Want to grow your bridal business? The key to greater sales and profitability may be the humble wedding band, which is increasingly becoming a lot less humble.
Often an afterthought, purchased at the last minute in the rush of wedding planning, the wedding band is potentially much more significant than the engagement ring. One is a pledge, the other a symbol of the union itself.
There’s evidence that couples are taking the wedding band much more seriously than ever before. In the past decade there has been a significant increase in the acquisition rate of women’s diamond wedding bands. And the average sales price of these diamond wedding bands has also increased dramatically:
- Diamond wedding band acquisition rates have increased by 12 percent since 1998.
- As of 2006, diamond wedding bands are now acquired by 52 percent of all brides. For the first time, you can say most brides now choose a diamond wedding band.
- The average price of a diamond wedding band is $1,238, an increase of almost 70 percent since 1998.
- Since 2002, diamond wedding band sales have been consistently increasing in average price, showing the strongest increase from 2005-2006 of 10 percent.
- Annual diamond wedding band sales reached $1.5 billion in value in 2006, more than double what it was in 1998.
“This is huge news for retailers who want to grow their bridal business. This market has doubled in value since 1998,” says Claudia Rose, J. Walter Thompson senior partner and Diamond Promotion Service industry planning director. “We’ve reached a tipping point, where the majority of people choose diamond wedding bands. This should be on the lips of everyone at the counter.”
The Diamond Promotion Service knows that consumers are interested in what others do as they navigate the thousands of decisions that go into planning their weddings. “Consumers are curious about benchmarks and what other people do,” Rose says. “Now that a majority of brides get a diamond wedding band, others are likely to follow.”
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH
On average, three million couples get married each year. That potential customer base has remained stable over the last decade. “It is surprising when you talk to retailers how important bridal sales are to their business when the entire potential market is only three million couples,” Rose says. “It’s difficult to increase that business because you can’t increase the potential market.”
Jewelers have only two options to grow their bridal business: take customers away from a competitor, or increase the average sale to each customer they serve. Wedding bands are a cultural imperative: 97 percent of couples who marry buy them.