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Articles from DIAMOND JEWELLERY (983 Articles), RINGS - ENGAGEMENT (220 Articles), RINGS - WEDDING (206 Articles)

While many brides research engagement rings online, only 9 per cent of men use it to purchase a ring. Image source: Calleija
While many brides research engagement rings online, only 9 per cent of men use it to purchase a ring. Image source: Calleija

Consumers go online for engagement ring research only

While brides-to-be are using the internet extensively to research engagement ring styles, their fiancée’s still prefer to make the purchase from bricks and mortar retailers, a new report claims.
According to's 2013 Engagement & Jewelry Study, 49 per cent of brides involved in selecting an engagement ring said they were most influenced by the internet. Furthermore, 59 per cent of brides said they "used the internet extensively to research rings prior to my engagement." The US-based study surveyed more than 14,000 engaged or recently-married women and 1,750 grooms.  

But with only nine per cent of males reportedly buying an engagement ring online, it seems that traditional jewellery stores are still the preferred outlet.

The survey found that 69 per cent of men chose not to buy online because they wanted to see the ring and/or stone in person before purchasing. Other reasons for choosing bricks and mortar over online included concerns over making such a significant purchase online and limited customer service.

A total of 33 per cent of men surveyed said they needed more personal attention than the internet could provide and 6 per cent wanted to be able to show their fiancée the ring before proposing.

Of those who did buy an engagement ring online, Blue Nile remained the most popular site, followed by Amazon.

Closer to home
Interestingly, Michael Zavodja, jewellery designer at Parramatta-based Underwood Jewellers, said he had not experienced an overwhelming amount of customers coming in-store armed with internet-based engagement ring research. 

“It’s rare that a bride-to-be comes in and doesn’t know what she wants. She has definitely done her research but I’ve found that it’s not necessarily via online.”

Managing director of Queensland-based Loloma Jewellers, Graham Jackson, however, told Jeweller that the survey results were not surprising.

“The internet is a lifeline for Gen Ys, the primary engagement ring customers. While previous generations used to just hope they would get the ring of their dreams in a ‘down on the knee proposal,’ this generation wants to make sure they get what they want,” Jackson said.   

He added that although most of his customers looking for engagement rings had “been all over the internet”, traditional printed publications also were still used for research. 

Jackson also cited similar reasons to the survey for why consumers still preferred to purchase engagement rings from bricks and mortar stores: lack of trust in online retailing for such a significant investment; and the need to touch and see the item.

Despite a customer’s reliance on bricks and mortar, however, he did believe that it was important for Loloma to have a strong online presence.      

“We feel brides go to our website because they know we have Townsville’s largest selection and they want to get a ‘feel’ for what we have. We believe grooms go to our website because they’re instructed to or because – if it’s going to be a surprise – they seek someone who they can trust.

“We have a lot of military customers and fly-in/fly-outs [mining sector]. They’ll peruse the website but then they’ll call or Skype to talk with a human and rely on great customer service,” Jackson said.

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