The Guide to Discovery Design for Jewelry Brands

For jewelry brands and retailers that want to build more engaging and conversion-oriented online user experiences, Discovery Design has emerged as a key strategy.

Since the onset of the pandemic, eCommerce has been dominating retail. For jewelry brands and retailers in particular, this presents both opportunities and challenges.

On one hand, you can display more of your inventory and offer personalized recommendations for far more shoppers than you could in stores. On the other, jewelry shoppers are tough customers. They’re often looking for a single special piece, have a set budget in mind, and need a high degree of trust to purchase, especially online. 

Attracting jewelry shoppers, introducing them to the right products, and converting them requires a dynamic and individualized user experience that caters to each shoppers’ unique needs and fosters enough confidence to buy fine jewelry without seeing it in person. 

As jewelry brands and retailers work on improving their online offerings, a new approach to eCommerce user experience has emerged with the solution: Discovery Design.

Product discovery for jewelry: A man asks a woman to marry him with a ring pictured inside a smartphone

What is Discovery Design?

As a quick recap for those who missed our series on the topic, Discovery Design is a new way of tackling eCommerce UX that prioritizes delightful and intuitive product discovery for shoppers. 

For jewelry brands and retailers that want to build more engaging and conversion-oriented online user experiences, Discovery Design has emerged as a key strategy. 

With a robust Discovery Design strategy, you can overcome many of the challenges facing jewelry brands that sell online by creating individualized customer journeys that lead all types of shoppers to the most relevant and compelling pieces for them. 

With a robust Discovery Design strategy, every aspect of the customer experience — including your menu, web navigation, merchandising strategy, site search, and more — is built with the goal of exposing shoppers to the right products at the right time.

4 Ways Jewelry Brands and Retailers Can Practice Discovery Design

Here are our top tips for jewelry brands and retailers on how to create tailored shopping experiences for all types of customers:

1. Support mission-driven shoppers with highly accurate on-site search

For most people, fine jewelry is not a frequent purchase. That means that when a shopper is motivated to buy, capturing that motivation and connecting them to the right products as seamlessly and delightfully as possible is essential. 

Many of these goal-oriented shoppers will look for the items they want using on-site search, so it’s vital to provide highly accurate text search results.

Imagine a shopper types in “light gold ring with blue stone,” and no search results appear. The screen prompts the shopper to try rephrasing his search, but he doesn’t know how, so he just leaves your site. Perhaps you do in fact have a white gold ring with a sapphire gemstone in your inventory, but because the shopper used the “wrong” terminology, he didn’t see the relevant results.  

An effective way to provide a better text search experience and avoid leaving money on the table is by implementing tools that ensure shoppers see the results they are looking for, even if they lack the right terminology. And since the world of jewelry has an entire language of its own, that capability is critical. 

Technologies like Augmented Search help you achieve this by replacing the conventional (and outdated) text search architecture, which often produces inaccurate and irrelevant results. Instead, Augmented Search combines visual AI and natural language processing (NLP) to automatically enrich product tags and accurately decipher shoppers’ context and intent. 

For the user, this creates a frontend experience where, regardless of typos, inexact word choice, or word order, they will be presented with hyper-relevant, high-converting results. 

Provide multiple search options

Another important way to keep mission-driven shoppers on track is to provide additional ways to search. Many shoppers prefer the convenience and accuracy of visual search over text search, especially in an aspirational vertical like jewelry, where the jargon is complex and detailed. 

By offering visual search, shoppers can simply upload an image — say, a rose gold and white sapphire engagement ring — and the visual AI engine running the system will analyze, interpret, and display the right results within seconds. Shoppers can use any type of image to search, whether it’s from social media, your website, or a photo they snapped themselves, and see every visually similar item in your inventory. 

Kay's visual search page is an example of Discovery Design for jewelry

To maximize effectiveness, your visual search icon should appear within your site search bar, ideally with a tooltip or even a dedicated landing page explaining how it works. This way, shoppers understand they have the option to search with an image from the get-go. 

According to our data, jewelry shoppers who engage with on-site visual product discovery technologies convert at a rate much as 689.6% higher and have an average order value 9.3% higher than shoppers who do not use the tools.

2. Strengthen your product tagging infrastructure

Robust product tags are essential to Discovery Design because they create the foundation for on-site search and merchandising strategy. If your tags are not comprehensive or lack standardization and objectivity, it will be difficult to facilitate effective product discovery and make sure each shopper sees the right products at the right time. 

For example, if some of your earrings are tagged as “huggies” and others are only tagged as “hoops,” some of your inventory will be left out of relevant search results, product recommendations, promotions, and collections. 

By adopting an automated and scalable approach to creating product tags and descriptions, you will more easily manage your SKUs and ensure the right items are included in your merchandising activities. 

You will also be positioned to offer more effective personalization, which is a key pillar of product discovery. Accurate tags that include granular visual attributes enable you to offer hyper-relevant search results and product recommendations that hit the mark.

3. Promote collections that resonate most with each shopper

Jewelry brands often feature numerous collections on their websites and apps, but don’t always promote them in personalized ways. Instead of automatically featuring collections that are most recent or in-season throughout your home page and category pages, you can promote the collection that is most relevant to each shopper’s needs. 

For example, the shopper who has been searching for a diamond engagement ring on your site would be more compelled to click through your “Eternal Love” collection than they would your “Mother’s Day” collection, even if it is May. 

With personalization tools that can decipher shoppers’ current contexts and goals — not just the categories of products they interact with — you can showcase the collections that resonate most. 

Good website navigation is integral to any online user experience. But for jewelry brands and retailers, where shoppers are often gift and occasion shopping, making sure they have alternate ways to easily navigate your site is crucial to keeping them engaged and happy.

Websites with menus that are hard to decipher or rely on unclear jewelry jargon will drive shoppers to give up before they find what they’re looking for.

Jewelry collections on H Samuel's website

4. Provide continuous inspiration at every touchpoint

Since jewelry shopping is so visually driven, Discovery Design on a jewelry website should rely heavily on inspiration — however, these goal-oriented shoppers tend to have two critical criteria:

  1. The visual inspiration shouldn’t veer too far off from the item they had in mind (think: similar products or matching products) 
  2. The items you recommend shouldn’t stray too far out of the price range of the items they’ve viewed, since jewelry tends to be a planned purchase, including the budget. 

One way to achieve these visual product discovery journies is by providing on-point, personalized product recommendations. Based on a shopper’s actions (including how they navigate your site, which categories/collections they interact with, and what kinds of filters they apply) as well as the visual attributes of the products they click on, you can gain a clear idea of their taste, style, and current context. 

With this information, you can provide hyper-relevant product recommendations on PLPs that encourage shoppers to add items to their cart as well as offer alternate items on PDPs to help them zero in on the perfect piece.

The Discovery Button an a necklace PDP

Another great way to help shoppers discover items similar to the ones they’re after is by making product images clickable, and upon clicking through, showcasing all similar items you have in stock. This allows for targeted browsing that shows shoppers you understand their needs and can be trusted with their important purchase.

Transform Your UX With Discovery Design for Jewelry

By incorporating these Discovery Design tips into your user experience, you will create highly resonant, engaging, and enjoyable customer experiences that cater to all kinds of shoppers — regardless of their original intent or preferred method of discovering new products. 

Jewelry brands face additional hurdles in converting shoppers online. While on one hand, they need to connect motivated shoppers to the desired items as straightforwardly as possible, they also need to create inspiring experiences that speak to each shopper’s vision.

But by adopting an approach that integrates product discovery into every touchpoint of the customer journey, you can expose shoppers to the items that are just right.