Chinese Jewelers get advice on Internet Clients of the Future
12/08/2009

US Educator John Pollard asks Jewelers 'Are You Ready?' at Beijing's 2009 China International Jewelry Fair

Online PR News – 08-December-2009 – – Chinese jewelry professionals gathered to hear renowned educator and consultant John Pollard give Internet advice last month at the 2009 China International Jewelry Fair in Beijing. The opening-day presentation, given November 5, was titled "Your Clients of the Future and the Internet...Are You Ready?" and took place at the International Exhibition Centre as part of the International Gemological Institute (IGI) Seminar. Afterwards Mr. Pollard gave interviews on Beijing television and to Chinese media.

"Tomorrow’s consumers are wired into the Internet first and foremost" said Mr. Pollard. "Shoppers are developing expectations based on what they read and view online, prior to ever setting foot in a traditional shop. Traditional jewelers must adapt their presentations, policies and staff education to compensate for this reversal if they hope to remain competitive." Mr. Pollard gave examples of American stores doing this and suggested that others learn from their experiences, which amounts to becoming web-savvy yet remaining traditional. "Stop thinking like old jewelers" he advised, "and start thinking like new consumers."

The talk was first presented in May at Jewelry Shanghai as part of the International Gemological Institute's education series for the Chinese market. Said IGI chief executive Marc Brauner, "The way consumers are shopping is changing. Young people use the internet for every aspect of their lives, and these are your future clients." Mr. Brauner said traditional stores must now devise online strategies to match and surpass those deployed by web-based retail rivals. "IGI has brought in John from the US to share this very hot topic with the local retail industry and we are very pleased that this seminar was just as well received in Beijing."

Mr. Pollard says businesses across the globe must embrace the ever-expanding presence of the Internet. "You can fear and resist it or you can use its potential" he says. "It's your choice." A consultant for a broad range of businesses, Mr. Pollard penned a two-part article describing his travels in China, published in the November and December 2009 issues of IDEX Magazine. "The emerging statistics there are startling, and not just in the jewelry sector" Mr. Pollard says. "There is much we can learn from China and vice-versa."

Interest in the diamond engagement tradition has spurred rapid industry growth in China. They are currently the world’s largest consumer of platinum, the second largest consumer of diamonds and the third largest consumer of gold. DeBeers reported that diamond sales in mainland China grew by over 15 percent from October 2008 through the first quarter of 2009. Experts predict their jewelry industry should expect annual sales of 300 billion Yuan (39 billion USD) and exports of over 12 billion USD by 2020.

ABOUT JOHN POLLARD

John Pollard holds degrees from the Gemological Institute of America, Washington State University, Peninsula College and the Texas State Board of Education. Based in Dallas, he is the US Executive for "Crafted By Infinity" Diamonds and a consultant for a range of businesses in the US, Europe and Asia, specializing in staff training, marketing and strategic development. A two-time winner of the HEB Foundation’s Award of Excellence, Mr. Pollard has lectured for the American Gem Society (AGS) JCK workshops, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Alumni Association, International Gemological Institute (IGI) Seminars at Jewelry Shanghai, China International Jewelry Fair in Beijing, Polygon Conclaves and numerous university campuses in North America. He is published in IDEX Magazine, China Gems Magazine, the online Pricescope Journal and other trade periodicals.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL GEMOLOGICAL INSTITUTE (IGI)

Established in Antwerp, New York, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Bangkok, Tokyo, Dubai, Toronto, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv and Cavalese, IGI is the world's largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute and is renowned for its quality services, extensive experience and know-how. IGI, the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp, was founded in 1975 and along with its sister laboratories is one of the leading gemological institutions worldwide. Presently, a staff of just three has grown to over 700 professionals dedicated to a standard of excellence second to none. Today IGI issues more than 1 Million reports a year.

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