Moving Beyond Multi-Channel

Diamond jewellery was once seen as a product that could never be sold online. Then along came online companies such as Blue Nile, which revolutionized the way diamonds were sold, and the whole industry scrambled to get online. Fast forward a few years and Blue Nile and other online sellers opened bricks and mortar stores and once again changed the way the industry operates.

Think Omni-Channel Rather than Multi-Channel

It seems almost too obvious to say, but your best retail strategy is to have both an online and offline presence. But you have to be careful how you do it. You need to think omni-channel” rather than “multi-channel.”  Unfortunately, too many jewellers think of their website and store as two different entities rather than complementary parts of the same business.

If your branding and strategy are right, consumers and browsers will be able to move seamlessly between your two different, but ultimately unified, sales options.

Even more importantly, your website and social presence should enhance the physical shopping experience (and vice-versa) with both elements driving traffic to the other.

Give shoppers the option to come and browse in-store, do their research and talk to helpful team members. Once they leave the shop, they can play on your ring-builder app and place an order on your website. They should be able to pay online using an integrated shopping cart and then either return to your store to pick up their pre-wrapped bag, which is ready and waiting for them, or receive their jewellery direct to their door.

What Can Be Improved?

In reality, this rarely happens. Many retailers have a long way to go before they have a successful omni-channel strategy. But it’s easy to make changes that will have a huge impact.

  • Look and Feel – Too often, a jewellery shop’s website appears very different from the look and feel of the physical boutique. Make sure your shop and your online presence complement each other in everything from the same branding and colour scheme to the same layout out of product categories so online browsers can find what they are looking for.
  • Integrated Inventory – No matter how many sales platforms and means of sale you use, make sure your inventory is fully integrated. Don’t make the mistake of having one inventory for in-store stock and another for your online platforms. To avoid customer disappointment, potential embarrassment and a lost customer, ensure your online shopping cart and instore inventory are fully integrated, and that they are updated immediately.
  • Valuing Online Shoppers – Make sure your terms and conditions are the same for items bought online or in-store. If someone buys online, there should be an easy way to return the item, just as a shopper who buys in-store expects to have a reasonable return policy.
  • Create Meaningful Relationships – Use your store to drive your online marketing strategy and take advantage of loyal followers to push your in-store business. For example, collect email addresses in-store and use them to grow and develop your relationship with your clients and fans online. Similarly, reward loyal online customers with special in-store deals so they have a reason to browse and shop.

Gen Z – The Ultimate Omni-Chanel Shoppers

If you need any more motivation to think “omi,” a look to the future should do it.  There is a new generation of consumers, “Gen Z,” getting primed to shop in droves. This new generation of consumers will change the retail experience, in much the same way Millennials made jewellers realize the old ways just weren’t working anyone.

While these 18-22-year-old “post-millennials” are still a few years away from getting engaged or married in significant numbers, the way they already shop provides a look into the way the retail landscape could be headed.

According to the annual AMP Capital Shopping Centres (AMPCSC) Recommended Retail Practice Report, while millennials love to shop online, Gen Z are returning to the shopping mall and doing their browsing and buying in-store. These “Future Shoppers” want shopping to be a social event and crave the “face-to-face, touch-and-feel contact” only found in physical stores.

Although they might close the deal in-store, Future Shoppers spent a lot of time pre-shopping online. Digitally connected since birth (more or less) they even continue their research once they are inside a store. Gen Z’s behaviour is helping shape retailers’ omni-channel strategy (rather than vice versa) – providing geo-targeted alerts from a brand’s app to sending shoppers in-store offers and specials that reflect their online behaviour.

Adding Value to the Shopping Experience Both Online and Off

Take note. Gen Z’ers will shape the shopping experience in more ways than just how they make purchases.

Like Millennials, Gen Z’ers want their consumption to “mean something.” They value strong ethics and companies who do more than “just” sell them something. They require retailers – both on and offline – to be sustainable and ethically conscious.

