The Effects of Social Media on Engagement Ring Shopping – Part 1
The emergence of the internet within the last couple of decades has had a profound impact on how people live, work, play and interact with others. In fact, the emergence of social media, in particular, has immensely affected not only how people interact and stay connected with one another, but also has affected why people do what they do… including why people buy what they do. Social media, including platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, among others, introduces a paradigm shift in the way people interact with companies and how they ultimately reach the decision to purchase products.
The millennial generation especially, defined as those born in between the years 1980 to 1994, has grown up through the creation and widespread emergence of social media. Now, as millennials are growing up, graduating college and finding jobs, social media is affecting these major life milestones. One major life milestone many millennials currently find themselves in is dating and choosing a spouse to marry.
All it takes is one scroll through Instagram or a quick look through Facebook to see that millennials are becoming engaged and are using social media to pick out the perfect ring. How are millennials using social media to help them reach a decision and purchase an engagement ring? Let’s take a closer look.
Taking a Closer Look
Research shows that millennials are using social media to find the perfect #bling for their significant other. First off, millennials make up the largest generation in the US today, with a population of 80 million individuals. Millennials represent a significantly large market looking to date, get engaged and marry.
With the introduction of plastic rings, tattooed on rings and other jewelry alternatives gaining popularity, many are under the assumption that millennials are not buying diamonds. However, the research shows otherwise. According to JCK research, millennials represented a 41% share of all diamond sales in the US last year. The stage is set and the market is there for millennials looking to buy a one-of-a-kind engagement ring.
How specifically is social media coming into play in the engagement ring-buying process? BRIDES, a Condė Nast publication, released the American Wedding Study 2016 about the effects of social media in the engagement process. The study, polling women 18 and older who were either engaged or were soon-to-be-wed, were asked about social media’s involvement in their engagements. The study found the following results:
* “Social media is the number-one way brides-to-be are connecting with wedding brands and products during planning, with 82% doing so versus 75% in 2014.”
This study finding reveals that brides-to-be are taking to social media to brainstorm ideas for their weddings and interacting with brands, including jewelers, prior to making purchasing decisions with their soon-to-be spouse. Individuals are now interacting with jewelry brands that are active on social media to look for engagement rings or wedding bands.
* “33% of brides are connecting with brands and products through Instagram.”
Instagram has become a popular platform for brides and grooms-to-be, allowing them to interact with brands to draw wedding inspiration from or to start planning a wedding.
* “Pinterest remains the most popular social media platform for brides-to-be, with 72% using it to find inspiration and/or help planning their wedding, up from 67% in 2014.”
Pinterest is the most commonly used social media platform for brides-to-be. Pinterest boards allow brides-to-be to create dream engagement ring lists, bridal party colors, reception ideas and more from one location.
* “After telling close friends and family, 62% of brides-to-be changed their social-media status to “engaged.”
Social media is a big platform and way people communicate major life milestones, such as a new engagement, to friends and family.
* “After receiving an engagement ring, 62% posted a picture of it to social networks.”
* “Friends and family of the bride and groom are more frequently seeing the couple’s engagement news on social media – up to 54% from 46% in 2014.”
The engagement ring is a significant part of the engagement process, with over half of couples surveyed in this study showing off the ring to friends and family via social media. This study shows that not only are individuals using social media platforms as a resource to find the perfect engagement ring, but they are using social media to showcase the ring and the engagement announcement as well.
* “70% used social media to find wedding inspiration and their wedding style.”
Whether brides-to-be used Pinterest, Instagram or a combination of other social media sites, 70% of respondents stated that they used social media to select their wedding styles and the look and feel of the big day.
* “53% show wedding vendors their ideas on social media (e.g., Pinterest) to use at their wedding.”
Wedding vendors, including jewelers, must be prepared. Half of the brides-to-be in this study said that they showed vendors designs and styles they found on social media.
According to The Knot, a leading wedding planning website, 79% of brides share the news of their engagement on social media within three days of the proposal. One thing is for sure–social media, including Instagram and Pinterest, among others, are becoming bigger players in the engagement and wedding season.
From the American Wedding Study 2016, research is showing that social media has a substantial effect on engagement ring shopping, engagement ring selection and engagement announcements. Social media allows couples to find styles and designs that the bride is drawn to, and then provides a starting point in the conversation with jewelers to help pick out that perfect ring.
Looking for more specifics on what role social media plays when buying an engagement ring? Stay tuned for the second blog in this two part series on how social media is affecting engagement ring shopping. You can also click here to learn more about what makes a quality, one-of-a-kind engagement ring.
* Statistics Source: http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/brides-american-wedding-study-2016-unveils-latest-wedding-trends-spending-habits-engaged-2149673.htm