World Gold Council’s consumer survey highlights substantial opportunities for gold

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The World Gold Council launched its new consumer research report highlighting opportunities for gold for those working in both retail investment and jewellery markets. The significant piece of research, with an 18,000-strong sample, looks at a range of markets including China, India, North America, Germany and Russia, and highlights unique insights into attitudes towards and perceptions of gold; how and why people buy gold, and also their reasons for not buying.

The new piece of research reveals gold is a mainstream choice – the third most consistently bought investment. Almost 46% of global retail investors choose gold products, behind saving accounts (78%) and life insurance (54%).

Looking at jewellery, the survey reveals that 56% of consumers have bought fine gold jewellery, compared to 34% who have bought platinum jewellery.   

In addition, the new research reveals that more than a third (38%) of retail investors and fashion enthusiasts have never bought gold in the past but are warm to the idea. This shows a huge potential for the gold market to grow if untapped sources of demand can be converted.

People have confidence in – and are loyal to – gold. More than two-thirds (67%) of all retail investors believe that gold is a good safeguard against both inflation and currency fluctuations, and 61% trust gold more than fiat currencies. The industry should build on that confidence, while staying alert to areas where it is weaker.

Gold can resonate more deeply among younger consumers. Millennials’ attitudes towards gold are not so different to those of older generations. But there are perceptual misgivings among the younger Gen Z audience, misgivings which are particularly pronounced in China’s jewellery market.

Technological innovation can create a route to new audiences. We know there are some pioneering, tech-savvy players in the gold market. But our data suggests there are too few. Gold compares poorly to other retail investments and fashion items when looked at through the lens of digital distribution, marketing and communications. Global retail investors only buy 9% of gold coins and 6% of jewellery online, compared with 25% of gold-backed ETFs.

David Tait, Chief Executive Officer at the World Gold Council, commented: “Gold market can flourish if we can build trust across the broad spectrum of gold products being sold and raise awareness around the positive role gold can play in protecting people’s wealth.”

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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