According to the AMPCSC study, “Smart retailers have achieved this by identifying and supporting social and environmental causes through partnerships with like-minded charities, introducing sustainable and/or ethical products or employing sales assistants who are passionate about the same social causes.”

Importantly for jewellery retailers, the study found that unlike the traditional image of the downtrodden male forced to go shopping, Australian males are embracing retail therapy and are more interested in staying ahead of trends than Australian women.

The study found, however, they haven’t completely shrugged off their traditional role as reluctant shoppers. More truthfully, retailers have overlooked the wants and needs of this new spending demographic. Consequently, many young males are uncomfortable shopping alone in shopping centres or malls. “To address this, smart retailers have focused on their customer service offering, ensuring their team provide a welcoming approach when engaging with this target market.”

When it comes to omni-channel retailing, the first step is to get your house in order. Only then can you gear up for the oncoming Gen Z invasion.

2017 WFDB Presidents Meeting Next February 5-8

The dates have been set for the 2017 Presidents Meeting, the biennial gathering of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA). It will take place in Mumbai from Sunday, February 5 to Wednesday, February 8, 2017.

The Presidents Meeting starts off the WFDB’s year of celebrations as we mark the 70th anniversary of our organisation with a variety of celebrations and events.

This Presidents Meeting will be completely different to any previous such event as the WFDB is organising a special Diamond Financing Seminar and Roundtable. This meeting will be the most in-depth and comprehensive on the topic ever held, with top banking and finance experts from across the world invited, as well as a wide range of industry stakeholders.

The seminar will challenge the issue of financing in an unmatched way, and that is why it is critical that all members of our trade attend. The importance of the seminar is seen in the fact that we have decided to start with WFDB committee meetings on Sunday, February 5, then the financing seminar running during the 5th and 6th,and then continue our meetings on February 7 and 8.

Source

WFDB Supporting Work of WDC at KP Plenary Meeting

A team of World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) is currently participating on behalf of the World Diamond Council (WDC) in events during the Plenary meeting of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) which is taking place in Dubai, UAE, from November 13-17.

The events include a panel discussion as part of the Third Forum on Rough Diamond Evaluation hosted by KP Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem, and a Special Forum on synthetics or man-made diamonds.

The Forum on Rough Diamond Evaluation will discuss a generic set of valuation criteria for rough diamonds between industry stakeholders. The meeting will build on discussions from the two previous meetings held on the subject, with the last taking place in Antwerp in October. Meanwhile, the second event aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the current state of synthetic diamond production and its possible effects on the natural, mined diamond sector.

“The meetings and panel discussions being held during the Plenary meeting will deal with issues that are vital to the diamond trade,” said WFDB President Ernie Blom. “Rough diamond evaluation is a difficult subject, so discussing valuation criteria is extremely helpful.

“As for the synthetics topic, there will be panels featuring top-line participants from across the diamond pipeline. We will be receiving the latest estimates on synthetic production and then having an in-depth discussion on the subject. I believe that this is the perfect time, during the KP Plenary meeting, which will hear reports on many important issues relating to conflict diamonds, to discuss wider topics pertaining to our business,” Blom added.

The Largest Undisclosed Synthetic Diamond Ever Identified by GIA

A 5.19ct cushion modified brillant synthetic diamond has been identified by the GIA in Hong Kong. It was not disclosed as a synthetic.

It is a high quality stone of J colour and VS2 clarity. It did not contain any black inclusions which are typically a strong sign of synthetics.

After the examination, the stone was laser inscribed with the words “Laboratory Grown” on the girdle.

Needles and pinpoints were the major internal features. Black inclusions, a common feature of CVD synthetic diamond, were not observed. Photo by Billie “Pui Lai” Law.
Needles and pinpoints were the major internal features. Black inclusions, a common feature of CVD synthetic diamond, were not observed.

The detailed story of how the GIA deduced that this diamond was not genuine is quite interesting. Read more here:
http://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/winter-2016-labnotes-CVD-synthetic-diamond-over-5-carats-identified

Wealthy Chinese, Australian pink diamonds – more than meets the eye?

