In terms of spending money, the Internet is the millennial's weapon of choice and they engage social networks to verify information.
Dubai - Impact growing on consumer awareness, influencing preferences and impacting brand choices
The arrival of digital and social media has changed the dynamics in the jewellery industry. The trends in the jewellery sector seem to have a similar trajectory as that in the apparel sector. In the last three decades, the apparel sector has grown immensely and so has the buyer journey. Consumer preferences have shifted from local to branded jewellery products primarily due to accessibility and affordability parameters. Digital and social media have been the key contributors to this accessibility.
Jewellery companies are embracing both digital and social media as their consumers already have done so. Globally, 70 per cent of jewellery product buyers are digitally connected and these figures are similar in the UAE as two-thirds of jewellery purchase is influenced by at least one digital touch point.
Millennials constitute 40 per cent of the population in the Middle East. Those in the higher end of this spectrum are reaching the peak of their earning and consumer brands are recognising the power of millennials as key influencers. In terms of spending money, the Internet is the millennial's weapon of choice and they engage social networks to verify information.
It was a transformative year in 2015, with new technologies, digital advances, media and marketing channels, resulting in a significant power-shift from brands to consumers. Social and digital media reorganised the outgoing process of jewellery retail and has immense influence on how brands communicate with and sell to customers. Millennials value authenticity and like to differentiate themselves. They seek information to know what the brand stands for and the value it delivers. Therefore, it is important to create a niche in the branded jewellery market by ensuring that the products wearable and affordable.
The impact of social and digital media is growing on consumer awareness, influencing preferences and impacting brand choices. The drive for experience based spending continues and the social and digital media provides the opportunity to fulfill this. Today's consumer equates value to memories and experiences and brands recognise that they can no longer sell just their products but need to create an experience around them. If brands connect well with millennials, they can be brand ambassadors as they are hyper sharers and great consumers of reviews.
The writer is the general manager of Jewel Corner. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.