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Buying Diamonds Online: What Customers Look For
Formerly a new, exciting, and unknown frontier, ecommerce has become just another way to buy things. Consumers have expanded the limits of what they feel comfortable buying online over the years as cybersecurity and technology have progressed, and now, consumers are buying everything from groceries to luxury goods online. While the pandemic accelerated these changes, consumption habits were already trending in this direction throughout the 2010s. When you can get anything you want delivered to your door, paid for securely, why leave the house? With that attitude prevalent even over a year after pandemic restrictions have been lifted, it’s important for the jewelry industry to fully embrace ecommerce.
Changing Consumer Preferences
A recent survey by tech blog Gitnux found that 52% of consumers believe buying fine jewelry online is safer than in person. And when it comes to customizing jewelry, 70% of customers would rather do it online than in person. Consumers may have been forced to shop online during the pandemic, but many have come to prefer the convenience of researching and shopping at their own pace without the pressure to buy they might feel in a face-to-face interaction.
Consumers are prepared to spend larger and larger sums online, but a large segment of them are also becoming more price-conscious. Now that consumers can accept buying even a diamond online, many buyers might go online in search of a good deal. Others are shopping online because they’re willing to pay a premium for convenience. Whichever group you serve, there are steps to take to ensure that you have the full trust of your customers.
In a brick-and-mortar business, there are many ways you can directly or indirectly establish trust with consumers. The location of your store, the look of the storefront and interior, the amiability and expertise of your staff. But in the absence of a physical location or a sales staff to interact with, it all comes down to the information you provide on your website.
Building Trust Online
While nothing beats a great first impression of a pristine shop and a friendly greeting for building relationships with customers, you can get the same effect through your online presence if you know what online diamond shoppers are looking for.
In lieu of a friendly, knowledgeable, helpful sales staff, you’ll want a website full of helpful content on relevant subjects. The same goes for your social media accounts. Whether it’s a blog on your website, a Facebook page, or an Instagram account, the content you post should answer questions and assuage fears.
A 2020 study pointed to four motivations that lead consumers to buy online: “independent browsing, personalized communication, accessibility, and convenience.” Three “reservations,” on the other hand, might give consumers pause: “purchase of unfamiliar brands, lack of spontaneity and uninspiring online retail environments.”
There are a number of steps retailers can take to ameliorate those reservations. A great looking website with interactive features can help consumers find inspiration. Detailed photos and videos of the actual diamond they will be purchasing—not a stand-in of equivalent size and quality—can make your products seem more familiar. Social media and blog content should also work to create familiarity with your brand. Customer reviews and user-generated content will also build trust and familiarity. Finally, running promotions through email campaigns or offering seasonal items can create a sense of urgency, eliminating the lack of spontaneity that might dissuade consumers from buying.
Overall, make sure your online presence addresses all of those factors that might prevent a consumer from buying online. They will want to get to know your business. Who are you, how long have you been in business, and what are your credentials? This information should be easy to find and written in a brand-appropriate voice. Consumers are willing to buy big-ticket items online. Are you ready to serve them?