Merrick, NY—Want to sell more rings, especially fashion rings? It could be as easy as stocking a few more pieces in extended sizes.
As a jeweler, you know that people have a variety of finger shapes and sizes, and you probably have your better customers’ ring sizes on file so when you see something you think they’d like, you order it in their size to facilitate the sale even before they come in.
But what about new customers? As female self-purchase becomes a major part of every jeweler’s revenue, simply stocking extended sizes of rings, especially fashion rings, can help you sell more of them.
Currently ‘chubby fingers’ are having a moment that may affect how you advertise your business, stock your store and even make sales.
A recent article featuring Maxey Greene, self-described as a ‘size 18 model & plus size fashion expert,’ tells how her new manicure opened a door onto a discussion of rings and finger sizes. She loves rings but admitted she's often put off from buying them because they don't fit and she can't visualize how they would look at the right size.
“In tiny font in the corner of the image, I mentioned how I never see fingers that look like mine,” she said of the photo she put on her own Instagram feed. “About two seconds after posting it, a woman sent a photo reply of her chubby fingers and said ‘chubby hands for life!’ After that they just started pouring in.” She went on to tell readers to tag "size inclusive Jewelers."
So, what does becoming "size inclusive" or adding a focus on chubby fingers mean to your business? Think about why you order a ring in a customer’s size before you suggest she come see it: because if it fits when she tries it on, she’s likely to be more motivated to buy it.
Sure, there are work arounds: ‘Try it on your pinkie and see what you think.’ ‘Turn it sideways between two fingers to see if the stone is the right size for your hand.’ Or, ‘Once it’s sized if you don’t love it you don’t have to purchase it.’ Most jewelers have several go-to alternatives offered to put the customer at ease. But on some level, a too-small ring can make a woman feel bad about herself, whereas being able to see the ring as it’s supposed to look and not having to envision it, or come back later—adding time and inconvenience—removes another barrier to purchase.
Devon Alter Hartstein, of Alter’s Gem Jewelry in Beaumont, TX, says, “Our world is as beautiful and diverse as our jewelry, and it is for everyone. Everyone deserves something that makes them feel beautiful. And we have a diamond for that.”
It’s interesting that even expensive clothing is stocked differently and sold in many more sizes off-the-rack than fine jewelry. Of course, our industry does have many one-of-a-kind pieces, or perhaps your inventory won’t accommodate more than one style of ring at a time, so multiple sizes would not make sense for you—but whenever it can, it may pay off in increased sales in the category.
Charlie Hand of Hands Jewelers, Iowa City, IA agrees. Hands Jewelers is already ahead in the multiple ring sizes inventory area. “As of two years ago, we started ordering both gents’ and ladies’ ring sizes in a variety instead of the standard ‘stock’ size. We noticed there were some rings that people could not even get on, and we thought, ‘why do we have all the same size?’ We now stock ladies’ rings in size 6 - 8 (with the majority in the 6.5-7.5 range).”
“We usually counsel people on the most flattering shape for their fingers. We pattern the selection to their description of her fingers. That’s why you need a professional to guide you instead of a search engine!” says Susan Eisen of Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry, El Paso, TX.
Charlie Hand likes how the chubby fingers moment is happening. Amid all the undesirable things that social media brings, like cyberbullying, misinformation, and fat-shaming, movements like this are, in his words, “awesome, inspiring, and uplifting.”
“We certainly make a point to not discriminate whose hand we use when showing rings on our social media as we do our own photography, but I’m now even more aware of how we can do more to help show a diverse set of hands and even more so lifestyles,” he says.
Alter’s Devon Hartstein agrees. “Showing models/customers/team members of different colors, sizes, shapes, genders, religions, et cetera, promotes a healthy, inclusive brand message that is true to our brand's core. Everyone is welcome.”
So what can you do to include – and market to – those with chubby fingers in your business and possibly increase sales?
Broadening the definition of stock sizes can help you increase your customer base and, in turn, help your bottom line.