Diamonds played an ever more significant role in the lives of consumers throughout the pandemic, with many of them purchasing diamonds as a symbol of resilience and strength, and to celebrate personal relationships.
This, alongside other consumer trends, was discussed in detail in the Diamond Insight Report 2020 released recently by the De Beers Group.
De Beers has regularly produced research reports since the start of the pandemic to understand the crisis’ emotional and financial impact on consumers and in their purchasing attitudes and behaviours.
Based on the monthly sentiment surveys with US consumers from March to August, three findings emerged: Consumers are adapting to the new normal, demand for diamonds continues and diamonds retain broad appeal across consumer segments.
This year’s Diamond Insight Report collated key insights from this research, highlighting the implications for the industry, including unexpected opportunities. In particular, the report looked more deeply into two themes that emerged from De Beers’ research: Establishing trust and connecting with consumers online, and how to succeed in retail’s “new normal.”
“Most importantly, our research sought to understand how consumers have felt towards diamonds over recent months,” noted Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group. “For many consumers, the purchase of a diamond and all it stands for has taken on even greater meaning due to the impact of lockdowns and an increased desire to show appreciation for loved ones through timeless gifts of nature that are a store of emotional and financial value.”
The report also examined macro trends that are expected to shape the future of the jewellery sector based on expert insights from guest contributors. Building consumer trust, particularly in a virtual world, and providing a seamless “phygital” experience that embraces social media commerce were recurring themes. In addition, augmented and virtual reality technology, especially the “try on” component, will continue to rise in prominence as these help bridge the physical and digital worlds when buying luxury goods.
The report also included a diamond value chain dashboard based on 2019 data, which found that global consumer demand for diamonds grew slightly in 2019, up by 0.5 per cent to US$79 billion. This was supported by four per cent growth in the US, which accounts for almost half of global diamond jewellery sales, and three per cent growth in Japan. The strong growth in the US and Japan in 2019 was dampened by the impact of currency exchange rates in other markets, the report showed.