Popular Engagement Ring Styles on BlueNile.com

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Posted on Aug 2, 2020

 

Introduction

Blue Nile is the leading online retailer of certified diamonds, engagement rings and fine jewelry. It claims to be the first and largest companies that sells diamonds and engagement rings online. The goal of this research is to find out the popular engagement ring styles on BlueNile.com, and identify the design elements that customers favor. Moreover, this research also hope to find out how people’s preference change over time.

 

Data

The data was collected by Selenium. It includes 530 currently available engagement styles on BlueNile.com, as well as all the customer reviews with each item. The original scraped data frame includes 13 features, 4 more columns are created during data manipulation process. After data cleaning, 12826 rows of date are kept for all analysis.

    

Assumptions

  1. The reviews are fair representation of selling.
  2. The reviews are genuine and valid resources to reflect customers' true opinion on the product.

The second assumption might be less accurate since engagement rings are expensive purchase, so it is less likely to see negative reviews when customers would rather return the purchase than complain about it. However, this analysis only focus on what customers like about certain features, so lacking negative reviews won’t cause serious problem this time.

 

Results

By combining the data of all gold type variations for each unique styles, 10 top bestsellers are picked out by the highest total reviews number.

The first two features we investigate are the gold type and gold color of the engagement ring bands. For gold type, just over 40% people choose platinum as the metal of their engagement ring. The second place goes to 14K, with around 30% people choosing it. For gold colors, white gold color is the absolute no.1 choice for Blue Nile’s customers, with over 80% of people choosing that as their engagement ring style.

However, when we plot out the gold type and gold color proportion for all the unique ring styles available on BlueNile.com, an inconsistent shows up as the most common gold type is 14K gold rather than platinum. Why does this happen? We would like to keep it in mind and solve it later in the following analysis.

The third feature we are interested in is the side stone weight of the engagement ring styles. It refer to the total carat of small size diamonds set on the engagement ring bands. The result reveals that customers are actually not fond of the side stone setting, over 80% of people choose designs with 0 carat diamond on the side.

The last feature is the price range. It turns out that people on average only spend $1020 on their engagement ring. Among the best sellers, the average price is even lowered to $629. With a wide price range up to $12500 on the website, apparently Blue Nile’s customers favor lower price point styles.

 

Change Over Time

Now we have a basic understanding of customer’s favorite elements of an engagement ring. But have their choice change over time? To answer this question, we split the data into 3 subsets based on time period for further analysis. The 3 time period are divided as follow: 1) 2009/4 to 2012/12; 2) 2013/1 to 2017/12; 3) 2018/1 to 2020/7.

Then we look at our features again. For gold color, white gold color stays at the top from the beginning to the end. Even though it gives away 15% share to yellow gold and rose gold in the last 7 years, it still take up 80% of the customers’ purchase.

A more evident change in customer’s preference appear in the gold type feature. Early in 2009-2012 period, Blue Nile’s customers favored Platinum rings and over 50% sold styles were made of that metal. However, the share of Platinum keeps decreasing while 14K became the main steam of the market in 2013-2017. Currently, over 50% of sold engagement rings are made in 14K gold instead. It explains the inconsistent of gold type proportion we observed earlier among the website options versus the all-time top 10 best sellers.

 

A similar pattern shows up again in the side stone weight attribute. In general, customers still favor engagement band with minimum side stones setting. However, people who choose no diamond styles are decreasing from 90% to just over 50% now. More people are considering engagement ring with small diamonds set on the band, and this explains why Blue Nile put so many designs of various diamond side stone options on the website.

The average price for engagement rings also increased due to the change of preference, in period 2018-2020 the average spending reaches near $1000.

 

During COVID-19

An interest finding outside the major research goal is that people didn’t stop buying engagement rings during the Pandemic situation. Customers on average left 8.58 reviews per day during the COVID lock down (after March, 2020), when comparing to 8.45 reviews per day before the pandemic, it turns out that the two number shows no significant difference.

 

Conclusion

Finishing this analysis, we have a good understanding of the popular elements of an engagement ring among Blue Nile’s customer:

  1. White gold color
  2. 14K gold
  3. No diamonds or minimum side stone setting
  4. Average price at $1000

The engagement ring collections on the website follows the trend in purchasing in general. There are more selections for 14K and white gold. However, the website provide a wide selections of designs with more than 0.3 carat side stone setting, which is actually not top choices of customer. Those styles may bring the company more profit than no diamond bands, so they want to ensure there are enough options, and encourage people buying those styles.

 

Next Step

The style name of an engagement ring actually includes many information about the design itself. Keywords such as “pave’, ‘solitaire’ and ‘six-prong’ are telling us how the ring actually look like. In that case, it worth a NLP analysis on the style name, so we can pick out those frequent keywords and deepen the understanding.

 

About Author

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Chun Tao

M.S of Education from University of Pennsylvania
View all posts by Chun Tao >

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