Reuters has reached out to DDCA President Rami Baron for opinion on the surge of cash entering Australia from wealthy Chinese buyers looking for a safe haven away from the market turmoil of their home markets.


Under Australian regulations, foreigners can splurge millions in cash for precious stones or a prime property without having to identify themselves or the source of their funds.

The latest asset of choice for wealthy Chinese buyers appears to be pink diamonds – prized for their rarity. They make up just 0.01 percent of the world diamond market.

Wealth managers and precious stones dealers said Chinese, already the second-largest buyers of diamonds globally, are increasingly flocking to buy the gem in Australia, which produces 90 percent of the world’s pink diamonds.

There is no national data on sales, but these sources say anecdotal evidence shows a sharp rise in buying in recent months.

“Rich Chinese are coming to Australia to buy pink diamonds, only the finest and rarest of pinks are mined here,” Rami Baron, president of the Diamonds Dealers Club of Australia, said.

The price of pink diamonds has nearly doubled in the last five years. Jewelers say one carat of top quality pink diamond can cost more than A$1 million ($690,000) versus about A$23,000 for a flawless white rock.

However, sellers of diamonds are under no obligation to ask buyers where their funds come from, Baron said.

“We are in full support of all steps which eliminates the rogue element in our industry. However, we are neither police nor the tax man.”


Read the full article here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-outflows-china-idUSKCN0UZ2T5

 

Exclusive IDEX offer for DDCA/WFDB members

LogosWe are pleased to announce that DDCA members have been offered access to the IDEX Monthly Price Report. See the WFDB press release below for more information.

Interested DDCA members can email Yaron Barzilay, the Managing Director of IDEX Online India at: yaron.barzilay@idexonline.com


 

The WFDB is always looking for new ways to bring you, our valued members, the tools and information necessary to succeed in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.

The IDEX Monthly Price Report is an objective and transparent wholesale price report distributed to over 76,000 subscribers worldwide. The report reflects asking prices for highquality diamonds in the global professional diamond centers.

*IDEX bases the report on statistical algorithm analysis performed on the approximately 700,000 certified diamonds listed on its trading platform. These listings come from thousands of diamond manufacturers, wholesalers and dealers from all of the major diamond trading centers and provides a reliable representation of prices in the wholesale market.

An exclusive offer from IDEX to all of our members*:

  • Buyers: A FREE IDEX Premium yearly membership. This includes full access to the IDEX Trading Floor, which offers live supply listings and dynamic pricing features.
    • Premium membership includes free access to the Guaranteed Diamond Transactions™ (GDT™) network, which features a proprietary and unique online transaction clearing function, as well as IDEX’s Buying Services through which IDEX fully guarantees authentication and delivery to buyers, as well as securing funds for suppliers.
  • Diamond Suppliers: An IDEX Pro yearly membership for suppliers who want to upload their inventory to the IDEX Trading Floor at a rate of only $420 (a 50% discount off the usual price).
    • This option allows suppliers to upload an unlimited number of diamonds, as well as certificates of any type. Membership comes with an unlimited number of logins.

The IDEX trading floor is completely transparent and impartial and offers unbiased pricing information.`

All IDEX members are KP-and AML-compliant.

For more information, feel free to contact the WFDB at any time.

Sincerely,

Blomsignature

 

 

 

 

Ernie Blom

President

DDCA members invited to International Diamond Week Feb 2016

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Schmuel Schnitzer, President of the Israel Diamond Exchange, has invited DDCA members to participate in the International Diamond Week in Israel which is scheduled for the 14th to 18th Feb 2016.

This event has become an icon in the industry agenda, providing members of the WFDB affiliated bourses with a very effective platform and a wonderful opportunity to trade and buy polished diamonds in a secure environment. The vast selection of goods available on the trading floors makes this event’s format truly unique.

The date that has been determined for this week will allow for replenishing with new merchandise in time for the Hong Kong show.

CLICK HERE to read more about the event.

