Today I found myself both mystified by and disappointed with an industry article that appeared in one of my online trade newsletters. It was yet another story about how jewelers need to embrace the "self-gifting customer," which is code for "the woman who buys jewelry for herself without having to get permission from someone else." It's 2019. How in this world can this still be a thing?
American women in their fifties comprise the largest demographic with income of $100K+, and they make 95% of their households' purchasing decisions. They have been buying designer "it" bags for decades now, and were the first to routinely break the $500 threshold for a pair of designer shoes, and that happened 20 years ago.
These women are buying jewelry. They are shopping in stores that offer the looks and brands they like, at the right price points, where they receive a good value, and enjoy a personalized experience with a knowledgable sales associate. Most still prefer to buy in-store, and not online, but will default to online shopping when the in-store experience is not up to their expectations.
It's way past time for jewelers to open their eyes to the market power of the people who wear 99 percent of what they sell. It's surprising to me that any jeweler anywhere would continue to underestimate the "self-gifting customer."
Another online jewelry magazine I read today featured a series of beautiful photographs launching Louis Vuitton's newest fine jewelry collection. Evidently Louis Vuitton has figured out that women who purchase their handbags might also enjoy their fine jewels, and it's apparent that they understand how to market to these clients. For women who enjoy iconic, branded pieces, these are wearable, stylish, and collectible. I love the way these models are styled -- they appear real, fresh, fashionable, and believable. Definitely self-gifters, don't you think?