PETALING JAYA, Feb 4 ― Choosing the perfect wedding ring can be a nerve-racking undertaking.
Throw in a pandemic, border restrictions and the sheer anxiety of being exposed to Covid-19 while being outside of your home, there surely must be a way of making ring shopping a memorable experience.
That’s where Tailored Jewel comes in.
The homegrown brand that has been dubbed Malaysia’s number one online jeweller became a game-changer in the jewellery world when it launched in 2012, offering customers a fully customisable range of quality jewellery at marked down prices.
Another point of difference, perhaps more relevant than ever before, is their virtual consultation service that brings the in-store experience into the comforts of one’s home.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Malay Mail spoke to founder Ethon Low on the modern conveniences of selecting the perfect wedding jewellery virtually, a popular trend among customers below the age of 35.
“The demand for virtual consultation has definitely increased with the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO) and in accordance with the new norm, we have noticed that people are more open to online purchases, even for jewellery,” Low said.
Ring shopping in the new normal
Whenever they receive a request, consultants will first have to find out the type of ring, design and diamond a customer is looking for before setting a virtual appointment.
Multiple tools and devices are employed during the virtual call where the rings are showcased close-up, in a 360-angle view as part of the comprehensive service.
A hand model is used to display the actual rings on the finger for customers to get a sense of how the piece looks.
On another screen, consultants explain every detail and answer any questions the customer has.
“After the session, a quotation with options will be sent over to our customers through email and WhatsApp and our consultant will also follow-up closely with the customers to walk them through the purchasing process as well as to attend to any further queries.
“Once the order is confirmed, we will mail a ring-sizer to our customers to accurately measure their ring size for the next stage of customisation,” Low said.
To ensure customer satisfaction, all online orders include free insured shipment within Malaysia, GIA certificates for diamonds 0.3 carats and above, a money-back guarantee and free ring resizing services for a year.
GIA diamonds are graded by the Gemological Institute of America whereby the stone’s quality and 4C’s ― colour, cut, clarity and carat weight ― are fully assessed.
On top of all their diamonds undergoing the strict GIA grading process, Tailored Jewel sources authentic and ethically mined gems from top producers worldwide who are certified by registered members of the gems union body and association.
Staying ahead of the game
As retailers scramble to rethink their business strategies during Covid-19, brands are realising the value of a strong digital presence and virtual experience to appeal to consumers.
“Meanwhile, brands that already have an existing e-commerce platform are seen to have become even more aggressive during the pandemic,” Low said.
He added that Tailored Jewel was “lucky enough” to have established their e-commerce platform much earlier, a far-sighted move that lessened the pandemic’s blow on brick-and-mortar shops.
Just like many other businesses, the wedding industry is one of the casualties of the virus, leaving altars empty as proposals and wedding plans are postponed due to MCO guidelines.
“However, we still observe a good number of customers that proceed with their ring purchases or that alter their wedding plans to a much smaller scale for a more intimate wedding celebration,” Low said.
“As for jewellers, it has made brands look into bringing the entire physical jewellery purchase experience ― the touch, feel and try-on ― to a whole new different level on the digital side.”
Being an omni-channel brand, Tailored Jewel’s physical store and e-commerce site were well-equipped, enabling them to quickly adapt to the new norm to ensure customers can proceed with their purchases and wedding plans despite the circumstances.
“We hope to ease out some of the worries and inconveniences in the wedding-planning journey of our customers, especially during this uncertain time,” Low said.
But with everyone jumping on the digital bandwagon, competition has increased as customers are now spoiled for choice.
“It is much harder for businesses to thrive amongst one another than it was five to six years ago.
“However, customers are also now more educated about online purchases and will be inclined to splurge on guaranteed purchases that come with a warranty and aftercare services,” Low said on the brand’s strength.
Simple, timeless designs remain popular
When it comes to the most sought-after ring design, simple yet timeless and nothing too over- the-top reign supreme.
Some may prefer a little more sparkle on their finger, said Low, while others prefer the minimal route.
“Our advice is to find a good balance between a simple yet unique design that will allow for the ring to still be in trend and relevant for generations to come,” he said.
Over the years, customers have leaned towards injecting their own personality into the designs, taking cues from social media, which is why the brand has always provided customisation services to allow buyers to create their own ring.
“With the personalisation factor as well, couples are able to truly feel like the ring belongs to them exclusively.
“Customers these days are also more receptive to boutique-style jewellers who are able to provide quality without the hefty price tag,” Low said.
On choosing the perfect ring, Low advises customers to go for a classic and iconic design so that the piece will remain timeless and relevant for generations to come.
Because it is a once in a lifetime purchase, it is important to invest in a quality piece.
“Although it might come with a heavier price tag, this investment will be well worth it in the long run.
“Nonetheless, choose a ring that you absolutely love and represents you the most,” Low said.