Buying jewelry online is yet to catch on in China, but vendors do have some reason to be optimistic about the role of the Internet in helping them push the products.
Last year, the country’s gold and jewelry market had total turnover of 500 billion yuan, according to a China Securities Journal report.
While the appetite of middle-aged Chinese housewives for gold is well known, a considerable portion of the demand in the mainland was also related to gifting and celebration of new births and weddings.
About 13 million couples get married in China each year, and jewelry is almost a must-have item on the shopping list nowadays.
Corporate gifting market is said to have shrunk a bit following Beijing’s anti-corruption campaign but consumer demand has held up well or even grown moderately.
Physical shops are still the mainstay in the business but online shops have also been growing in number.
What’s noteworthy is a proliferation in online to offline activities.
Customers may not want to buy online due to suspicion that the pictures displayed on websites may not represent the real thing, but they are willing to receive promotional information through smartphones and tablets.
Many vendors send out offers daily with photos of the items and the prices, using WeChat or other social media platforms.
If the products stoke interest, customers can then visit the brick-and-mortar shops to check out the wares.
On the product front, getting young couples to splash over US$10,000 on wedding rings is still too much, so makers are quick to come up with new design and setting technique that can make use of smaller jewels (0.2-0.3 carat) to achieve the look and shine of, say, a one carat diamond ring.
– Contact us at [email protected]