While Professional Jeweller recently reported the challenges retailers and suppliers are facing in the bridal jewellery sector, today’s market also provides ample opportunities.
Some brands have been embracing the digital age to enhance the customer experience, while for others the weak pound has provided an opportunity to expand internationally.
Charles Green managing director, Oli Sutton, reveals: “We’re developing a range of branded jewellery with the view to growing our export business, particularly in the USA. The weaker pound allows us to sell in to overseas markets at more attractive prices.”
When it comes to building consumer trust, some bridal brands are starting to look closely at their supply chains so they can be confident they are providing ethical pieces. For example, Clogau has added a Fairtrade gold option to its Compose portfolio, while the entire team at Weston Beamor completed the Fairtrade Foundation’s online ‘Fairtrade Gold Sales Ambassador Certificate of Accreditation’ course.
Welsh jewellery brand Clogau has also been enhancing the customer experience too. Head of brand development at Clogau, Sonia Menzes, explains: “We have an excellent Compose trainer, Jo Henderson. Jo has worked closely with our in-house team and Compose retailers to ensure that levels of service, training and product knowledge remain high. We have also taken on board the feedback from customers and retailers to hone every element of our Compose offering. February will see the launch of three new styles, new furniture, POS, packaging and marketing materials.”
Elsewhere, other jewellery designers have been collaborating with retailers to offer exclusive products and a unique customer experience.
Making sure it has a point of difference, Hamilton & Inches has become one of the first jeweller to work with Scottish gold, while Mappin & Webb has created its very own diamond, which cannot be found anywhere else on the high street.
At Allum & Sidaway training staff on how to offer bespoke options has been essential, and Jeremy France has created a Design Studio and Wedding Lounge at its Winchester store.
For many, window spaces have been rearranged to highlight unique bridal offerings — something that has been made easier with the trend for coloured gemstones and unique bridal designs. Marketing the bespoke element will be key going forward too.
The future certainly looks bright for bridal jewellery, with the bespoke arm combined with ‘retail-tainment’ offering areas for retailers to grow and offer a point of difference.
Not to mention, with the royal wedding, bridal fever will be even bigger this year, with experts predicting a rise in marriage proposals throughout 2018.
It’s also important to not forget the opportunities bridal products present for self-gifting. A diamond ring, tennis bracelet, or male wedding band does not have to be limited to customers getting married. Many products lend themselves to other purposes too.
When the product and customer service is right, really the sky’s the limit.