The survey formed the basis on a newly published report that shows how purchasing behaviour is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The primary desire for purchasing a diamond at this time, they said would be that reflects gratitude and acknowledgement during the current crisis.
And if they already owned diamond jewelry, the majority of respondents said that had continue to wear it while sheltering in place, primarily because “I never take it off” and “it makes me feel connected to someone.”
“The COVID-19 crisis and associated lockdowns have caused people all around the world to re-evaluate aspects of what’s important in their lives and have reinforced the value of personal relationships,” commented De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver.
“While consumer confidence and spending has been significantly impacted in the U.S., this research highlights that diamonds will nonetheless have a unique role to play in people’s lives in a post-lockdown world as they seek to celebrate their most meaningful relationships,” Cleaver added. “While it will take some time for the market to recover fully, we hope these insights will assist large and independent jewellery retailers alike to understand the evolving consumer perspective as we move through and emerge from the crisis.”
DIAMONDS BEAT OUT OTHER LUXURY ITEMS AS PREFERRED GIFT
The study looked carefully at the gifting of diamonds, with some 56 percent of survey respondents saying that the lockdown had reinforced the opinion that gifts should be meaningful, over and above being practical, functional or fun.
Diamonds, the survey indicated, were considered the most appropriate alternative for symbolizing intimacy, connectedness and love among both men and women. In this respect, they beat out gold and platinum jewelry, designer clothing and accessories, electronics, furniture and watches.
Forty-five per cent of respondents said that they would seek to buy fewer, better things when considering clothing and jewelry purchases after the lockdown. Ninety percent of respondents said that choosing gifts that hold their value over time would be an important consideration during the upcoming holiday season.
De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver: “The COVID-19 crisis and associated lockdowns have caused people all around the world to re-evaluate aspects of what’s important in their lives and have reinforced the value of personal relationships.”
And with the airlines not providing full services and many countries still limiting access to visitors, consumer preference for travel continued to show a declining trend, with 39 percent of consumers saying it will be seven to 12 months before their travel spending stabilizes.
DESPITE CRISIS, CONSUMERS REMAIN UPBEAT ABOUT THE FUTURE
On an optimistic note, two-thirds of the consumers polled indicated their personal finances have not been affected by COVID-19, with three-quarters of respondents saying said that their likelihood to purchase diamond jewellery was unchanged.
Some 75 percent of consumers were upbeat about their financial situation over the coming three years, which the highest it’s been since De Beers began doing regular consumer surveys.
Given the earlier reluctance of consumers to purchase high-ticket items via the Internet, it was interesting to note that the survey showed that now, several months into the health crisis, consumers feel safest when shopping for jewellery online.
Another clear indication of how the health crisis has impacted shopping behavior was the fact that respondents clearly distinguished local independent jewellers as the best source for knowledge and product quality, as well as being considered the safest of all the physical outlets for jewellery shopping.