JCK Las Vegas: Brides Matter in Engagement Ring Shopping

To sell engagement rings, you have
to “woo the bride as well as the groom,” Miriam Alexander, vice president, head
of insights and analytics for TheKnot.com, said at a seminar on “Understanding
Consumer Behavioral Shifts.”

The company recently surveyed 10,000
brides and found the following:

A third had “significant
involvement” in their engagement ring purchase.

And while many brides did
considerable research on their purchase, “many brides don’t feel as comfortable
[ring shopping] as they wish they did,” she noted.

About a third shop at retailers on
their own. But in most cases, they feel more comfortable walking into the store
with the groom.

“Brides window shop, on the Web and
in the store,” she said. “Making them feel comfortable is something very
important jewelers can do. There is a lot room for jewelers to move the needle
in that regard.”

When brides were asked about the
Four Cs, the most meaningful was cut, followed by color and clarity.

On average, the entire ring buying
process takes three months and involves five different retailers, with an
average expenditure of $5,861. In addition, 19 percent of couples spend upwards
of $6,000. And even in today’s economic climate, the average amount spent on an
engagement ring has increased by nearly 30 percent since 2006.

“The price is a little higher when
they buy the center stone separately,” she said.

Most brides ended up happy: Over 94
percent of brides said they “love” their ring.

As far as wedding bands, most brides
thought diamonds were the most important feature, while grooms chose “comfort.”

In good news for local jewelers,
almost half trust neighborhood independent jewelers more than other retailers.
And three-quarters of brides who bought at a local jeweler would go back for
nonbridal jewelry.

“The engagement ring is a gateway
opportunity for retailers,” she said. “It’s viral. Brides talk to each other.”

But jewelers are missing an
opportunity: Over 40 percent said their jeweler had not been in touch with

The survey also found that
three-quarters of brides purchased or received jewelry for their wedding day,
predominantly earrings. Only 30 percent of grooms did.

Six out of 10 brides gave jewelry to
their attendants, generally necklaces or earrings, compared with 10 percent of

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