Jewelry and fashion industries are flourishing.
The costume jewelry market (jewelry made of less valuable materials) will bring in roughly $52.4 billion in revenue by 2025, while revenue from the ecommerce fashion industry alone is expected to reach $712.9 billion by 2022.
The industries’ fast growth has been facilitated by two things: the ubiquitous nature of the smartphone and on-the go shopping, and expanding markets outside the West, with a growing middle class experiencing rising disposable income.
Shifting industry landscapes have the power to change consumer behaviors. It’s now more important than ever for brands to understand how to keep up with these changes in order to stay competitive.
Using our data on 67 fashion and jewelry brands, we’ve profiled online adults who’ve made a purchase from these brands in the last five years, as well as buying both clothing and jewelry in the past month.
So, who is today’s fashion and jewelry buyer?
How can brands reach them, ease their journey through the sales funnel – at whichever point they enter – and win them over as advocates?
Fashion and jewelry buyers are cosmopolitan, status-driven consumers.
16% of the global internet population today are fashion and jewelry buyers.
The typical fashion and jewelry buyer is in their early thirties, married (55%) working full-time (64%) with at least one child (61%).
They’re more likely to be affluent compared to the average internet user, with 29% in the top 25% income bracket, which is reflected in the way they manage their finances.
Fashion and jewelry buyers are 37% more likely to be proactive about investing money (64% are), with gold being the most popular commodity (36% say they invest in gold).
These consumers have a lot of decision-making power in the workplace and as a result, they’re a lot more likely to travel for business purposes – both domestically and abroad.
With 81% of them interested in other countries and cultures, they enjoy travelling for leisure as well. Fashion and jewelry buyers are 63% more likely than average to go on vacation abroad once every 6 months, with 3 in 10 doing so.
This is a status-driven consumer segment who care about prestige and exclusivity.
Our latest research shows they’re 50% more likely than average to fall into our status seeker attitudinal segment, meaning they tend to buy the premium versions of products (69% say this), are brand conscious (64%) and want to be well-respected by their peers (82%).
These traits factor into their relationship they have with brands, as being part of a prestigious brand community is key for this audience. They’re 42% more likely to buy a product simply for the experience of being part of the community built around it (47% say this).
This is an audience that likes to stand out in the crowd (51% say this) and disrupt the status quo with their appearance.
Brands targeting fashion and jewelry buyers should keep innovating. Almost a third of this audience want to see innovative new products from their favorite brands, so brands that stay in their comfort zone will be of less interest to these consumers.
Brands can reach fashion and jewelry buyers via influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing can be a great tactic when used correctly.
It gives brands the opportunity to reach consumers in different, exciting and new ways that go beyond traditional advertising.
Since 57% of this audience use ad-blockers each month, brands can benefit from an alternative method of advertising that bypasses underlying frustrations consumers associate with ads.
The growing role played by social media influencers in fashion marketing and commerce in the past 5-10 years is testament to the tremendous importance of word-of-mouth in the fashion community.
Although influencer marketing can be difficult to identify as a source of brand discovery due to its non-interruptive nature, 26% of fashion and jewelry buyers typically find out about new brands via celebrity endorsements.
What’s more, this audience shows an above-average tendency to be influenced by the opinions of others.
67% like to seek an expert opinion before making a purchase, and almost 4 in 10 are easily swayed by other people’s opinions.
Endorsement from prestigious sources, like public figures, celebrities and vloggers, carries particular weight here.
Fashion and jewelry buyers are much more likely than average to follow TV presenters (1.73 Index), journalists (1.68 Index), politicians (1.62 Index) and vloggers (1.56 Index) on social media.
Whether they’re private individuals posting product reviews, or highly professionalized publishers openly producing sponsored content, influencers can introduce fashion and jewelry labels to users in a creative and compelling way.
In order for brands to maximize returns, however, influencer marketing must be transparent and has to resonate with the interests of the target audience.
Fashion and jewelry buyers love to engage with branded content on social.
Social media plays a central role in the lives of fashion and jewelry buyers.
They spend an average of 2 hours and 48 minutes every day on social – 22 minutes longer than the average internet user.
This audience loves to see brands on their newsfeeds and will willingly share their content.
They’re almost twice as likely as other internet users to share brands’ social posts, upload pictures or videos to brand’s social pages, or interact with brands directly by asking questions.
With this audience being 67% more likely than the average Instagrammer to enter competitions by sharing a photo or using a brand-related hashtag, strategies that include giveaways on social media encourage these users to spread the word further.
Brands shouldn’t shy away from offering incentives like this, but they also need to remember that these consumers are motivated to share content that enhances their prestige, rather than being purely driven by financial rewards.
For fashion brands in particular, the content area to watch is tutorials.
Video engagement is often purpose-driven among this consumer segment, who are 22% more likely than the average YouTuber to watch tutorial videos on the platform (52% have done so in the past month).
Buyers often rely on videos before making a purchase decision, so brands have a unique opportunity to connect with this audience through video by providing deeper insight into their products, hence helping them with their purchase considerations.
YouTube is particularly notable in this space, because it has invested $20 million in creators to attract more educational videos, tutorials and other skill-based content on its platform.
YouTube’s aim is that this will provide more trustworthy and credible content that marketers want to advertise next to.
Brands can encourage fashion and jewelry buyers to be advocates.
As we saw earlier, fashion and jewelry buyers love sharing branded content and opinions on products with others, with 74% saying they regularly inform friends and family about new products or services.
Global brands are more successful than smaller, local players at converting buyers into advocates, which suggests these consumers might be more inclined to make ‘safe’ suggestions, rather than recommending lesser-known, edgy brands.
The three most popular brands (Calvin Klein, Chanel and Gucci) among these consumers are also the ones they’re most likely to advocate for:
Around 6 in 10 Calvin Klein, Chanel and Gucci buyers say they would promote their products to others.
Understanding what motivates these consumers to promote a brand is vital for those looking to elevate brand awareness.
Consistent with their status-driven profile, fashion and jewelry buyers are 60% more likely than other internet users to advocate a brand that enhances their online reputation or status.
Our research also shows that this sense of status is even more pronounced among luxury buyers.
Fashion is about making a statement, and therefore the message a brand conveys is important to buyers. But it’s not all about image. They also want personal, one-to-one relationships with brands that give them the chance to interact and be involved.
This could be via allowing these consumers to contribute ideas for new products and designs or by giving them personalized recommendations for purchases – two of the most distinctive requests these consumers have for brands.
In any case, brands keen to win this group over as advocates will have to cut through the noise by tapping into their image-conscious mindset and helping them enhance their online persona.
The future of fashion is green.
Addressing sustainability is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have, for any brand looking to safeguard its business and meet consumers’ expectations.
And the fashion industry is no exception here: the share of people that would pay more for sustainable/eco-friendly products grew from 49% in 2011 to 57% today.
This figure reaches a staggering 71% among fashion and jewelry buyers.
Eco fashion is now mainstream and will be redefining the “rules” of the fashion industry going forward.
High costs associated with environmentally-friendly alternatives are still a challenge, though. In a bespoke study we ran in March, we found that affordability is the most important factor when it comes to day-to-day purchases for over 7 in 10 internet users in the UK the U.S.
Unless there’s a way to avoid passing these extra costs on to the consumer, brands may face an uphill battle getting consumers on board, at least in the short term.
As today’s consumers are getting savvier and are increasingly spoiled for choice, brands that fail to implement green initiatives within their operations will likely face a backlash.