This entrepreneur radically changed the way to buy jewelry
Madeline Fraser decided to undertake by creating an online jewelry store where you can create and try on before you buy, Gemist
With the global jewelry market projected to reach $340 billion by 2025, 18% to 21% of these sales are expected to be online. The rise of online shopping for this product is largely due to the shift in consumer behavior led by millennials and Gen Z specifically for engagement rings.
But the biggest hurdle the industry faces is actually delivering what the customer wants without them seeing or picking up the products by hand, causing return rates to be higher than average. Gemist aims to make the process simpler, whether you’re shopping for an engagement ring or designer earrings by creating the “try it” button.
B.CEO and founder of Gemist, Madeline Fraser, decided to undertake out of her frustration when she unsuccessfully searched for a personalized engagement ring. “Before I started, I was looking for my engagement ring, but I wanted something personalized. As a digital consumer and start-up founder, shopping online was my first instinct. When I realized this wasn’t happening at the jewelry store, I knew I had to dive in. The opportunity was too big to pass up,” Fraser explained.
Adding proof to the experience of shopping for personalized jewelry online has been a key differentiator for Gemist. The customer can design and customize their piece and then receive a box to try on and decide what to buy.. “We were the first to lead this type of experience with one important thing in mind: ensuring that the consumer is able to design the pieces they are going to buy,” Fraser shared. “By adding design to the flow, we give the consumer the experience of taking something they really want, not just what is available. The combination of design and experimentation is our added value and is not available anywhere else.”
Fraser wants to play an important role in the jewelry industry’s shift to a digital focus with a fitting experience that can help fill that gap in the industry. “We know that 85% of today’s consumers expect personalization and 71% want to try before they buy. It’s common in other industries like fashion and eyewear, so it makes perfect sense when it comes to turning those experiences into jewelry. It took someone with a different perspective and experience (in my case, consumer technology) to start shifting the industry in a more digitally focused direction.”
This model has reduced its return rate to less than 2% versus 30.7% of the national industry average and has also achieved a 2.5x higher average order value when consumers engage in the tasting experience. One of Gemist’s biggest successes is helping newlyweds find the perfect ring. Today, 70% of couples today have designed their engagement rings together on some level rather than being a total surprise.
Often, the proposing partner brings their partner to help with design and customization, but continues the process alone with Gemist to keep some of the surprise around the story. Another unexpected trend that has emerged from the business model is a test proposal. By listening to its users, Gemist created the “Proposal Experience”, where the proposer asks for a box with three options, proposes with one, and then the couple manages to make their perfect ring together.
As for the future of Gemist, Fraser wants to continue to build a new kind of user experience through technology. Not just for consumers, but also for jewelry brands. “We will continue to expand our product offerings, launch exciting partnerships with designers to enable this unique functionality on their websites, and create even more advanced digital experiences.”