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Digital: Casting the Jewelry Industry’s Future

No industry has been immune to the seismic shifts caused by the growth of the digital landscape. Driven by digital disruption, the fashion industry in particular has been subject to heavy transformation in the recent years. In comparison, the jewelry sector has remained relatively traditional. However, given the intensifying competitive landscape and the battle for customer loyalty across all retail sectors, there are opportunities which jewelry brands can now no longer afford to ignore.

The following point of view details some of the most significant trends and opportunities in the jewelry industry, and illustrates how brands can equip themselves to successfully navigate in the digital economy.


Digital will spur demand for fast fashion in the Jewelry Industry

It's no secret that fast fashion has revolutionized the fashion industry. Even though its roots are in the affordable clothing segment, the fashion-jewelry market has not been immune to its effects.

Beeline, a German-based brand jewelry company, adds hundreds of new items to its collection every month - an unusual practice in the industry where two collections per year are considered standard. Similarly, there's BaubleBar, an e-commerce site, known for its "fast fashion" take on women's jewelry. The company delivers products with a faster turnaround than its traditional competitors with a compressed supply chain process that accelerates their design-to-sale process in as little as four weeks.

The modern fashion industry is built on this kind of instant gratification. Rapidly shifting trends mean consumers regularly buy new items, regardless of the season. As the jewelry market grows and new savvier players emerge, jewelry retailers will need to take the necessary steps to be more agile and flexible to rapidly adopt to changing market trends and consumer demand.

What's needed to make this happen?
Real-time analytical capabilities. To enable brands to deliver designs that resonate with their shoppers as and when they’re trending, consumer insight is key. With the right technology in place, brands can view and evaluate the real-time insights required to guide the design, merchandise and inventory allocation process.


Physical and digital channels will be integrated to drive omni-channel growth

Physical monobrand stores and e-commerce will continue growing in importance. However, integration of these channels will be key in providing a seamless experience to the customer.

Fashion brands such as The Rockport Group have already started integrating their retail stores and e-commerce systems to facilitate omni-channel functionalities such as click and collect, and buy online and return at any store.

Studies show that the majority of the jewelry industry has not adopted this model yet, though. Only 54% of watch and jewelry brands have a buy online feature, with 15% offering in-store pickups and 9% integrating live inventory availability on their sites, according to L2 Digital Intelligence. However, some jewelry brands, like leading Hong Kong-based retailer Chow Sang Sang, have already moved towards an omni-channel offering. They launched an e-store where customers can reserve items online and view them in-store before making a purchase as well as purchase online and pick up in-store, or have it delivered to a designated address. Jared the Galleria of Jewelers and Kay Jewelers have embraced similar strategies, which resulted in a staggering 49% increase in online sales.

Jewelry brands can no longer using a single channel. To keep up with growth plans such as geographic expansions, the creation of a new brand or the addition of a new business channel, an integrated system is crucial for a centralized real-time view of customers, orders, sales and inventory.

What's needed to make this happen?
A single vertically integrated platform.
Managing each channel separately results in siloed data - leading to data replication and redundancy, siloed analytics and siloed information among departments of the same organization. Operating as a forward-thinking brand in today's market relies on synchronizing data and processes across all channels to improve customer experience, deliver faster inventory turn and enable future growth.


More retailers will look at personalization as a way to enhance the shopping experience

While brand loyalty is fleeting in the new consumer-centric economy, superior service and personalization will differentiate the winners from the rest of the pack.

Research shows that personalized content can increase the average order size by more than 20%. And yet, few companies do personalization right. The challenge lies in building an omni-channel landscape where data from different touchpoints can be collected and used for analytics.

Consider the case of jewelry retailer Alex and Ani, who experienced 5,200% growth in revenue in three years. Much of the company’s success lies in their ability to personalize throughout the customer journey and beyond their e-Commerce site by gathering data on an ongoing basis and sharing these insights with wholesale partners that sell the brand’s jewelry. Another great example is Swoonery, a luxury e-commerce platform that uses an algorithm to recommend items based on an analysis of customers’ individual preferences.

Looking ahead, jewelry brands need to preempt the expected doubling of online sales - from 4-5% to 10% by 2020 - and implement a suitable platform that can collect and evaluate data from various devices. Be it desktops, smartphones, tablets, point-of-sale systems, retailers will need to utilize all the data they can in order to offer a competitive and more seamless customer experience across all channels.

However, knowing individual interests and preference alone is not enough. The future of personalization relies heavily on context. This way, brands are able to deliver the right offer at the right time, increase the likelihood of a successful cross-sell and use the same data to personalize in-store experiences using mobile technology.

What's needed to make this happen?
A single view of the customer.
With a unified view of the customer, brands are able to leverage buying patterns, behavioral data and contextual insights for a truly personalized offering.

A Digital Core for the Jewelry Industry

In order to adapt to the on-going digital shift, jewelry brands need to radically rethink their core system so that it can identify and respond to changing consumer demand in real-time, synchronize sales channels and deliver a personalized service. A 'Digital Core' comprised of SAP's latest, innovative retail technologies will help deliver a consistent, relevant and exceptional shopping experience across all touchpoints.

S/4HANA for Fashion and Vertical Business

A single platform to manage your wholesale, retail, e-commerce and manufacturing operations and gain global inventory visibility in real-time.

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SAP Customer Activity Repository

Powered by SAP HANA's game changing in-memory capabilities, SAP Customer Activity Repository combines your customer, sales and inventory data in real-time to enable personalized, contextual engagements.

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SAP Hybris Commerce Suite

Synchronize commerce across multiple channels on a single platform for centralized order management and streamlined inventory distribution - tightly integrated with SAP backend technologies.

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Everything you need to run your jewelry business

Our digital core solution is designed to create a powerful foundation that gives you a single view of your customers, inventory and products to power various omni-channel functionalities.

  • Global Inventory Visibility

    Get immediate inventory visibility covering wholesale, retail and e-commerce for unprecedented, global merchandise insights at any given time. Leverage this knowledge for optimized inventory planning across all channels, and make sure your customers get their favorite items wherever and whenever they want it.

  • Sell and Service Customers Everywhere

    Offer the best possible customer experience by combining order management with commerce to bridge sales and service thereby empowering your customers to view and manage their interactions with your brand all the way down the order line.

  • Store and E-commerce Connectivity

    Leverage one platform to plan and execute omni-channel strategies such as order orchestration, order allocation and returns management to deliver products on time as well as how, when and where customers want them. Use both retail stores and distribution centers for fulfillment, enabling customers to purchase products online and pick up in-store or return to any store.

  • Single Version of Truth

    Consolidate your data landscape and achieve a single view of customers, products and orders. Your business will be suitably equipped to keep up with the pace of change and digital disruption, and have the ability to offer a seamless, more convenient shopping experience.

  • Personalized Brand Experiences

    Consolidate customer data to provide contextual, personalized and consistent experiences across all channels based on preferences, interactions, predictive analytics and business rules from a single tool. React and respond to trends immediately, such as what’s selling right now, to optimize your omni-channel strategy, regardless of channel or touchpoint.

  • Real-time Analytics

    S/4HANA for Fashion and Vertical Business runs on SAP HANA technology with in-memory processing capabilities, which allows applications to run analytics directly on transactional data and respond in real-time. Combined with SAP Hybris, the integrated solution will help drive conversions and engage visitors with personalized messages, search results, promotions, recommendations, product reviews and more to deliver relevant and timely offers that shape the customer journey from discovery to advocacy.

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Let us show you first hand how your wholesale, retail and e-commerce channels can function seamlessly to deliver a future-proof omni-channel experience for your customers.