Digging for Gold: Online Players Compete for Top Brands as Fine Jewelry Makes a Digital Leap

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LONDON — Fine jewelry is now one of the fastest-growing categories in e-commerce, and retailers have embarked on a race to establish themselves as leaders with exclusive products, brand partnerships and an array of editorial content. Earlier this year and within months of each other, Farfetch and Net-a-porter both debuted fine-jewelry hubs, dedicated selling spaces with educational content and editorial imagery. It’s not a surprising move given the category’s burgeoning popularity and the high return on investment. Unlike with fashion, the product is rarely, if ever, discounted. Consumers can scan the Internet as much as they want, but they won’t find those Cartier diamond earrings at a cut rate. “Jewelry is experiencing strong consumer demand, hence it’s an attractive category. Besides, it is almost entirely sold through monobrand retail, which makes price discipline high and ensures little discounts,” said Luca Solca, head of luxury goods at Exane BNP Paribas. Net-a-porter was one of the first e-tailers to convince its luxury consumers to buy their diamonds online after securing their trust in the ready-to-wear and accessories categories. One of its first major partnerships included a capsule fine jewelry range with Chanel, marking the first time the French house had sold any of its products

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