Internet Jewelry Buying – Are We There Yet?

A new survey released from Ad-ology Research offers some interesting insight into consumer influences of jewelry and watch purchases.

According to their survey, nearly half of survey respondents said that a manufacturer’s or retailer’s website influenced their purchase of jewelry or watches.

Especially effective were online videos, which for some watchmakers (check out a Tag Heuer video here) resemble mini-movies, combining entertainment with information (similar to BMW’s “movie” approach to marketing).

Online marketing seems to be moving that direction, and since 1 in 5 men ages 18-24 cite that those ads impacted their watch decision, I wouldn’t be surprised if more branded jewelry and watch manufacturers utilize it.

So consumers are using the Internet to research jewelry and watches online, and some online media really resonates. What really struck me is that after researching online—and this is significant—nearly 84% of respondents said that they prefer to purchase from an offline store versus online. I’m not totally surprised: jewelry is an expensive, infrequent purchase that requires some amount of trust in the transaction. Some people just really want to see the sparkle and deal face-to-face. Another factor could be the shopping experience itself: 63.5% of those surveyed said that store reputation (and 65.9% said the sales staff itself) was an important factor in their jewelry or watch purchase.

It’s tempting to say that online shoppers are mostly looking for a deal and sensitive to price, but I think this survey shows that entertainment, experience, reputation and knowledge are important across the board. I love looking at jewelry online, but it’s much better trying something on in person! In future posts, I plan to review online websites to see who is trustworthy, and I will also offer some guidance to select an offline jeweler near you so that no matter what your buying philosophy is, you can make a great jewelry decision.

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