The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) will introduce an educational program for retailers after finding that imparting knowledge to consumers is key to increasing sales of mined stones.
The organization found that 93% of customers were more inclined to buy natural-diamond jewelry when they had been properly educated by a salesperson, after launching a mystery-shopping research program via luxury consumer-insight company CSX, it said last week.
The NDC conducted the study across 116 stores throughout the US that carried either natural diamonds, lab-grown or both, between December and January. CSX analyzed the environment, merchandising and interactions with salespeople to determine how those factors contributed to a consumer’s desire to purchase natural diamond jewelry.
The data revealed 64% of customers did not find in-store merchandising presentations of natural diamonds significantly differed from those of lab-grown. Meanwhile, in 40% of interactions, salespeople did not offer enough natural-diamond education to lead to a sale. Only 6% of respondents noted retailers spoke to them about ethical considerations, provenance and traceability of natural diamonds.
“The research confirms that the role of the sales advisers in educating customers is paramount,” said NDC managing director Kristina Buckley Kayel. “However, the content of that education is far from complete, especially in conveying the facts and storytelling around natural diamonds beyond the 4Cs.”
The NDC’s Education Partner Program will provide tools, including online modules, social-media assets, and accompanying materials, to help enhance the natural diamond knowledge of retailers and their staff, the NDC explained. It will launch the program on April 1.
“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,” Buckley Kayel added.