Words by Desiree Pringle

According to McKinsey’s recently updated retail report incorporating the 2019 festive period, consumers are poised to spend more this season with millennials and Gen Z showing the greatest desire to increase their spend. In order to reap the benefits of this, retailers need to give consumers the option to personalise in order to maximise engagement and impact.

Personalisation has been the overarching theme for fashion and jewellery for the last few years and the focus on individualism is not going to go away. From service to product, consumers are seeking a bespoke experience from start to finish and the pressure is on retailers to deliver.


Working with your suppliers to create a compelling retail offer will be key to carving out your place in a crowded market. With so much competition, creative merchandising of new customisable pieces which satisfy the consumer demand for bespoke looks could be the difference between a good and a great festive period.

One way retailers can do this is by having at least one collection that leans into the personalisation trend, whether a charm bracelet or stacked rings. According to McKinsey, 47% of respondents have zero clue what they will be buying for loved ones this Christmas; this indecision provides an excellent opportunity for retailers to fill that certainty gap with compelling incentives to buy, thoughtful targeted marketing promotion, and intuitive in-store merchandising.

At Gecko we work closely with retailers to ensure that we provide regular newness; feedback from our customer base is that this is critical. In order to hold consumer attention and maximise spend, we have increased the rate at which we update our ranges, with a strong emphasis this past year on customisable products which have been our shining stars of 2019.

Coupled with the increase in new product lines, we also consider how we can provide attractive merchandising support for retailers, presenting all of our key lines on stand-alone display packs with complimentary packaging. This enables retailers to take a modular approach to merchandising, flexing displays to suit their consumer base. Our personalisation ranges are all designed to complement each other; this encourages customers to purchase multiple items across the collection.

More than 60% of consumers surveyed by McKinsey confirmed that they would be taking an omni-channel approach to their festive shopping, with almost 90% stating that they would be researching gifts online before hitting the streets; jewellery retailers can leverage this approach through the utilisation of fantastic model and product imagery and compelling content, especially effective via social media or blog posts. Using strong brand enhancing imagery in digital promotions can inspire consumers to not only purchase product, they may well ‘shop the whole look’.

At Gecko, driven by direct consumer demand, we started proactively providing our clients with a suite of product and model graphics for use across social, digital comms and online, several years ago; we know that the ‘golden thread’ of online and offline marketing communications can be the difference between appreciation and actual purchase. According to Evergage’s 2019 Marketing Trends survey, the vast majority (98%) of marketers believe that personalisation has at least some impact on advancing customer relationships, with 70% stating that it has a “strong” or “extremely strong” impact.

Understanding and exploiting this omni-channel approach could be critical this Christmas; the increase in online retailers ‘popping up’ on our high streets during peak trading periods should not be ignored; digital retailers from Amazon to the ironically named Notonthehighstreet have added ‘bricks and mortar’ to their strategy, so it’s even more important for traditional jewellers to ensure that they exploit online and digital communications in tandem with in-store merchandising.

As Coco Chanel once said: “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” With this in mind, it’s essential to ensure your stockists and suppliers are working with you to provide your customers with personalised gifting options that inspire them to create bespoke looks, guaranteeing that you and your customers all have a very merry Christmas.

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Editor, Professional Jeweller