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Articles from DIAMOND JEWELLERY (975 Articles)

Diamonds and youth: Millennials and Gen Z drive sales

The De Beers’ fifth annual Diamond Insight Report has found that Millennials and Gen Z consumers accounted for two-thirds of global diamond jewellery sales in 2017.

According to data published in September, Millennials – consumers currently aged 21 to 39 - accounted for almost 60 per cent of jewellery sales in the US last year and 80 per cent in China .

Gen Z – people aged 20 and under – represent 35 per cent of the world’s population and are forecast to become the majority consumer group of diamond jewellery sales in coming decades, already representing 5 per cent of the US consumer market.

Bruce Cleaver, De Beers CEO
Bruce Cleaver, De Beers CEO
“The younger generations present wide-ranging opportunities for the diamond industry with the significant size and purchasing power of today’s Millennials and tomorrow’s Gen Z consumers”
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group

De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver stated: “The younger generations present wide-ranging opportunities for the diamond industry with the significant size and purchasing power of today’s Millennials and tomorrow’s Gen Z consumers.”

“While both of these generations desire diamonds just as much as the generations that have come before them, there are undoubtedly new dynamics at play: those diamonds may now be in different product designs, used to symbolise new expressions of love and researched and purchased in different ways to mark different moments in life.”

The report pointed to four major characteristics that can be attributed to both generations’ buying habits: love is meaningful to them, they are digital natives, they value authenticity, individuality and self-expression, and they are engaged with social issues.

Cleaver went on to acknowledge that both generations are influenced by social media and online shopping, utilising both to research the diamond market before investing in a product, noting that 98 per cent of Chinese Millennial and Gen Z consumers research purchases through one or more channels before buying.

“The ‘always on/always connected’ nature of today’s consumers – buying what they want when they want it – is resulting in changes to the typical decision-making and purchasing approach. Retailers across a range of industries are finding they need to rewrite the rule book when it comes to forging and maintaining connections with consumers,” Cleaver said.

Among the changing requirements for diamond marketing targeted to the younger generations, the report noted the use of ‘influencer marketing’ as a key tool for engaging consumers. Digital marketing across Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube were considered top channels for social media engagement in the diamond sector.

The report also recognised differing socio-political attitudes among Millennials and Gen Z to their parents’ generation (Baby Boomers) in relation to sexuality, stating: “The young generations’ liberal attitudes towards sexuality and gender identity require businesses in the diamond industry to move beyond binary approaches to these issues by avoiding gender stereotypes and venturing out of traditional relationship contexts.”

Globally, Millennials represent 29 per cent of the total population equating to 2.1 billion people, while all older generations combined account for 36 per cent. In India, Millennials account for 31 per cent of the population and outnumber all older generations put together.

Millennials represent the “bridal generation” with the average age of marriage between 24-30 in main diamond-consuming countries. Bridal jewellery accounts for more than a quarter of diamond jewellery acquired by women in the US, China and Japan.

According to the report it is crucial that the diamond industry looks to the younger generations who are increasing spending while the Baby Boomers are decreasing their spending in the category. The World Bank forecasts Millennials’ total income will exceed US$4 trillion (AU$5.6 t) by 2030 and will have overtaken Gen X as soon as 2020.

Aside from the two younger generations, diamond jewellery demand as a whole increased last year, having reached US$82 billion (AU$115 b), up 2 per cent in 2017. Diamond demand in countries outside of Japan, China, India, US and Gulf (Saudi Arabia) – classed as ‘the rest of the world’ – includes Australia and European nations, which contributed a 2 per cent increase to US $18 billion (AU$25 b) in the sector. This was “due to strengthening macro-economic performance and currency appreciation against the US dollar.”

With growth in both population and interest in consuming diamond jewellery, it is imperative that jewellers across the sector look to Millennials and Gen Z for a brilliant future.




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