(NEW YORK) – The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) has released the results of a new study by CXG, a leader in the luxury consumer insights space, verifying that natural diamond education at the retail point of sale is critical to sales conversion. Findings proved that 93% of customers were more inclined to make a purchase of natural diamond jewelry when they felt sufficiently educated on natural diamonds by a sales advisor. As the study presents, there is significant opportunity for deeper education on natural diamonds at the retail points of sale. The NDC will unveil a new Education Partner Program next month offering educational tools for retailers and sales professionals to foster natural diamond knowledge leading to increased sales.
The study was conducted across national, regional, and exclusive retailers to uncover how natural diamonds are presented in retail settings when shopping for a diamond engagement ring. A total of 116 store evaluations were executed between December 2022 and January 2023. 89 evaluations occurred in non-exclusive retail channels that carry both natural and lab-grown diamonds (55 national, 34 regional), while the remaining 27 occurred in exclusive channels that only carry lab-grown diamonds.
CXG analyzed the environment, merchandising, and interactions with sales advisors and how those factors contribute to the customer’s education, experience, and confidence to purchase natural diamond jewelry. The data cites 64% of customers did not find significant differentiating in-store merchandising presentations of natural diamond jewelry as opposed to lab grown diamond jewelry. Additionally, 40% of customer interactions did not include proactive natural diamond education via sales advisors which directly impacted sales conversion.
The research also suggests that the sales proposition for natural diamonds is incomplete since only 6% of respondents cited interactions with sales advisors to include ethical considerations, provenance, and traceability of natural diamonds to influence purchases. This leaves retail stores with significant opportunity to educate consumers on the positive global impact of natural diamonds.
“The research confirms that the role of the sales advisors in educating customers is paramount. However, the content of that education is far from complete, especially in conveying the facts and storytelling around natural diamonds beyond the 4Cs, from provenance and positive impact to rarity and being a revered luxury for centuries,” stated Kristina Buckley Kayel, Managing Director for the Natural Diamond Council.
“We are offering a solution to retailers and anyone in the industry looking to complement their technical diamond knowledge and gain confidence in conveying it in an impactful and memorable way. The Education Partner Program and platform was designed with the frontline sales advisor in mind. Engaging succinct and self-paced e-modules, each of which have accompanying materials and social media assets to bring turn-key value beyond completion of the module. Participants receive certification upon completion and, most importantly, then have the tools and sound bites to immediately deliver compelling information with confidence to customers, augmenting their trust and desire to purchase.”
Natural Diamond Council’s new Education Partner Program delivers a curriculum of natural diamond insights through a robust digital library for retailers. The education comprises six interactive learning modules featuring digestible lessons marked by a dedicated episode which imparts natural diamond knowledge beyond the 4Cs. The lessons include:
- Introduction to the Natural Diamond Council
- The History of Natural Diamonds
- The Allure of Natural Diamonds
- Commitment to Sustainability
- Difference Between Natural Diamonds and Lab Grown Diamonds
- Fancy Colored Diamonds
In late spring, the NDC will be launching a new module focused on Facts Dispelling the Myths and Misconceptions around Diamonds. Retailers are encouraged to visit www.naturaldiamonds.com/education-partner-program/ to learn more and sign up, as well as email inquiries to email@example.com.