In today’s new era of retail, where consumers have all the power, it’s imperative for jewelry brands to provide consumers with an inspiring experience to discover styles as incredible as they are – which is exactly what Jedora aims to do with its new online marketplace.
Currently, the $82 billion jewelry industry is highly fragmented with over 18,000 U.S. retailers and no centralized marketplace for consumers to explore jewelry, watches and loose gemstones in various price points and styles, for all occasions. Moreover, this lack of a hub has created a requirement on the consumer to do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to research on quality and pricing.
Citing undeniable changes in consumer behavior over the last couple of years and applauding other retail categories for navigating new ways to engage today’s uncompromising consumer, Jedora’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Matthews, told WWD his team recognized the opportunity to set a foundation for the new era of jewelry retail – one built on trust. With a team of experts with decades of experience in the jewelry industry, Matthews said Jedora is perfectly positioned to exercise new leadership in the industry and establish a new, better way of conducting business by bringing jewelry brands and consumers together.
“The atmosphere was ripe for us to provide this much needed expansion to the market,” said Matthews. “The industry by nature is capital intensive, as for many retailers, the investment in inventory is truly burdensome in comparison to annual sales volumes.”
Moreover, Matthews said, product and merchandise were highly duplicative and “for consumers this means challenges in finding the best products at competitive pricing, lots of confusion with different terminology and disclosures used across retailers and an often intimidating in-store experience.”
With features ranging from AI technology to guide a consumer’s journey of exploration, curated inspired shoppable looks, to an assortment of high-end options and accessible price points from brands and designers vetted by a panel of experts, Jedora’s recently launched marketplace is a one-stop solution offering an expansive assortment of accessories through its intuitive and transparent platform.
“We’re building a better way to shop for jewelry, watches and gemstones,” said Matthews. “Jedora is a thoughtful collaboration by leaders in the industry that are dedicated to delivering the best possible customer experience through product selection and technology innovation.”
Jedora’s offerings include established best-in-class brands alongside emerging designer brands, making it a place where consumers can shop familiar brands while discovering new brands to love. Key brands and designers include Andreoli, Nanis, Gumuchian, Jorge Adler, Alberto Milani, The Gem Studio, Parlé, LeVian, Zaffiro, Stephen Dweck, New World Diamonds, Tane Mexico 1942, Effy, GEMistry, Versace Watches, Ferragamo Watches and more, as well as a vast selection of loose gemstones from gemstones.com.
“Our team has decades of experience in the jewelry industry, with established relationships that allow us to offer each of our brands with confidence, knowing they meet the high standards our customers desire and deserve,” said Matthews. “We are continually adding more storefronts to Jedora so that our selection remains vast, diverse and fresh.”
Through Jedora consumers can shop in “whatever way meets their style and preferences,” meaning they are able to search for a specific item, by store or through expert curators who provide inspiration for looks to love. And with customer experience at the forefront, consumers are able to shop a wide variety of price points with convenient payment options, free shipping and free returns.
“A marketplace model helps the industry by providing an inventory-light strategy with a breadth of options available to the customer to shop with comfort and convenience when and how they choose. The need for this type of solution was validated by the industry,” said Matthews. “Jedora has been received with great excitement due to the immense need for this type of concentrated, collaborative marketplace, and industry leaders have been very eager to be involved.”
Notably, for vendors, designers, manufacturers and brands, Jedora offers the ability to sell directly to consumers, while controlling product imagery, assortment and pricing. However, Jedora is also an invitation-only site to ensure premium quality that its consumers can trust.
“Unlike other marketplaces, Jedora is run by industry professionals who have deep knowledge of the industry and have a true understanding of the jewelry customer,” said Matthews. “The invitation-only approach means Jedora does the homework for the consumer, helping them navigate a sea of sameness in a space with lots of confusing options with the goal of providing consumers with top-quality stores and products from around the world. As jewelry is a more luxurious category and considered purchase, we take great care to ensure our customers are confident and comfortable with their online purchases.”
To that end, Jedora offers consumers a range of educational resources where they can peruse numerous articles for education and inspiration or speak directly to an expert with access to a robust customer service team as well as on-hand gemologists and manufacturing specialists available to answer customer inquiries.
This approach also removes barriers by addressing the intimidating experience that many consumers face when shopping for jewelry – an approach Jedora hopes will bring excitement back to the shopping experience, while fostering discovery of new and emerging styles and designs.
“By offering a vast range of gemstones and jewelry, and by educating our consumer base on the wide array of options they have for a luxury look at a variety of price points, we hope to break down those mental barriers,” said Matthews. “We believe informed customers are better customers, and the more we can educate them and assist them in their jewelry journey, the more fulfilled they will be.”
Moreover, he said, “jewelry, watches and gemstones often carry with them history and significance, and it’s important to us that consumers can add to the richness of these stories by knowing as much as possible about their pieces. Jewelry is a highly emotive product. If you were to ask most people about their jewelry, the majority would have very specific and meaningful stories behind their most-loved jewelry pieces.”
Matthews told WWD that during the pandemic this sentiment was especially true as consumers became increasingly passionate about demonstrating their style by adorning themselves with jewelry that would show well on camera as they worked from home. “While one school of thought would be that jewelry, as a presumed nonessential purchase, would be a less frequently purchased commodity during socioeconomic downturns, the opposite has been the case during the pandemic,” said Matthews. “People have rediscovered jewelry as a means of finding beauty in the world, to uplift their spirits and make them feel empowered and ready for life’s challenges. Both self-purchases and gifting have always been prevalent in the jewelry retail space, but it was amplified during this time when people needed to make their time at home more special and interesting – or to uplift those whom they couldn’t visit with in person.”
Additionally, as more people were forced to embrace technology and shop from home, the more comfortable and exciting this experience became, which enhanced consumer confidence in the online shopping experience for even higher-end or considered purchases.
“When you can’t change the world around you, you can change how you feel, and accessorizing with gorgeous jewelry is one way people have seemed to manage the stressors of the past couple of years,” said Matthews. “Jedora leverages technology to provide an experience that becomes more curated and customized over time, enabling them to quickly find what they want when in a hurry and foster discovery and exploration when they want to take the time to browse and look around. We’re bringing the fun and excitement back into the jewelry shopping experience.”