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International Jewellery London 2020 cancelled – MarketOrders Thoughts

The International Jewellery London (IJL) is the pre-eminent annual destination for the best of British fine jewellery, as well as leading brands from around the globe. 

It is the global meeting place for the jewellery trade so it’s only natural that MarketOrders attended the 2019 edition and our COO, Sukhi Jutla, was also asked to speak on a panel about The Future of Fine Jewellery. 

Earlier this month, the IJL announced the 2020 edition is cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. More info here!

In this blog post, MarketOrders COO and co-founder, Sukhi Jutla gives her personal take on last year’s IFL and the key takeaways points and trends she learned as well as an overview of her panel talk.

About IJL

The IFL is an annual event held in London, United Kingdom. Over the course of 3 days, there are a number of seminars, talks and workshops talking about the new trends and technologies emerging in the jewellery industry.

In 2019, the exhibition featured a catwalk show showing the latest jewellery designs, an inspiration theatre talking about how to embrace technologies to improve customer experiences and the knowledge Hub where I was speaking.

The key themes at IFL focused on: 

  • The future of lab-grown diamonds
  • The Future of Fine Jewellery
  • Jewellery trends for 2020
  • How to embrace systems and tech to deliver the ultimate shopping experience
  • Sustainability in the jewellery trade

MarketOrders Point of View

Walking around the Olympia exhibition centre with the most beautiful and dazzling jewellery collections looking back at you made me think even deeper about how MarketOrders can best serve the industry and more specifically, help our retailers.

Almost everyone I spoke to said their biggest issues were with not being able to communicate enough to the end consumer. 

With most of the products being created by designers, suppliers and manufacturers who are often removed from the consumer on the high street, it can be hard to see what products are selling and why some items don’t sell. 

Without some sort of communication with the end consumer, it can be tricky to truly provide what the consumer needs. 

This is why MarketOrders exists; to bridge that gap. By only placing orders from retailers, suppliers will only produce items that are needed. 

Retailers are best placed to place orders as they face off to the customer on a daily basis. They understand what sells and what won’t. By placing personalised orders on-demand, retailers can be confident that they can sell their stock and not have to meltdown items that don’t sell or be stuck with inventory on shelves.

The Future of Fine Jewellery Panel 

If you missed my panel talk, here are the key highlights from my panel. 

I was joined by Naomi Newton-Sherlock, the Creative Director at Domino and Daisy Grice, a jewellery designer. Chairing the panel was Asha Pitt from the Professional Jeweller. 

Note: MarkeOrders  has a profile feature in September’s edition of the Professional Jewellery which you can check out here on page 78.

On Millennials and jewellery trends…

  • Millennials shop in different ways. They are not looking to buy a product but an experience. So, can retailers keep up with these changing consumer demands? 
  • It’s no longer seen as fashionable to buy expensive jewellery if demi-stones look just as good and are half the price. Millennials are image-conscious and want to be able to keep up with changing fashion trends and the costs involved.
  • Consumers and Millenials, in particular, are looking for convenience and personalisation. They are not buying a product but experiences as they value experiences more highly.

What advancements should the jewellery industry be embracing? 

  • Retailers are no longer selling a product but an experience. Consumers value individual attention, customisation and personalisation as opposed to mass-market customer service. 
  • Retailers and designers need to think about how best to reach their customers and listen to what they are asking for.

When it comes to responsible jewellery manufacture, do consumers really care? 

  • If given the choice, most consumers would opt for the responsibly sourced jewellery but retailers say this is still a small proportion of their sales simply because not enough suppliers are providing this. 
  • Perhaps if consumers voted with the pounds in their pockets then things could potentially change. 
  • However, responsibly sourced jewellery is still more expensive and not enough consumers feel they want to pay extra for this.

Demi-fine / semi-fine jewellery continues to grow as a market segment; should fine jewellers be concerned?

  • Not necessarily. Most retailers are now stocking an array of different types of jewellery so that they can cater to all consumers. In order to stay ahead, it is vital retailers notice and adapt to consumers changing demands. Otherwise, they risk being left behind.

Q) How can technology improve the consumer experience and industry margins?

  • Without a doubt, it is imperative the industry embraces technology to better serve their consumers. 
  • Retailers need to have omni-channels, different ways to reach their consumers and give them different options to see and buy their products. 
  • Make the purchase an experience and not just a transaction.
  • The jewellery industry is no longer competing with other jewellery but with other products. Jewellery used to be a popular gifting idea but now it’s competing with the latest iPhone, tech gadget or luxury holiday!