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Insight: shoppers favour stores over online for higher price jewellery purchases

New research has found that the higher the value of a piece of jewellery or a watch, the more likely shoppers are to visit the high street instead of buying online.

FASHION

Insight: shoppers favour stores over online for higher price jewellery purchases

New research has found that the higher the value of a piece of jewellery or a watch, the more likely shoppers are to visit the high street instead of buying online.

Commissioned by The Company of Master Jewellers, the cut-off point was revealed to be £366 for jewellery and £359 for watches.

Some 34% of respondents said they would prefer to purchase the items in-store as they liked to “try before they buy”. In addition, 32% said they could not guarantee the quality without looking at or experiencing the item first.

In addition, 29% of respondents said they trusted high street outlets the most when buying jewellery compared to only 9% for online.

Terry Boot, chief executive for CMJ, said: “While trends suggest that shopping online is becoming the norm, with deals to be done and hassle-free shopping, what cannot be replaced is the in-store experience.

“To walk into an independent high street jeweller not only enables consumers to try the piece of jewellery or watch on and feel its quality, weight and craftsmanship – let alone decide whether or not it’s for them – they get what you cannot possibly get online, the customer service and educated advice a professional jeweller will give.

“Having a cut-off point on price clearly validates this. It also demonstrates that if you are going to invest in something beautiful, perhaps something that you or a loved one will cherish for life, it needs proper consideration and needs to be risk-free and genuine.”

The survey results also revealed that three quarters of respondents considered quality first and foremost when making a jewellery purchase, whereas the brand or designer was the most important consideration for 56%.

In addition, some 44% said they would consider whether a piece jewellery or a watch had been made ethically, with 11% willing to pay an additional 11% to ensure this.

The average cut-off point to go from online to the high street to buy an item of jewellery for the 35 to 44 year old age group was £459, the highest of any age bracket. The lowest was £259 for those over 65 years of age. Meanwhile, Londoners were found to be likely to go up to £668.

However, for watch purchases the cut-off price was highest for 16 to 24 year olds at an average price of £462.

Boot added: “There is clearly a difference in perspective across the age ranges. For the over 65s to have the lowest threshold perhaps suggests that they hark back to the days of customer service coupled with the need to examine quality.

“Watch purchases for the younger demographic may be driven by brand status, suggesting they are willing to trust a recognised brand up to a certain point before the need to visit a high street store.

“This age group has been brought up in an era where the magnifying glass is continually looking at the way things are produced too, which is why they are more concerned about ethical manufacturing and willing to pay the most to ensure the process is as water tight as it can be.”

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