Consumers Spent Less then Planned for Mother’s Day

There was a noticeable difference between what consumers planned to purchase just a few months ago and what they actually bought for Mother’s Day, according to a recent Internet survey of jewelry consumers.

In March, just 16 percent of Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council panelists who intended to buy jewelry for mom thought they’d purchase silver. A follow-up survey shows that quarter said they actually did by silver. Consistent with last year, though, yellow gold jewelry remains a favorite gift for mom for about one third, but sterling silver beat out white gold as second best this year. Moreover, while earrings and necklaces remain the top two most preferred jewelry gifts in both pre and post studies in 2006 and 2007, this year more watches and bracelets were purchased.

Over one-third of respondents spent less than $100 on their Mother’s Day fine jewelry or watch purchase this year, while one-quarter spent between $100 and $200, with some 30 percent collectively spending from $200 to $1,000. However, one half in March expected to spend at least $100 to $300. Last year over one half expected to spend between $100 and $300, with one third actually spending within that range, and nearly one third spending under $100. With high expectations, the results show that consumers in the end spent less.

These figures suggest that jewelers may not be maximizing the opportunity to up sell consumers for Mother’s Day gifts, as consumers are prepared to spend more than $100 on dear old mom, said Elizabeth Chatelain, president of MVI Marketing Ltd., founder of the JCOC.

“Silver jewelry may fit the bill because it offers perceived value in a precious metal, typically for lower price points than gold,” she said. “In fact, budget was the primary reason most panelists were not considering or actually buying fine jewelry for mom.”

She added, “It behooves jewelers to attract consumers by promoting an assortment of the right categories, in the right metals, at the right prices for Mother’s Day gifts. Jewelers should also cite research illustrating that a majority of moms desire fine jewelry for this occasion, with diamonds and gold, fashion rings and necklaces preferred. Once in the store, jewelers have room to up sell consumers who typically begin their gift shopping with higher price points in mind.”