The new normal is here. We are quarantined and the future is unclear. We will get through this – because we must – but the way we live, work and interact has changed.
IGI is not involved in health or government. However, as the world’s largest organization of our kind we can speak with authority about the current situation.
COVID-19, gemstones and jewelry
Jewelry serves as a pleasant distraction for people in difficult times. To that end we are pleased to confirm that frequent sanitizing, as recommended by health authorities, can benefit your precious pieces.
Meanwhile the sales landscape has changed. As jewelers temporarily close their doors there are increased efforts to move to e-commerce. Likewise, consumers with the ability to purchase jewelry are seeking it through online channels.
Going forward with marriage-proposals, special-occasions, birthdays, anniversary-celebrations, even self-gifting is a strong way to push back with positivity against a negative world situation. In this, we stand behind the world’s jewelry providers and consumers with full support.
With that said, there will be challenges ahead.
The new landscape
In a jewelry showroom you interact with a sales-professional who physically shows and explains the quality of the gemstone-jewelry you’re considering. The heavy lifting, in terms of confidence and authenticity, is performed by the professional telling the story. The store is a physical reality. You can examine your planned purchase in-person as much as you wish. If any issue comes up you can simply drive to the store, talk face to face and arrive at resolution.
Online there is no physical interaction. There will be photos, possibly videos, but your eyes and hands cannot experience the actual item. Information and assurances are provided from a distance. The jewelers new to e-commerce may struggle at first. And many existing online platforms don’t physically handle what they’re selling. You interact with someone in a call-center, but fulfillment comes from warehouses (sometimes in other countries) that ‘drop-ship’ your order without thorough inspection or assessment on your behalf.
Help us help you
For professionals and consumers alike. We have been providing trust between buyers and sellers for 45 years.
IGI is the world leader in finished-jewelry grading. You can see examples here.
These reports have become standard on other continents, and demand is growing. This is logical considering the proliferation of simulants, treated and laboratory-grown gemstones salted into natural pipelines. Given the challenge of screening and detection it’s reasonable for consumers to expect affordable independent verification of all gemstone-jewelry, just as they do for loose diamonds.
For consumers: We never imagined a world with COVID-19 but, while it’s here, we are proudly broadcasting this full, finished jewelry-grading service, as a resource for you.
For professionals: This service allows you to authenticate every item in your showcase. Not just loose diamonds. In the current climate those who leverage it quickly will enjoy an authenticity-advantage over their competitors.
Jewelers must evolve
Simply being a “jeweler” is not viable in this new normal, but there is a healthy future for those who increase their presence and activity on the internet. This e-Jeweler model will be a mixture of online and physical support.
You’ll need sharable photos and videos which reflect the quality of your store and products
- Consider professional glamour shots for your staple items
- Phone photos are perfectly acceptable in casual communications and social posts
- Learn how to take and edit these, they can be extremely effective
Build content on at least one modern platform
- Currently, Instagram may be most powerful
- Facebook is more flexible but passé to many shoppers in young generations
- YouTube remains the best platform for aggregating video content
- In fact, YouTube is the world’s second largest search-engine after Google
Know your products, inside and out
- Be able to defend the added value of what you offer
- Acknowledge an item’s legitimate cons, as well as its legitimate pros
- Your must be able to show proof positive that what you say is factual
- Be aware of competitors’ policies (shipping, returns, etc.) when establishing your own
Help us help you
- Use our affordable Jewelry grading reports to build client confidence
- Leverage our retail support program for assistance in long-distance sales. Contact your local IGI for programs customized to fit your specific needs.
- We are working to expand our professional photo and video services. Contact your local IGI to find out if imagine for e-commerce purposes is available.
Everyone, hang in there.
We realize countless people are enduring chaos as their special events become postponed or cancelled. You have the empathy and support of everyone in the jewelry industry.
For all jewelry providers and consumers moving forward with bridal and gift fulfillment, don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance. You will have our full support.