
- "39% want to see an electronic record of the diamond's journey." – The Diamond Insight Report 2021 – De Beers Group.
- "Most consumers use digital tools to research and choose jewelry before they make in-store purchases."- The Global Diamond Industry 2020–21 – Bain & Company.
- Forrester Research predicts that over the next five years, online sales in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Sweden will skyrocket, with a predicted growth rate four times the entire luxury goods market. - The Financial.
Traditionally, appreciating a luxury product means touching it, feeling it, experiencing it in person, and meeting the creators. However, Covid-19 has made this a real challenge for luxury brands, leaving them with the need to develop a new marketing strategy that provides the luxury effect while under Covid-19 restrictions. This landscape is forcing luxury firms to rethink their current marketing strategies and use innovation as a tool to get closer to their customers.
Digital touchpoints are now an essential part of almost every industry, but there are more expectations for the luxury consumer's digital journey. The basic online experience will not cut it with luxury retail. Luxury products are more appealing to shoppers with high expectations when the online selling experience is engaging and contextual.
One way for diamond retailers to achieve an exceptional digital shopping experience where the customer can appreciate the diamond online is with a digital diamond certification, which has gained a lot of interest and fast. This innovative advancement from a basic paper report to an interactive, visually stunning one that's customizable to any brand and aesthetic is a huge breakthrough for a rather traditional industry.
2022 Top Jewelry Trends You're About To See Everywhere:
Larger Than Life Statement Jewelry
Big bold and full of personality, statement diamond jewelry can really make heads turn and steer up a conversation. "There is something so powerful about wearing one statement jewel that boasts the intricate design and grabs all the attention. Especially when that attention is drawn to one's face." - Katerina Perez. 2022 will undoubtedly be about maximalism and large jewelry that make an impact.
Men are becoming bolder in their jewelry choices. In recent years, emerging trends in the field of men's jewelry have been of even greater interest, and it appears as if diamonds are becoming men's best friends. Maybe it's the thirst for self-expression after the pandemic that has made men generally more daring in their jewelry choices, but it's wonderful, and we foresee it continuing!
Shoulder-Grazing Diamond Earring
Chandelier earrings that cascade to the shoulders suit everyone. They lift and brighten the face and work with any look, from jeans and a T-shirt to evening dresses. In the jewelry collections of connoisseurs, this trend takes on an exquisitely precious form, with natural diamonds being the obvious choice to inject a dose of high glamour into a look, and it will definitely be sought after in 2022.
Photo Credit: Only Natural Diamonds
According to Vogue's Spring 2022 Jewelry Trend Report, chokers are coming back bigger than ever, drawing attention to the neckline and face. You will see them with gemstones, including diamonds, in various shapes, sizes, and colors — definitely a must-have for any retailer.
The line between masculine and feminine jewelry has never been more blurred. In the past few years, the fashion world has undergone some drastic changes, with gender inclusivity and blurred lines between womenswear and menswear clothing. The jewelry world is also witnessing evolution in this area and has opened a new market for gender-free jewelry. We foresee gender-free jewelry is set to be one of the biggest trends of 2022 and well beyond.
2022 Automated AI-driven Grading As Industry Standard
Today's consumers are savvier and more skeptical than ever. With the understanding of the importance of the diamond quality rating to its price, they are even more vigilant when buying diamond jewelry. When you type in google "diamond grading report," the first suggestion is a diamond grading report check! That speaks volumes about the lack of trust in the diamond industry and the traditional diamond classification process. Thanks to the internet, the public is increasingly aware of the inconsistency in manual grading, which strongly affects his buying experience.
But it's not all gloom and doom. Ironically, having technology might have triggered the lack of trust, but it also provides the answer.
Just as blockbuster video stores disappeared from the face of the earth due to the appearance of streaming TV, traditional grading is undergoing a revolution that we believe will peak in 2022. From diamond certifications based on the human eye to diamond data derived from cutting-edge technologies, artificial intelligence, and machine learning - Such as Sarine eGrading™.
The world is changing fast – and so is consumer behavior.
Is Your Brand Keeping Up?