Sadly, the past 24 months have been a blur. The highs are that the jewellery industry has done very well and there has been an up-surge in sales. However, there has been a serious increase in the price of large quality goods, 2ct and over. This is due to the lack of supply in the market. What is particularly interesting, is that even though we’ve seen a huge up-surge in lab grown diamonds, it hasn’t detracted from the sale of natural diamonds, so the question is has this section of the market expanded, or have lab grown diamonds taken 10% of the natural diamond sales, but we just didn’t feel it because both grew?
Will 2022 keep the changes of lockdown or will we return to old habits?
I think that with the introduction of omicron, travel still hasn’t opened up and we will all be cautious about travel for some time to come. There is no doubt that online tools such as Zoom, Microsoft teams, and Whatsapp will continue to grow. The one thing we should never forget is the value and strength of the relationships. We just need to be more aware that there are many ways that they can be communicated outside the traditional face to face. The real question is “When travel opens will the local spending stop, especially on jewellery, as we all hunger for the travel experiences?”
What is ahead for Q Report?
The insurance industry has endured an enormous disruption this year, due to compliance. Change like this are always challenging but the upside has been that we have gained a deeper understanding about what our retailers really need from us, and it’s helped us to understand how we can deliver it to them. We will be introducing some exciting new tools this year – stay tuned! We have the largest insurer in the world of fine arts and valuables behind us, with Chubb insurance, so when you add our track record and plans for expansion, we know that we can achieve our goals.
What are the big challenges coming out of lockdown?
When they said this is your new normal, they weren’t lying, things will never be as they were ever again. There will be many challenges ahead, there may be cycles of people getting sick, we may endure lockdowns, but our businesses need to be flexible to all change. We must develop an attitude of rolling with the punches and strive to find new and diverse ways to provide our customers with outstanding product and exceed all their expectations when it comes to customer experience. We must keep moving forwards no matter what the circumstances are. I believe that keeping our team connected and motivated is the biggest challenge, and that is for each business to work out what ingredients they need to create the right mix. We have all had two years to integrate a website that sells product – if you haven’t done so by now, you are living in the dark ages and should be thinking about retirement. Some jewellers will find this statement too confronting and say “I do what I do” and that’s fine, but you have to understand you are being left behind. If my mother-in-law, who is 83, is doing all her shopping online, what do you think are the expectations of a 18-25 year old when they shop?
What will you be doing differently in 2022 to drive your business forward?
I think that our achievement of 1000 x 5 star Google reviews tells you where OUR focus has been and where it will remain. Everything starts with our customer. We want to deliver a service that exceeds all expectations, we have developed a claims methodology that ensures the jeweller and the policy holder is looked after in a fast and professional manner, we want everyone’s experience with Q Report to be easy and stress free. It’s about delivering on the promise.
What is your company doing to adjust to the changing demographic of retailers and jewellers?
This is about communication and about sharing knowledge with the next generation. Through my own interactions with the Young Diamantaires – a group of almost 500 diamond industry members from all around the world – I have seen that we can learn from the next generation and they can learn from us. As a group, we are helping to build a bridge for the next generation to take leadership roles within this Industry – it’s an exciting time.
What areas of the industry do you think need assistance and support?
I think that technology and how to utilise it is still a major area that our industry needs support. The Australian Jewellery Association has done a good job in the areas of compliance and training however, more needs to be done in the space of analytics and understanding data in one’s business. Jewellers need training and skills on how to extract the information and how to use it. Retailers are shy to ask but we all need to speak about this area of ongoing education and understanding the tools to build sustainable businesses and cope with the unknown, such as Covid. What we have all experienced is like being in a war. Imagine the impact this has had on a ten year old child who has had their world turned upside down for the last two years. Now ask yourself how you can protect your business when something like this happens again.