Whitepaper launched


Jewellery buying sentiments highlighted as NAJ publish consumer research

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The National Association of Jewellers has published its consumer research on the role of Jewellery in the lives of UK customers, in whitepaper and research report format.

Profiling the opinions of more than 2500 consumers, the ‘outside in’ research is one of the largest market research activities to be carried out by the trade for a decade, and a first for the Association. Supported by The Company of Master Jewellers and The Goldsmiths’ Company, the research is now available to download.

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The report identifies key themes underpinning purchases such as ‘to celebrate or commemorate a relationship’, which is popular for both men (30%) and women (33%), and ‘to express love and/or commitment’, the most popular theme of all for men (31%). More popular themes for women buying jewellery were ‘a sale or good price’ (43%), ‘on impulse or as a reward or treat’ (31%) and ‘to complete an outfit or create a certain look’ (23%).  

The research also identified that jewellery (17%) was behind electronics (50%) and concert/ theatre tickets (33%) when it came to the most enjoyable item to buy, and one in ten consumers who had purchased jewellery in the past 5 years say that they have previously had a negative experience whilst making a jewellery purchase.

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Included in the report is a table of buying sentiments for jewellers to apply to marketing activity, and opinion on how hard or soft each sentiment should be applied depending on the jeweller type, by Adam Jacobs, Chair of the NAJ Consumer Focus group who delivered the report.

Adam, Managing Director of Jacobs the Jewellers in Reading said,

“The results have shown specific emotions and messages that appear consistent across whatever sector we operate in. I can see the core sentiments expressed from a designer maker commission, to a bridal engagement ring purchase to a simple valentine’s day purchase.

“Sentiments such as, but not restricted to, expressing personal style, getting best value, collecting, showing love are relevant across the industry, though of course applied differently: a version of the maxim think global, act local."

An example of the ‘promotional’ sentiments that the research report recommends can be found below.


How to accentuate the emotional relevance…

  • Appreciation
  • Celebration
  • Collection/ acquisition
  • Commemoration
  • Connection
  • Longevity/investment
  • Personal expression
  • Personal meaning
  • Reward
  • Uniqueness

The Consumer Focus group who carried out the research activity in Autumn 2019 included representatives from retailers, suppliers, trade press and other bodies in the jewellery industry.

Emmet Cummins, Managing Director of the CMJ, said,

“The findings from this research should go some way to reassure retail jewellers. The fact that consumers associate jewellery with emotion and personal messaging has never meant more. At a time when people are looking to say thank you for a multitude of reasons, this is an opportunity for jewellery retailers to remind consumers that they are open and have the perfect gifts – whether that is to thank someone for their help or to celebrate a love that has strengthened over lockdown with the ultimate purchase of an engagement ring.”

Richard Fox, Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company, and Managing Director of Fox Silver, said,

“This research, while conducted pre pandemic, is an essential tool for helping the retail jewellery sector get back on its feet and to reflect on the future landscape for their businesses against the backdrop of Covid-19.

“One surprising finding from the survey is that just one in ten respondents said they had bought jewellery online. Anecdotally, we would expect this purchasing behaviour to have shifted in recent months, with more people buying jewellery online as retail jewellers and others from across our industry, from galleries to trade shows and fairs, have had to diversify and invest in digital platforms to help support the market for jewellery in the UK, and the craftspeople who create it. I hope that this research will help to support a boost to the retail jewellery sector and the creative industries it supports.”

Members of the NAJ do have the benefit of being able to interact with the data set in the NAJ Members Area, to be able to profile consumers that best fit their audience.

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The group now turns its attention to how the research findings can be utilised to influence demand for jewellery purchases and will look to work collaboratively with other bodies from the jewellery industry. 


Rebecca van Rooijen


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