Kevin Reilly of Platinum Guild International urged jewelers to take back the wedding budget while maximizing their profitability, during the Stuller Bridge conference in Lafayette, LA last week.

The average wedding budget these days is $30,000, he said, and jewelers need to claim their fair share of that budget.

“The only thing that will last is the rings,” he says.

According to a 2010 survey, 26 percent of engagement ring shoppers considered only platinum, 34 percent considered gold, and 43 percent considered both.

Yet many jewelers fail to promote the platinum option, or even to offer a reasonable selection of platinum settings.

The key to promoting a platinum engagement ring is to emphasize the fact that platinum won’t change color or fade, and it symbolizes a relationship that will endure.

The message: “Some things never change: A love that’s true. A ring that’s platinum.”

It’s also important to educate shoppers of the fact that platinum is a natural white metal and white gold is not.

Make sure that your website offers education about all the options; surveys indicate that engagement ring shoppers visit an average of 20 websites, peek in a half dozen store windows, and actually browse in 11 stores, before making a decision. Since window shopping is important, make sure your window tells a story in the form of a video loop or other educational information, even when your store is closed.

The Platinum Guild International has also discovered that platinum products in the $1,500 to $2,500 price range were lacking. Stuller’s Gateway Platinum collection, with an MSRP of $3,500 or less, is one way to meet that need, Reilly suggested.

Why promote platinum settings?

Jewelers must maximize the profitability of the setting or else they are leaving money on the table.

Reilly recommends having a selection of platinum settings in stock and leading the sale with the setting, before selecting the diamond.

Don’t be afraid to say, “We recommend platinum.”


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