While most consumers still want to buy diamond jewelry at a physical store, they want to make sure that proper COVID-19 precautions are in place, according to new research from the De Beers Group.
Even digital-savvy generations, such as millennials and echo boomers, said they would prefer to buy diamonds in-store: Some 59% of those groups listed physical retailers as their preferred place to buy gems.
However, with COVID-19 spiking in certain areas, customers want to make sure that their shopping experience is safe and comfortable.
According to the research, the three most important considerations for consumers in choosing a store is whether it limited the number of customers in the store (favored by 68%), whether it provided hand sanitizer (66%), and whether staff members always wore face masks and gloves (64%).
Smaller numbers of consumers wanted stores to make sure each piece of jewelry was cleaned after being handled (53%), to mandate that customers wear face masks (48%), and to have screens that separate customers and sales associates (42%).
Just 4% of consumers said they would feel comfortable shopping with no safety measures in place.
The report can be seen in its entirety here.
De Beers Group chief executive officer Bruce Cleaver said in a statement, “While consumers increasingly desire a diamond acquisition journey that blends the digital and physical, when it comes to making purchases, they still prefer the personalization of the in-store experience, despite the pandemic.”
He adds that “those retailers that are able to provide a safe and welcoming in-store environment for consumers in what is a strange and unsettling time will be best placed to benefit in the weeks and months ahead. It is heartening to hear initial reports of positive demand for diamond jewelry as consumers emerge from lockdown and the industry starts preparing for the important end-of-year sales season.”
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