Consumers may have caught the online shopping bug in a big way but they worry about buying jewellery off the internet according to a new survey.
Conducted by Moi Moi Fine Jewellery, the study shows 86 per cent of respondents worry about purchasing jewellery online, while 43.8 per cent would only buy from an e-store if it also had a bricks and mortar outlet. Close to half revealed they wouldn’t buy jewellery online at all.
Co-director of Moi Moi Fine Jewellery Alana Chang Weirick says bad experiences are causing customers to worry.
“Many consumers coming into our store are becoming fearful of purchasing jewellery online when others have been left out of pocket due to dodgy websites such as The Diamond Exchange who have since gone into liquidation,” she says.
“One couple, for instance, told us they paid $30,000 online for a loose stone diamond that they never received. They never got a cent of their money back either. This is not uncommon and we’re telling our customers to be smart when buying jewellery online.”
The study also found 86 per cent of women aged between 26 and 45 would rather visit mortar stores so they can check the quality of pieces before spending a lot and 89 per cent prefer it for the personal customer service experience.
“Fine jewellery is an investment. The experience of buying fine jewellery in store offers a high level of customer service and expert opinion that you just can’t get from a website. In particular, when couples are buying an engagement ring, they want to enjoy the experience of trying on rings and choosing the right one together as well as having the help of a professional jeweller to advise them on styles, types of stones, etc.
“Clicking on a button to buy an engagement ring doesn’t offer quite the same experience. Fine jewellery has many variables. It’s important to compare apples with apples,” Weirick adds.
However, the survey showed men aren’t quite as concerned with 28 per cent cautious about buying online and 33 per cent happy to spend more than $5000 at an online store.
To ease concerns, Moi Moi Fine Jewellery’s tips include shop at e-stores that also have a physical presence, make sure the product description is clear and check the return policy.