How James Allen is Disrupting the Diamond Industry
James Allen is a young jewelry company born and operated online. Although most industries have undergone a massive change in terms of switching from brick-and-mortar stores to the online sales front, the jewelry industry has remained relatively unchanged. Over 68% of jewelry buyers recently purchased in-store rather than online.
Despite this trend, James Allen has grown in popularity, pulling 288 million in sales in 2017, making it the largest online jewelry retailer in America. We’re going to explore how James Allen has disrupted the jewelry industry, and how other retailers can follow suit in this new economic atmosphere.
The main worry that many people have when making large purchases online is the honesty of the retailer. For example, an online jewelry retailer may show a dazzling, brilliant diamond costing a quarter of your yearly income, but the diamond that shows up in the mail looks nothing like the picture online. Because all diamonds are different, the standard, one view shot of a typical online product does not give you insight into the expensive piece of jewelry you are purchasing.
James Allen has incorporated 360-degree viewing technology for each of their jewelry pieces. With every angle viewable on the piece, the customer has a much better idea of what they’re purchasing. Honesty is extremely important when making sales online, especially when the product costs thousands of dollars.
Engagement rings and high-end jewelry are expensive, and some require financing if their price tag is too high. If you’re not careful, you can get sucked into high-interest rates and long payoff periods that make your actual paying price far higher than the original price of the diamond. This high-interest financing can leave you in debt, ruin your credit score, and may be difficult to pay off.
Low interest jewelry financing is a rare occurrence for most jewelry companies. The example that James Allen sets for honest and fair financing should be the standard you follow when considering financing on a large jewelry purchase.
For example, if you choose to pay off your balance with six separate payments spread out over six months, James Allen charges no interest rate. If you choose a longer period, you pay a 9.9% interest rate over 24 months. This interest puts James Allen in the lower range of both interest rates and payoff periods amongst other jewelry companies. When you’re looking to buy a ring, and you don’t have the cash upfront, make sure that the company you choose has either 0% interest with a short period of payoff time or low interest for a longer paying period.
With any big purchase, a refund policy is the first thing a wary customer should read. This is especially true for diamond and jewelry stores. Whether the purchase is a necklace, an expensive watch, or an engagement ring, you don’t want to be stuck holding onto the piece if things don’t pan out the way you planned them. The ring may not fit, the necklace may be in the wrong color, or the person you popped the question to wasn’t ready. In any case, a refund policy is important to read in-depth before you purchase.
James Allen again provides a great example of a good return policy. You can expect a 100% full return within 30 days of the original purchase with no restocking fee. That last bit is important: restocking fees are generally 15 to 20% of your original purchase price charged to allow for defects, putting the item back into inventory, and any other costs associated with the return. Before you make an expensive jewelry purchase, make sure you can return the item without paying extra.
James Allen has broken expectations and provided service that the diamond industry has been lacking. Honesty is the best policy, but jewelry store clerks often ignore it to push expensive items you may not be ready to purchase. With the online format, movable pictures, and honest pricing James Allen provides, you can be sure that the rest of the jewelry industry will be rushing to catch up.
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