Visualsoft jewellery clients retain their sparkle throughout lockdown!

Insight article headers jewellery
We're immensely proud to report that throughout this uncertain time period, our jewellery clients have retained their sparkle and outperformed sector trends.

With businesses being forced to ‘shut up shop’, many jewellery retailers felt the immediate impact since consumers could not visit physical stores to see, feel and experience higher value items prior to purchase. On top of this, weddings, events and exhibitions that would normally be prevalent in the industry calendar have had to be postponed and supply chains were affected by factory closures in China.

Amazingly, Visualsoft clients managed to retain their shine throughout lockdown, and came out sparkling!

* Graph demonstrating the year on year increase that Visualsoft jewellery clients have seen throughout lockdown in April, May and June.

Incredibly, in April, our jewellery clients saw a 60% increase in orders and a 43% increase in revenue.

After an initial slower month (if you can call 43% growth ‘slow’!), following the lockdown announcement as businesses pivoted strategies and established their new plans amidst the global pandemic. Our clients came out of May gleaming, having achieved 80% growth in the number of orders through the platform, and 65% growth in revenue.

June came out on top, seeing an even bigger YOY increase (67%) in revenue and a 86% increase in orders. More significantly, as can be seen in the below graphs, we can see that while there has been a noticeable decline in the number of orders in June, this was not mirrored in the revenue chart as can be seen on the right. This could reflect a combination of two things:

  • A reduction in the number of discounts being made available for consumers

    In the immediate time frame following the announcement of lockdown, we watched a number of retailers apply discounts and release flash sales. This enabled them to be able to cater to their customers' new situations and needs at the time where the purse strings were being held tight amidst all the uncertainty of the financial impacts the pandemic would have globally.

  • A shift in consumer mindset, wanting to ‘treat themselves’ after coming out of the initial panic period

    3 months into lockdown, we have seen that consumers are getting bored with their situations and are wanting to treat themselves to make themselves feel better and treat the boredom with luxury purchases - some experts are also predicting this trend will continue till Christmas as people are choosing to spend on investment pieces rather than holidays.

*Above graphs depicting YOY growth for the lockdown period for orders (left) and revenue (right) through the platform.

As physical stores were allowed to re-open on the 15th June 2020, it was expected that eCommerce would see a decline across the board as consumers had been clamouring for that real-life shopping experience and to go back to normal. However, as can be seen from the results above, eCommerce remained robust in June.

Interestingly, it was reported back in March that a spike in China’s divorce rate (with one divorce lawyer reporting a 25% increase in his caseload) could be a prediction - and a warning - for the rest of the world. However, it seems that customers of Visualsoft clients are really feeling that lockdown love, having seen an increase in demand for engagement rings in June. Ooo er!

What’s next for the jewellery industry?

Although we’ve seen our jewellery retailers continue on an upwards trajectory throughout lockdown, and are in an even better position currently being able to welcome customers back into the store, retailers would be wise to future-proof their business now in preparation for a potential second strict lockdown, to help minimise impacts on the hardworking NHS.

If we do indeed get forced into a second lockdown, it would be beneficial for retailers to prepare by fully optimising their website and logistics to ensure that the business is fully equipped to operate completely virtually and be able to cater to customer needs in Q4, in the run-up to Black Friday and Christmas.

  • Ensure comprehensive product imagery
    If you don’t already boast extensive, crystal-clear imagery, now is the time to update your listings so each product has multiple shots for the customer to browse through so that the consumer can visually inspect the product.

  • 360 Degree Product Imagery
    Taking this a step further, providing your customer with 360-degree product imagery allows the customer to move around the product to view it from all angles as they would do physically in-store prior to purchase.

  • Allow customers to ‘try on’ products through the use of augmented reality
    In the event of a second lockdown, allowing the customer to virtually try on products from the comfort of their own home through augmented reality

  • Optimise warehouse logistics
    Ensure you sync data between your admin system and warehouse system so that your system works as efficiently as possible, especially in a time where your staff is having to work and maintain social distancing measures.

  • Weave storytelling into your strategy
    Many jewellery purchases are driven by emotion, either through consumers buying themselves a luxury item as a treat to make themselves feel good, or a consumer will be buying an item for a loved one. Utilising storytelling within your strategy is likely to pull on the heartstrings of consumers and turn their intention into action.

Guy Bedarida, Italian-born French jewellery designer and Creative Director at Marina, thinks the industry is “in a position to thrive as a category in our post-pandemic world” and “consumers will be seeking pleasure in small, attainable ways”.

Whether in lockdown or when the world goes back to ‘normal’, eCommerce will continue to keep businesses resilient no matter what the situation.

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