Adding a new diamond to one’s jewelry collection is among the most exciting types of shopping, which sometimes requires more than just money. From lustrous designs to colorful shades, these gems are treasured possessions for many.
The global diamond market stood at around $340.6 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.6% by 2030. While more and more people are going to buy diamonds, the way they do so is going to change, thanks to technology.
Technology has already made a difference in consumer habits when it comes to diamond jewelry, no matter the price. And it’s not done yet. Here are the effects that technology has been having on diamond-buying habits:
Rise of Online Stores
The most prominent effect of technology on the diamond industry is the emergence of online sales. While online jewelry shopping has been available for some time, most buyers previously preferred physical stores. The reasons were authenticity and the physical appeal of the gemstone or jewelry, among others.
However, technology has made online jewelry shopping more accessible. Sellers are adapting to this change in customer preferences by focusing on their e-commerce endeavors.
Various technological advancements, such as 360-degree product viewing, mobile applications, and custom notifications, are being adopted by online diamond retailers. That’s making buyers more aware that genuine diamonds are available online.
Around 25% of diamond jewelry sales in 2021 were online, as mentioned in De Beer’s report. 42% of the customers were Gen-Z, while it was the first online diamond buying experience for 54% of all customers.
Trying Out Diamonds Virtually
Not being able to portray the physical magnificence of a piece of jewelry has troubled online retailers for the longest time, but not anymore. With the integration of augmented reality and other advanced techniques, customers can shop better. The best part?
Customers can now try any piece of jewelry, regardless of the size or type of diamond. Gone are the days when one had to take their partner to a physical showroom for eternity rings. Today, it’s as easy as opening up the web browser and scrolling for options that can range from common designs to the rarest one can find. Whether it’s a 0.1CT or 10CT diamond, retailers can offer the same experience for all sorts of products.
Major retailers have introduced features that allow customers to view and try on jewelry virtually, eliminating the need to visit a physical showroom. Today, one can not only get the trending designs for 0.1CT diamond eternity rings online but also check how it looks on their fingers. The same goes for necklaces, bracelets, and all other types of jewelry available.
While the goal is the same, the approach taken by retailers differs from one to the other. For example, many online diamond retailers offer a QR code scanning feature. It allows users to see how a piece of jewelry looks on them by scanning the assigned code.
According to Leibish, this is not a complete substitute for the experience at a regular showroom, but online retailers are benefiting. There was a time when retailers were criticized for attempting to sell diamonds online. But now, some of these are leading the way with over 300,000 monthly visitors, many of which are recurrent visitors.
Certifications And Transparency In Diamonds
Technology plays a crucial role in providing certifications and ensuring transparency in the diamond industry. The question of certifications and authenticity is always troubling consumers, which is why they demand transparency from retailers.
Beyond the traditional 4Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight), the use of technology is now widespread. For instance, blockchain can be used to trace the steps the diamond has been through all the way from the mine. AI grading systems provide superior quality checks, reducing the dependence on gemologists and minimizing unfair trade practices.
Retailers also provide certifications that help buyers make informed decisions. This addresses consumer concerns regarding sustainability and ethical practices in diamond production.
In the diamond industry, everything, from ethical sourcing to high grading and quality checks, depends on one simple aspect: whether the customer likes the final design. If the target customers do not find it appealing, the retailer will have spent money and effort for nothing.
Technology provides a viable solution to retailers by enabling buyers to create custom jewelry designs using dedicated applications and software. Customers can choose diamonds from recognized databases like IDEX and personalize their jewelry with features such as preferred font embossing, diamond setting, and so on.
This shift from relying solely on sellers for design choices allows consumers to customize jewelry according to their preferences, all from the comfort of their homes.
Thanks to technology, buying diamonds has never been more convenient. With just a few clicks, buyers can explore numerous authentic and unique options and have them safely delivered to their homes.
However, nothing is without its drawbacks. As the industry continues to integrate technology, newer loopholes like fraud certification, innovative ways of diamond replication, counterfeiting, etc., are surfacing. Therefore, measures must be taken to address these emerging concerns.