The popularity (and necessity) of making jewelry purchases—including engagement rings—online during these times has led jewelers to think differently and adapt to doing business virtually with their customers. Sylvie Collection, a bridal and fine jewelry brand out of Texas, is one of those jewelers.
Sylvie Collection recently announced the Sylvie Style Bar, a mobile and desktop digital ring builder that lets shoppers customize their engagement ring from over 1,000 options (and more styles are set to be added in the future).
Potential engagement ring buyers can use the platform to build the ring of their choice, with the option to email the final result, as well as post it on social media or save the image to their files. When the build is complete, the shopper will be directed to a Sylvie retailer to ultimately purchase the piece.
Shoppers begin the process by selecting from seven different diamond shapes (round, princess, emerald, pear, marquise, cushion, or oval) and then selecting their choice of head style (solitaire, halo, double halo, or three-stone). Step 3 involves selecting the style type, which may vary, depending on the user’s previous two selections, from modern to classic to vintage-inspired, and they can select their side stones, too, if applicable.
Step 4 is to choose from four types of metal (white, yellow, rose gold, or platinum); and finally, step 5 is to share the finished result and schedule an appointment with the nearest Sylvie retailer.
By 2021, the brand plans to expand its available style offerings as well as features on the platform, adding a virtual try-on and more customization options.
Below, JCK had a few questions for Sylvie Levine on the state of things in the engagement ring business.
How has the pandemic affected your engagement ring sales?
Since we have been back at work in the office and our retailers have reopened their stores, we have surprisingly and gratefully had a significant increase in volume compared to the same period last year. Sales have increased for both engagement rings and wedding bands, and many of our retail customers are reporting the same when it comes to bridal.
You’ve reported over 60% of annual engagement ring sales are from custom orders. Currently, do you project this year to be consistent with that, or to be more or less?
We are on track to be consistent with 60% custom orders again this year. The demand for more custom jewelry has been an ongoing trend for a few years now. The consumer wants a personal touch, and the customizations vary from even the smallest change to some very intricate modifications and combinations of multiple pieces. It is fascinating to see the requests that come through, as no two are alike and the range is so wide. I love it! I could write a book about all of the one-of-a-kind pieces we have made, it’s truly inspiring.
What sort of trends are you seeing among today’s brides?
The trends I have seen are fancy shapes, oval being the most popular fancy shape, but in general we see a lot of fancy shapes in our special orders. There has been a major comeback to the “classic look,” the simple solitaires with or without diamonds in the shank, and with subtle design elements such as hidden halos. We’ve also seen an increase in three-stone rings. With all that said, modern vintage is still an important category for the Sylvie Collection. Gemstone bands are also very hot for us!
Do you think the way customers are shopping now (mostly online) will have far-reaching impacts on how jewelers do business in the future?
We are certain we will continue to see an increase in online activity when it comes to purchasing diamond jewelry. However, while more and more consumers are searching online, I still believe that when it comes to bridal jewelry, most consumers will always want to touch and feel their ring. So our job is to optimize the “searching” experience as much as we can, for the consumer as well as on the business-to-business level.
What tips can you offer to retailers trying to sustain their business online?
The most important thing right now is for retailers to have a diverse and up-to-date catalog of inventory on their website for consumers to browse prior to entering their store. You should consider your online platform to be the same as your showcase or storefront. For retailers who do not sell online, our new online style bar is a great way for them to provide a custom ring building experience to their customers, as it is fully integrated. Once those users have finished designing their ring, an email can be sent directly to the store with the exact ring specifications and the customer’s information.
If you could suggest only one engagement ring style for jewelers to stock this coming holiday season, what would it be?
That is a hard question to pick just one! But if I had to pick only one, I would suggest one of our hottest sellers, our Maryam ring, a classic engagement ring with a pop of hidden diamonds and my signature profile (pictured above).
Top: Sylvie Collection founder Sylvie LevineFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine