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3 Engagement Ring Trends to Watch in 2023 [+ How to Drive the Buying Journey]

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We’re in the middle of engagement season, and wedding bells are ringing. Despite a record-breaking 2022, more couples are expected to get engaged in 2023. 

But as wedding trends continue to evolve, so does the design of engagement rings and how customers purchase them. 

In this piece, we’ll dive into the top three engagement ring trends for 2023. We’ll also explore how retailers can drive the buying journey for the digital-first consumer. 

The State of the Wedding Industry

The last three years have been turbulent for the wedding industry. Approximately 50% of couples in 2020 postponed their ceremonies. As a result, 2021 and 2022 saw a surge in celebrations. The number of weddings last year was the highest since 1984. 

And the wedding boom is not expected to slow down. IBISWorld predicts the wedding market will hit $62.1 billion in 2023 

At the same time, the industry is grappling with record-high inflation and world conflicts. In March 2022, the price of a small diamond jumped 20% as many companies pledged not to source diamonds from Russia.

With higher prices and increased demand, the way couples plan and execute their weddings is changing. Many couples are delaying wedding planning or opting for smaller or non-traditional celebrations.

Three Engagement Ring Trends for 2023

For jewelers, evolving wedding trends are transforming the engagement ring buying process. Here are three engagement ring trends we expect to see in 2023.

1. The rise of non-traditional rings

With couples rejecting traditional wedding norms, alternative styles are becoming more popular.

Multiple stones

Many couples are opting for cluster settings or Toi Et Moi rings—where one stone is bigger than the other. “I think that the three stone, where it’s kind of past, present, future representation, is always going to be a timeless style,” Anna P. Jay, a private jeweler, told Insider in January. 

Colorful and chunky

Colorful and bold engagement rings are also growing in popularity. Jillian Sassone, Founder and Creative Director of Marrow Fine, reported that “metal-heavy chunky settings” were the most requested ring style in 2022. 

“I don’t see that slowing down. If anything, our brides and grooms are doubling down on that by adding cigar bands and other statement-making wedding bands to their bridal sets,” Sassone recently told Refinery29.

Vintage rings

With the rise of sustainable and responsible consumerism, vintage rings are an opportunity to upcycle high-quality pieces. Vintage rings also give couples a unique story to tell.

“There is this romantic beauty to [vintage jewelry] that is hard to replicate today,” Sue Hopeman, VP of Merchandising at Robbins Brothers, told Brides.com last year. “Each piece comes from another era with its own story to tell, especially with the thought of [whom] that ring was made for and who last wore it. What’s more magical than that?”

2. Growing demand for lab-grown diamonds

Over the last few years, lab-grown diamonds have skyrocketed. In 2021, approximately one in four engagement rings featured an artificial stone. 

A lab-grown diamond has the same composition and appearance as a natural diamond but is less expensive. Last year, analyst Edahn Golan told CNN that lab-grown diamonds are “susbstantially less—as much as 73%—cheaper than a natural diamond of the same size, cut and clarity as the man-made diamond.”

At the same time, lab-grown diamonds also address consumer concerns about human rights and the environment. A 2014 study by Frost & Sullivan found that lab-grown diamonds produce less waste, use less water and consume less energy per carat than mined diamonds. 

Although the study is old, it demonstrates the potential environmental benefits of lab-grown diamonds. With lab-grown diamonds, couples can save money and practice responsible consumption.

3. A push for greater personalization

According to The Knot 2021 Jewelry and Engagement study, the aftermath of the pandemic drove a “renewed excitement surrounding proposals [increased] interest in highly personalized engagement rings.” 

For Shelley Brown—Senior Fashion and Beauty Editor at The Knot— the push for personalization was not surprising. Brown commented in the study that the trend speaks to “couples’ increasing desire to invest in wedding traditions that represent their specific love story and personal taste.” 

In 2023 shoppers will continue to look for more ways to add meaningful touches to their engagement rings. This includes shopping for rings together, designing custom rings and adding engraving.

How Retailers can Drive the Engagement Ring Buying Journey 

Evolving wedding trends and traditions are also changing how shoppers buy engagement rings. For jewelers, engaging younger shoppers will be crucial to growth. 

Here are three ways retailers can support the engagement ring-buying journey.

Demystify the diamond industry 

As consumers push for more sustainable and responsible consumerism, transparency is essential. A 2021 report by Tracemark found that 94% of consumers believe jewelry brands should be more transparent about the origin of their raw materials. And 77.5% would pay more for a traceable product. 

Last year, Brilliant Earth became the first retailer to offer blockchain diamonds to the general public. Shoppers can trace a diamond’s journey and be confident in its “ethical origins.” 

But demystifying the diamond industry can also be as simple as consumer education. The Clear Cut uses its blog and YouTube channel—The Clear Cut Classroom—to make the engagement ring buying experience as transparent and stress-free as possible. 

Engage the omnichannel customer 

Before the pandemic, engagement ring sales took place primarily in stores. In 2015, only 14% of diamond jewelry sales in the United States took place online. 

When retailers shut their doors in 2020, the industry quickly adapted. And as retailers moved online, consumers became more comfortable with higher-ticket digital purchases. In 2021, online diamond sales made up 25% of all diamond sales in the U.S. 

But while jewelry shoppers still prefer stores, they will likely start their journey online. For retailers meeting the needs of the omnichannel consumer is essential. Today, consumers desire a seamless experience across channels. 

Here are a few ways retailers are engaging the digital-first shopper

  • Brilliant Earth uses its virtual try-on and Find my Matching Wedding Ring tools to encourage shoppers to engage online. 
  • VRAI offers virtual and in-person appointments, offering participating customers a $100 credit. 
  • Blue Nile makes it easy to build a custom engagement ring online. 

The importance of social media and influencer marketing 

With their visual nature, social platforms are an excellent medium for inspiring, educating and engaging customers. With social media, jeweler retailers can share personal stories behind their pieces. 

But authenticity is critical. Christina Najjar—known online as Tinx—appeared on The Clear Cut’s podcast in February 2020. Najjar shared that she wanted to buy an item from the brand’s tennis collection when she reached her financial goals. 

In 2022, Tinx bought a $4,295 tennis necklace and shared her purchase with over her 500,000 followers. Since the purchase represented a significant milestone, her followers were captivated. The Clear Cut saw an 894% growth in the tennis collection. 

Olivia Landau, Founder and CEO of The Clear Cut, shares behind the scenes of building the company on TikTok. Landau also asks for questions and records personalized responses, which shoppers can find on the company’s website.

Enhance the Engagement Ring Buying Experience with Salesfloor

2023 will be another record-breaking year for the engagement ring industry. But today’s shoppers are digital-first and expect more opportunities for education and personalization. 

Salesfloor is a customer engagement platform that unifies virtual shopping, clienteling and AI-assisted selling. Designed with jewelers in mind, Salesfloor helps retailers elevate the jewelry shopping experience online and offline. 

Book a demo today to see how retailers leverage the Salesfloor platform to transform the engagement ring buying experience.

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