If you are interested in attending, please pre-register here: http://www.en.isde.co.il/form.aspx?id=29286

Please contact us at info@ddca.org.au if you have any other questions.

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A new standard for the language of buying and selling of diamonds

Click here to read the earlier press release from July relating to the new ISO standard 18323: Jewellery – Consumer confidence in the diamond industry.

A new standard for diamond language. Image of diamond with the word language superimposed.The new legal standard for nomenclature is very clear and defines the acceptable language to be used by those involved in the buying and selling of diamonds, treated diamonds, synthetic diamonds, composite diamonds and imitations of diamonds.

This International Standard specifies a set of permitted descriptors for the diamond industry and is specifically designed to be understood by the consumer. The Standard also includes a series of definitions which aim to provide further clarity for traders and maintain consumer confidence in the diamond industry as a whole.

See below for a summary of some of the definitions and usage.


 

“Natural”

Formed completely by nature without human intervention during the formation

“Diamond”

A mineral consisting essentially of carbon crystallised in the isometric (cubic) crystal system, with a hardness on the Mohs’ scale of 10, a specific gravity of approximately 3,52 and a refractive index of approximately 2,42, created by nature.

Note: The denomination “diamond” without further specification always implies “natural diamond”.

“Treated diamond”

A diamond having undergone any human intervention other than cutting, polishing, cleaning and setting, to permanently or non-permanently change its appearance, for example coating, fracture filling, heating, irradiation, laser drilling, HPHT treatment.

Note: A diamond having undergone a treatment shall be disclosed as a “treated diamond” and/or a specific reference to the particular treatment and the description shall be immediately apparent and unambiguous.

“Synthetic diamond, laboratory-grown diamond, laboratory-created diamond”

An artificial product that has essentially the same chemical composition, crystal structure and physical (including optical) properties as a diamond

Note:

  • The English terms laboratory-created diamond or laboratory-grown diamond may be used synonymously with synthetic diamond. Where there is no acceptable local direct translation of the English terms laboratory grown diamond or laboratory created diamond then only the translation of the term synthetic diamond should be used.
  • Abbreviations such as ‘lab grown’, ‘lab created’ ‘lab diamond’ or ‘syn diamond’ shall not be used.
  • The word ‘laboratory’ refers to the facility which produces the synthetic diamonds. This should not to be confused with a gemmological laboratory that is dedicated to the analysis, authentication, identification,classification (grading) of diamonds.
  • A synthetic diamond shall be disclosed and the description shall be immediately apparent and unambiguous. For the disclosure of a synthetic diamond, no abbreviation shall be used.
  • The qualifiers such as natural, real, genuine, precious, cultured, cultivated and gem shall not be used to describe any synthetic diamond.
  • Brand names and manufacturers names combined with the word diamond are insufficient disclosure when applied to synthetic diamonds.
  • Synthetic diamonds can have undergone a treatment.

This important piece of work should be understood by all our members and I urge you all to visit the ISO website to familiarise yourselves with the definitions;

https://www.iso.org/obp/ui/#iso:std:iso:18323:ed-1:v1:en

This industry’s success is predicated on consumer confidence and this new standard provides a good tool to underpin that confidence; you can use the wording in your invoices and interactions with your customers to strengthen their confidence in you and our product, diamond.

WFDB Praises New ISO Standard for Synthetic Diamonds

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has issued a new standard for describing synthetic diamonds.

ISO is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organisations which promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards.

Rob Bates of JCK summarises the change:

the ISO standard says the unmodified term diamond can be used only in reference to natural diamonds. It defines a natural stone as “one formed completely by nature without human intervention during the formation.”

That makes sense, although the FTC and ISO part company in several ways. The ISO allows marketers to use only the terms laboratory-created, laboratory-grown, and synthetic to describe nonnatural diamonds. The FTC allows those terms as well as man-made and (company name)-created, says Cecilia Gardner, president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

In perhaps the pickiest—even pedantic—part of the new standard, it explicitly forbids any abbreviations of its approved terms, such as lab-grown and lab-created. Those abbreviations are common in the trade, so much so that the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, in its release hailing the new standard, used the term lab-grown.

