Background:  It was a nice surprise when a friend in China sent over photos of his origami inspired engagement ring box, just purchased, that through some clever design and engineering, manages to slowly pivot and present the sparkling engagement ring to his lucky bride to be as its opened.  What ever happened to the old velvet snappy ring box?

Gif compliments of my modern met, Design by Andrew Zo

We were inspired by this to explore the jewellery industry in Singapore and beyond: how is it dealing with a new wave of young, creative and mobile consumers with different tastes and behaviours; if or how are these new potential customers affecting the retail design, and consequently, the customer experience being delivered by brands in this category.

Leading chain retailer brands in Singapore

As one of Asia’s leading jewellery markets, Singapore has a developed, sophisticated range of brands from fine jewellery to contemporary fashion jewellery. Home to roughly 1.2 million millennials, touted to be the next driving force of customers born between 1982 and 2004, Singapore jewellers are in a strong position to take advantage of this high growth segment. Miner De Beers reported millennials account for 45% of diamond purchases across important markets including the US, China and India. This percentage is same or higher than diamond purchases by the previous generation at this age… and they haven’t reached their most affluent life stages yet. 

Image compliments of I DO Jewellers

 At SPARK we believe that creatively responding to social trends and developments in consumer behaviour help brands stay current, top of mind and maximise the potential value of retail spaces. 

See if you agree with some insights and opportunities we’ve spotted here…and there’s a few more gems we’ve kept for a special client 😉 

1. Challenging Tradition

Insight: A wander around Orchard Road quickly revealed the main players in Singapore are focused on the traditional, classic and luxurious. These common themes we spotted include the use of dark warm colours and timbers, opulent chandeliers set off against white/cream carpeting and the use of traditional auspicious colours of red and gold. 

We also noticed some conflicts between these traditional visual cues and styles with more modern contemporary marketing communications and visuals. 

Opportunity: Appeal to the ‘new consumer’. Reimagine core brand values thorough a contemporary lens.  whilst retaining an exclusive edge provide something lighter & brighter & infused with useful tech.  Be bold, stand out, be different.

Download a copy of our Retail Customer Experience Audit Tool to get inspired.

I DO China Store

2. Winning at Love and Romance

Insight: Traditionally, engagement, wedding & anniversary purchases are a big part of the jewellery industry’s rice bowl. The China market, led by innovative new brands such as I-DO and Darry Rings, is pioneering brand experiences that purely focus on weddings, love and romance and look to carve out a new stand alone category.

These new Chinese brands are providing ‘uber-romantic’ environments & ’instagram-worthy’ moments paired with clever after-sales return purchase promotions that build brand loyalty and pull customers back to the brand each year to celebrate their anniversaries. 

Opportunity: Deliver the very best ‘Love and romance’ experience in the market for customers at this very special time in their lives and capture their hearts for life.

Darry Ring store in China

3. Leveraging Social Media in store

Insight: Getting onto the younger generation customer’s ‘shortlist’ requires digital marketing catering to the “research and compare online first” shopping journey. 

For these significant jewellery purchases, interacting with the product and trying it on in a retail environment is still an important part of the buying experience so why not bring the reassuring presence of leading social media opinion leaders directly into the stores.  

Opportunity:  Maximise social media opinion leaders and reviews by incorporating it directly into the retail space.

We delivered just this on our recent project for GOCO in China through an in-store social media amplification program ‘GOCO girl of the week’. Click here for more on merging on and offline experiences.

GOCO Jewellery with in store Social Media program

4. Customisation 

Insight: Online shopping sites like Etsy offer hundreds of jewellery options with customisation just a few clicks of a mouse away.  However Easy can never offer the trust and prestige that the big brands offer on higher bigger ticket purchases

Chain Jewellers are beginning to offer highly customisable jewellery products including build your own designs, hidden love messages, engraved fingerprints, DNA codes and signatures among others, but these offers seem to be largely hidden from view.

Opportunity: Capture the jewellery buyer’s imagination – bring customisation to the forefront of the retail space and make it as easy and intuitive to understand as it is online.

Image compliments of DERIER China – Derier China’s collectable anniversary coins

5. Environmental and Social Impact

Insight: Younger generations are increasingly making conscious choices to support brands that are not only environmentally conscious and sustainable, but ethically too, caring about their purchasing impact on the environment and communities around the world. 

In its 2015 Global Corporate Sustainability Report, Nielsen found that 73 per cent of millennials would spend more on a product if it came from an ethical brand.

Opportunity: Sharing the brand’s positive businesses practices with the customer such as recycled or fair trade gold, and recycled vintage, eco-gold and conflict-free diamonds. 

Original image compliments of ronny garcia photography (concept mockup only)

What’s next? 

Paying attention to emerging customer behaviour trends can help us foresee where retail is going. SPARK are Retail Design and Customer Experience specialists, we look to the future to help businesses create memorable, engaging and exciting retail experiences that are relevant to the consumer, build brand value and maximise the potential of retail spaces. 

Contact us for a confidential discussion or view some of our other projects online.

SPARK is a Singapore based retail design specialist, delivering unique and effective retail design solutions for its clients across the Asia Pacific Region.

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