Annoushka Ducas, MBE, co-founded Links of London In 1990 with her husband, luxury entrepreneur John Ayton. A global luxury jewelry brand with 48 stores and more than $60m in turnover, Ducas and her husband sold the company to Folli Follie in 2006.
After selling Links of London, Annoushka dove straight back into the jewelry business, creating an eponymous line designed for the modern, independent woman who knows her own style. Since its launch in 2009, the brand has become a favorite of famous fans including Gigi Hadid, Rihanna, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The brand was created when Annoushka was looking for jewelry and couldn’t find anything that felt personal. Offering jewelry that Annoushka herself would like to wear, each piece is designed to be comfortable, versatile, and unfussy, yet also tell a story. Underlying all of it is a strong female voice that elegantly adapts to the lives of the increasing number of women buying jewelry for themselves.
Today Annoushka is flourishing, with boutiques in London and Hong Kong, as well as concessions found in Harvey Nichols and other iconic retailers around the world. The shopping experience Annoushka offers is just as renowned, extending a sense of informality to keep the process of buying jewelry light.
You won’t find guards in front of any of its doors and you don’t need to buzz to get in like many traditional jewelry stores. Instead, the experience is warm and welcoming with an enthusiastic team available to assist customers, encouraging more women to wear fine jewelry.
In 2018, Annoushka extended the personal experience of its brand and its stores to the online shopping experience for the first time.
“Jewelry is very difficult to explain, particularly on a static website. Hero enables us to take the reverence out of jewelry—off the page and onto a real person.”
Making a Formal Category Informal
“Jewelry is very difficult to explain, particularly on a static website. Hero enables us to take the reverence out of jewelry—off the page and onto a real person,” explains Annoushka Ducas, Founder, Annoushka.
With Hero, in-store jewelry experts can connect with online clients through text, chat, and video call, sharing photos and videos that bring collections to life. Two-way video call empowers store teams to assist online shoppers in real time, highlighting new pieces and sharing personalized recommendations just like they would in real life.
“If you’re unable to get into the physical store, Hero is the absolute perfect way to show customers what a piece of jewelry looks like on the front, back, and inside,” continues Annoushka.
Since launching in 2018, conversations initiated through Hero have resulted in an average order value of $1,125, a remarkable figure given the challenge of finding the right piece of jewelry online.
Driving Online Customers into Boutiques and Boutique Customers Online
Many of Annoushka’s clients first browse online before visiting a boutique to complete the purchase—and vice versa. With Hero, in-store jewelry experts can help clients arrange a physical store visit at a time that suits them best.
“We’re delighted to see how many customers come in store after a conversation on Hero. Sometimes they come in to say ‘hi’ to the team member they spoke to and developed a relationship with,” comments Annoushka.
For clients that prefer to visit a boutique first and then complete their transaction online, built-in clienteling empowers store teams to foster relationships and keep the conversation going through text, email, and WhatsApp.