Read more: http://www.jckonline.com/blogs/cutting-remarks/2015/07/30/isos-new-diamond-standard-stricter-than-ftcs

The WFDB has praised the new standard, responding with the press release shown below.


From the office of the Secretariat of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses:

ernie_blom

WFDB President Ernie Blom Praises New ISO Standard For Creating Clarity Over Natural and Synthetic Diamonds

Antwerp, Belgium – July 28, 2015: World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB)

President Ernie Blom has praised the release of ISO International Standard 18323: Jewellery – Consumer confidence in the diamond industry. Providing a series of definitions which aim to provide further clarity for traders and to maintain consumer confidence in the diamond industry as a whole, the WFDB was involved in formulating them, said Blom. The ISO ruling defines a diamond as something that was “created by nature”; it also says that “the denomination ‘diamond’ without further specification always implies ‘natural diamond”‘.

“The importance of this standard lies in the fact that it sets out which nomenclature can be used and which cannot in the purchase and sale of diamonds, treated diamonds and synthetic diamonds,” Blom said. “As ISO says: ‘ISO 18323:2015 will cover the nomenclature to be used by those involved in the buying and selling of diamonds, treated diamonds, synthetic diamonds, composite diamonds and imitations of diamonds.’

“ISO notes very clearly the issues that the WFDB has been emphasizing for some time: the need for integrity and transparency to ensure that consumers have total confidence in our products. Buyers do not usually have the technical knowledge to understand the many aspects of diamonds and so they are reliant on correct and honest labeling.

“Regarding synthetic diamonds, which is a critical issue for the diamond business, the ISO standard sets out descriptions for synthetic diamonds plainly and precisely. It points out the growth in production in recent years, and that lab-grown diamonds have essentially the same chemical and physical (including optical) properties as a natural, mined diamond. We have long pointed out the importance of consumers knowing exactly what type of diamond is being offered to them, and this new standard confirms this.”

Blom explained that the first moves to create a new ISO standard began seven years ago in Europe and the WFDB has had a strong input, along with other industry stakeholders. “I am delighted that the Chairman of the Technical Committee that oversaw the formulation of ISO International Standard 18323 is none other than Harry Levy, President of the London Diamond Bourse.

“I would highly recommend that diamond industry members view information regarding the new ISO standard.” The web site address is:
https://www.iso.org/obp/ui/#iso:std:iso:18323:ed-1:v1:en

Consistent Diamond Grading Possible, But Industry Averse – Sarine CEO

In an interview with Diamond Dealers Club of Australia (DDCA) president Rami Baron, Sarine Technologies CEO Uzi Levami has revealed that the technology exists to consistently grade diamonds, effectively creating one standard across the entire industry – but says that it would be unwelcome.

While it could potentially reduce the effects of human error and bias, Levami believes that it would create a problem which cannot be reconciled with how the market operates in reality.

“Technology even today can grade, or assist in grading all the aspects of the stone.”

Diamond Grading Automation Sarine
Sarine is capable of producing diamond grading machines which could usher in a consistent industry standard.

However, “I think the industry cannot live with one standard. The industry needs this… freedom to be able to present to consumers different measures, or different levels of grading.”

To target different segments of the market, the industry requires tailored selling points.

“The technology is available to do all the grading. The question is, how do you utilise the measurements of the machine in a commercial context?”

After the interview, Rami Baron conceded that a degree of flexibility is required when marketing stones to consumers, but believes there still might be a place for more definitive grading method:

“I think we need to appreciate that what Mr Levami is presenting is the commercial reality of what happens at the coal face with retailers and consumers. Personally I believe we can have a defined standard as the base line. Whatever aspects of the diamond a retailer wishes to highlight to their customer is their choice; but if the consumer in the long term is to have confidence in the value of a natural diamond, there should be a definitive scale.”