A New PGI-Commissioned Study Offers Retailers Insights into How to Ease Customers' Concerns over COVID During the Holiday Season
(October 21, 2020) New York – In September 2020, Platinum Guild International USA commissioned 360 Market Reach to conduct a jewelry buying study. Within the study, researchers specifically looked at the future intent of consumers for the upcoming holiday shopping season and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus group was comprised of 1,000 U.S. consumers age 18 to 64, who have or would be open to acquiring fine jewelry, defined as jewelry costing at least $1,000 made with precious metal.
One of the key findings from the study was that half of all millennials and Gen Z consumers are likely to shop for fine jewelry this holiday season. This is significantly stronger than among older generations.
When specifically asked about the effects of the pandemic, only a small percentage of respondents cited concern over COVID-19 when planning their holiday shopping. 64% of respondents felt ‘completely’ or ‘mostly comfortable’ to shop in-store.
Across all age groups, 87% of respondents planned to shop in-store for jewelry, with the majority of shoppers looking to support local and independent retailers. In addition to their in-store shopping, 70% of respondents said they would also be shopping online, with a third selecting national chains’ websites as their go-to.
When asked specifically what jewelers can do to make the in-store experience less stressful and shoppers more comfortable, there was a resounding call for both employees and customers to be required to wear masks at all times. Masks were followed by a limitation of the number of customers in-store at one time and the strict enforcing of social distancing measures. Providing hand sanitzer upon entry also scored high marks from consumers.
The research also reinforced the importance of retailers’ continued active communication with their consumers. Using e-blasts, social media channels and even direct mail, retailers should share key messaging that they are open, can offer a safe shopping environment or a seamless virtual experience, for those clients who opt to shop from home.