Diamond Industry Digital Switch: Changing landscape after the pandemic

Posted by Hari Krishna

June 15, 2021

You may believe it or not, in the future, these pandemic years and lockdowns will mark the moment when the whole world made the decisive digital shift in many aspects of people’s day-to-day lives.


E-commerce has seen a massive rush in COVID-19 times, leaving no industry untouched, including the diamond industry.


Traditionally, the diamond industry has thrived upon face-to-face networking. But from the last decade, businesses in the industry are putting their resources into developing their digital space.


However, the industry has witnessed a vast acceleration in going digital during the recovery from the initial impact of COVID-19.


Although this will not be a rapid transition for the diamond industry, the COVID-19 outbreak is not going any time soon.


So, till then, digital marketing and digital sales will drive the growth of the business across the industry.


But before focusing on the digital trends the industry might witness in the future, it is crucial to focus and analyze what it has seen in the pandemic times.


So without further ado, let us take you to the digital journey of the diamond industry in the COVID-19 outbreak.

Has the COVID-19 outbreak been rough for diamonds?

Yes, to some extent, the outbreak was rough for the industry.


The cancellation of various trade shows, the ban on international travels, curbed shipping activities, and restrictive local business due to lockdowns initially brought the industry to a standstill.


But it left no other option for the business along the entire diamond pipeline but to adopt digital solutions, including rough miners, diamond manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.


Whether in-house team meetings or business trips, all went virtual. People not only started working remotely but started buying things online, including diamonds.


Though crippled initially, the global diamond trade has not spent much time in the doldrums due to the pandemic. It started booming again.


The reason was international travel restrictions. The travel industry has always been an influential competition for the diamond industry in terms of luxury spendings.


But this year, the travel and vacations were on hold due to the pandemic, so people chose diamond & diamond jewelry purchases for their luxury spendings.


Since in-person diamond purchase could not be possible, the businesses in the diamond supply chain had adopted digital trading platforms.


You might be surprised to know that online diamond sales have increased by about 20% from pre-pandemic levels through modern tech solutions.


While many of these digital solutions were already in place in the diamond industry, the COVID-19 outbreak has only accelerated them further. Let us see how:

How has the pandemic accelerated the diamond industry’s digital shift?

As stated, the diamond industry is not a stranger to digital procurement.


Within the traditional model, many B2B wholesalers have listed their inventory of diamonds online. But the transaction was continued through phone calls, emails, paper check payments, etc.


But this initial phase of digitization has left gaps creating the same kinds of inefficiencies in place. But then came e-commerce in the industry.


The diamond B2B e-commerce model has then secured relatively high penetration in the digital space to display their inventory.


And what? The digital growth of the diamond industry was fueled by e-commerce in a way that it became the third-largest luxury market after China and the USA, according to a McKinsey report.


Though the digital market was strong, it had presented some challenges for the businesses like product credibility.


Businesses then started offering attractive features like 360-degree videos, X-ray pictures, product certificates, etc., to view and feel the piece online before making a purchase.


This innovation and personalization in online diamond sales became the silver lining during the pandemic when physical stores were closed. It also saved the industry from the dramatic drop in business.


Amid a global COVID-19 pandemic, when in-person business or trading was not possible, the need for digital tech-based solutions has become crystal clear, and they saw a massive uptick in use.


For example, many renowned diamond miners, including Alrosa, have introduced online auctions and other digital means to stimulate rough diamond sales.


Also, many amongst them have started working with Sarine technologies so the buyers can remotely view the rough diamond before making a bid.


The diamond manufacturers, exporters, and jewelry retailers have incorporated and promoted online trading platforms as an effective outlet for doing their business.


Various international trade shows, including JCK, went completely virtual in 2020 and going ahead with the same or a hybrid model (using both physical and online space) for future shows in 2021.


However, there is still plenty of room to use modern technology like Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning to create a more effective and efficient supply chain.

The way forward

While we are already dealing ruthlessly with the pandemic, experts still believe that it might not go back any time soon.


Hence, going digital may become a compulsion (not a luxury) for businesses across the diamond supply chain soon.


Though online diamond trading continues to sparkle, even in the pandemic, it will never be without challenges as it goes beyond the electronification of trade, documents, or the streamlining of processes.


What is unique about diamond space is that businesses have to drive values through digitization to customers.


For diamond buyers, it is imperative that suppliers maintain the authenticity of the products, like compliance with international standards & laws, and give them a chance to verify it by themselves, just the way they would do in person.


Apart from this, the evolution of digitization in the B2B diamond supply chain has a significant impact in terms of new opportunities and competitiveness on small and independent B2C retailers.


So, in the coming future, all the eyes will be on


how this digital procurement in the diamond industry will level the floor between the B2B & B2C players, and


how they would improve customer experience to maintain the supply chain trust through innovation in a digital environment.


Although the future holds much uncertainty, one thing is for sure to come as an outcome, and that is the radically changed landscape of the diamond industry!


While you are already here, why not go, explore our latest inventory of sparkling diamonds only on HK.CO.


HK.CO – the fastest diamond buying app, delivers a complete e-commerce experience to make your online diamond purchase easier and proves itself the best place to buy diamonds online.


Click Here to know the advanced features that HK.CO app offers to make your diamond search smart and easy!


Also, to add more convenience to the customer experience from HK, we have made our diamond inventory available on WhatsApp on the number – +91 91430 04300.


Click Here to know how to buy HK diamonds through our advanced WhatsApp store!


HK is always known for bringing digital advancement to the diamond manufacturing process and also in diamond trading, such as providing Virtual Visits to our state-of-art diamond manufacturing facility.


Click Here to take the virtual visit to HK HUB – our hi-tech diamond manufacturing unit.


Whether incorporating the latest technology and advanced equipment into its factories or developing the cross-platform app, HK has always proven itself ahead in adopting digital tools in the diamond industry.


Get an exquisite diamond buying experience in HK.CO by yourself!


More Blogs