Tacori was one of the first companies in the industry to conduct an augmented reality (AR) consumer event last Christmas at Bloomingdale’s flagship store in New York City. The high-end jewelry producer did another industry first during the recent LUXURY at JCK by allowing literally hundreds of retail jewelers to virtually try on 20 of the company’s engagement rings as part of a “Try It On” launch for the company’s Web-based feature.
The “Try It On” AR technology allowed nearly 300 retailers visiting the Tacori booth to virtually wear the jewelry designer’s leading engagement rings in multiple diamond shapes and carat weights—all with a click of a button.
“Retailers were blown away,” said Tacori marketing director Michelle Adorjan. “The wheels were turning about how they could use this technology to drive traffic to their stores.”
Tom Duma, owner of Thom Duma Fine Jewelers in Warren, Ohio, and his wife and business partner, Jacki, were one of many store owners to see the Tacori’s AR demonstration.
“We’re a Tacori dealer and consider ourselves to be trendy and keeping pace with today’s technology,” said Tom. “Seeing Tacori’s AR demonstrated to us that they’re technologically ahead of the competition. Being associated with that brand and their promotions is good for our store.”
Tom and Jacki Duma of Thom Duma Fine Jewelers
Tom sees strong possibilities in the AR technology to appeal to Millennials, the 18- to-33-year-old Web-savvy demographic that kicks more virtual tires than actual rubber before deciding on what jewelry stores to visit. “Of our top 10 brands, all are very good at directing consumer traffic to our store via their websites or online presence, but I consider Tacori to be the best and most innovative,” said Tom.
Retailers taking in Tacori’s AR voiced that they would like to see the company use AR technology in conjunction with trunk shows at stores. “Some retailers at mall stores wanted to consider setting up demonstrations throughout the mall to drive traffic,” said Adorjan. “And for the standalone store owners, they wanted to consider having this for the ‘waiting’ area, or for guys to check out—a virtual greeter.”
Mariana Ramsay Hay, store owner of Croghan’s Jewel Box in Charleston, S.C., agreed that AR has some real potential for her store, which is situated in a vibrant downtown location with heavy foot traffic across the street from an Apple store: “Tech-savvy, downtown shoppers would enjoy trying on virtual jewelry from our exterior window. I think it’s incredibly innovative and something we would welcome.”
Some highlights of the LUXURY AR demonstration included the ability to virtually try on some of Tacori’s more exclusive engagement rings such as a one-of-a-kind, 11 ct. three-stone engagement ring from the Tacori vault, the emerald-cut Dantela Collection ring from the well-known “chess ad” and worn by Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo, and styles from the newest Blooming Beauty collection with signature pavé petals and double diamond halos.