NAJ News

Insight means nothing without application

11 Oct 2019

Insight is important to understanding the potential of your market, but means nothing without application. NAJ Marketing Director Ben Massey discusses the insight NAJ members have at their disposal, in addition to how it can be applied.

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According to Mintel’s latest report (2019), demand for jewellery and watches in the UK has increased; sales were up 2.9% in 2018 and growth is expected to be even stronger in 2019. In fact Mintel estimates that the market will increase by 3.5% in 2019, bringing its value to £5.9 billion, from £5.7 billion 12 months previous.

It’s important for us all to understand what this value growth has been driven by, and it’s interesting to read that the estimated growth has largely been influenced by the luxury end of the market. Customers, in general are seemingly opting for high-end investment pieces rather than cheaper alternatives. However, talking generally isn’t in my opinion how to apply this type of knowledge.

Understanding your customer base by reviewing what is selling, what isn’t, benchmarking with others and regularly profiling your customer base is what we’d like to think members do on a regular basis. It is this type of activity, supported by insight from external sources like Mintel reports, figures from (other) Jet Business Network members and reports from sales systems which gives you the data (or rather business intelligence) to help you plan your next move(s), and deliver products and services which realise that all important return on investment.

Trend spotting

I’m sure members would love to identify what the next trend could be and the mintel report does suggest the demi-fine market continues to take off, bringing with it an increase in demand for 14-carat gold as a result.

Chana Baram, Research Analyst of the 2019 Mintel report for Jeweller and watches said,

“Younger customers are opting for demi-fine options as a more affordable and youthful alternative to ‘stuffy’ high-end options. This has paved the way for niche jewellery brands such as Maria Tash to really take off, leaving big brands struggling to keep up.

“There have also been innovations in the market that have attracted younger customers including the use of AI to try jewellery on, curated piercing studios and eco jewellery ranges.”

Regarding watch elements, the Mintel report argues the market continues to be heavily reliant on the high-end brands, while mid-priced options continue to decrease in popularity.

As a time-conscious watch wearing millennial, I’m not sure whether I believe that fewer people feel that a watch is a necessity, but feedback in the report suggests the category is enduring due to people purchasing expensive watches as statement pieces. However, this does raise questions about lower-priced options, especially with innovations such as smartwatches and fitness trackers to be connected to the internet of things,

NAJ members can take advantage of the Mintel report for 25% off the full price, but as suggested above is most useful when applied to other data sources and profiling of your customer base.

NAJ insight tools

This Autumn, with our own objectives on giving more insight to the membership we launched the membership community barometer. This is a 7-question set filled in 4 times a year which appears in the member quarterly email sent to main contacts, and it’s had a good response.

In the barometer, we ask members to rate how quarterly business is vs last year (from -100 to +100), if staff hours are increasing or decreasing and what community activities members support. We also have an optimism index in which we ask members how optimistic they are for the next quarter. If you haven’t had chance to look you can do so in your members area.

View the NAJ Community Barometer.

Some retailers who utilise insight in the most practical of methods are members of NAJ’s Jet Business Network, some people might say it’s NAJ’s best kept secret and after enjoying one of their northern meetings, I tend to agree. The group shares figures, visits each other’s stores and contribute to a popular forum which shares news, ideas and practice. If you are an independent retailer and would like more information on this item, I do encourage you to speak to us to find out more and learn how others are applying practical insight.

View the Jet Business Network

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To claim your 25% discount code for the Mintel report (currently retailing for £1995), email