February 9, 2021
Jewelry making is a respected artisanal craft. Nevertheless, the traditional way of designing and creating custom jewelry is demanding for both jeweler and customer.
Even though a custom piece of jewelry unique to you sounds very interesting, several aspects withhold consumers from investing. They think of it as a slow and intricate process with a surprising price tag in the end. For a jewelry designer, there are also difficulties in play. Artisanal, handcrafted custom-made jewelry requires extensive training and expertise, a considerable amount of time, and the process is prone to expensive errors. Additive manufacturing offers the solution.
New digital store experiences
Renowned jewelry brands with stores worldwide are also looking for new (digital) experiences to offer their customer base. Before, customers prominently bought exclusive products such as jewelry pieces based on their preferences in-store. Now, e-commerce has made its name for high-value products. Improving the digital store experience is a priority for brands, even for those with an established presence in the world’s luxury shopping streets.
With the technological advancements in digital mass customization software and 3D printing, jewelry designers can combine traditional with digital techniques—both during production and customer touchpoints.
Custom design process automation
With the progress in digital tools such as online customization platforms, jewelers can offer personalized designs. They add value to their luxury products by providing a unique customer experience in the form of customization. The configurator can be integrated into their website or application and match their branding seamlessly.
When visiting a jeweler’s web-based configurator, customers can design jewelry pieces in the comfort of their own homes with just a few clicks. The customizer displays the changes made during the customer’s design process and lets them interact with the product. The final result is immediately visible to the customer. In other words, what you see is what you get.
Gregson & Buck: adding value through an interactive customer experience
Gregson & Buck is a men’s jewelry brand that focuses solely on customization. They design products that express the end-users’ personality. Assisted by the Twikit technology, they offer luxury custom groom cufflinks that can be personalized entirely using the configurator embedded into their website.
As you can see in the demonstration above, the customer can adjust font, characters, material and choose the engraving. If they wish, the two cufflinks can also have different monograms and engravings. It is details like these that improve the customer experience and add value to the brand.
Other significant configurator features that are valuable for the customer experience:
- While designing the cufflinks to match your style, a dynamic price is visible and adjusts to every change made to the design
- You can choose between previewing the custom groom cufflinks in a 3D view mode or on a dress shirt
- The 3D view mode shows the cufflinks in high-quality 3D with physic-based shading
3D printing in jewelry customization
The digital customization platform automates the design process. On the back-end, software can automate production too. The configurator systematically sends production files based on orders to manufacturing.
The leading 3D printing technologies in jewelry customization are lost wax casting and metal printing. Both methods significantly decrease production time for custom-made jewelry. The time savings enable scalability and on-demand production.
- Lost wax casting is a 3D printing technology where the original pattern is 3D printed instead of hand-carved. Based on the wax pattern, a mold is created.
- Metal printing combines the flexibility of 3D printing with the physical properties of metals.
Mixing traditional with digital techniques
Taking advantage of technology and switching to a digital business model has never been more straightforward and accompanied by many benefits. Custom-made jewelry requires less expertise, is time-efficient, and less prone to errors. For customers, it does not require patience anymore and several steps of revising the design. The configurator shows them the final product that they have created themselves.
Introducing digital technologies to the art of jewelry making lowers the threshold for both designers and consumers. It provides product and market opportunities to independent jewelry makers and a solution for those who seek a personalized piece to commemorate a memorable moment in their lives.
If you are looking to innovate and offer a unique customer experience while saving yourself from the intricate process of designing custom jewelry the traditional way, we suggest you go digital.