Statista claims that in 2018 the official retail sales amount from women’s bridge and fashion jewelry exceeded $16 billion in the United States. If you want to be on the crest of that wave, start a jewelry shop online. While putting together this article, we explored the brightest examples of jewelry e-stores, identified the benefits of starting an online jewellery business, and most importantly – considered the challenges you may face, followed by the best solutions to those challenges to provide you with knowledge on how to make a successful jewelry business online.
Giants in the E-commerce Jewelry Business
It’s not a secret that starting an online jewelry store can put millions of dollars into your pocket. Whether you are a retail jeweler, a handcrafted-jewelry designer, a bench jeweler, or a large jewelry manufacturer providing wholesale jewelry, if you’re starting a jewelry business, you have an excellent opportunity to profit in this sphere. So, let’s reflect on the business giants that have succeeded in the jewelry industry and receive worldwide recognition.
This Italian jeweler and luxury goods retailer is strongly associated with Hollywood, glamor, and wealth. Founded in 1884 by Sotirios Boulgaris, the company was known only in Italy. A century later, Bvlgari advanced its frontiers, opening shops in New York, Geneva, Monte Carlo, and Paris. Yet, only after the release of its own perfume line did the brand become known throughout the world. According to recent data, its revenue amounts to $1.2 trillion annually.
The main priorities of the company are top-quality jewelry, leather goods, accessories, and watches. Such stars as Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Elton John, Julia Roberts, Elizabeth Taylor, Monica Vitti, and Naomi Watts have taken a liking to Bvlgari, wearing luxurious necklaces and earrings to the Oscars, Cannes, the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.
Founded in 1893, Mikimoto is a world-renowned Japanese jewelry brand known for its exquisite jewelry. As the first company that began culturing pearls, Mikimoto is a leader in producing the finest quality artificial pearls and designing truly unique and delicate jewelry.
This Swiss luxury jewelry, watch, and accessories manufacturer is well known for designing pieces that showcase precious gems and metals. Jane Fonda, Kirsten Dunst, and Emily Blunt have all worn this premium quality jewelry on the Red Carpet. The company’s annual revenue is about $845 million.
How to Make Money Selling Jewelry Online
We know these giants in the jewelry industry have brick-and-mortar locations in addition to their online shops. So, what drives them to emphasize online jewelry business opportunities? The answer is that having an online presence allows these companies to significantly increase their profits. Let’s explore just what makes online jewelry stores so profitable.
- Cost. Running an e-store means you won’t have the overhead costs of rent or a mortgage for the premises. Further, you won’t have expensive salary expenditures because you will likely only require a few people to manage your online store. Learn more about the cost to develop an e-commerce store and make your choice!
- Customer benefits. With an online store, you can provide customers with cashback opportunities, gift cards, and coupons. They will help you increase sales at a low cost.
- Availability. Most online stores are available 24/7, which allows customers to make purchases any time they want. This is especially good for those of us who can never find the time to go shopping at a brick-and-mortar location and might otherwise be late in gift giving, etc.
- Customer service. You can integrate digital assistants such as chatbots and live chat to make your customers’ lives easier. Plus, it’s cheaper than paying employees.
- Inventory. With inventory extensions (e.g. ATUM or CSV Inventory Management), you can easily organize your shipments and sales, as well as track sales orders. These tools also allow your customers to see the availability of an item in real-time.
- Marketing. Resorting to digital marketing allows you to attract more people, thus your potential customer base can quickly grow.
- Variety of goods. Online stores are able to offer a wide range of goods at once, which optimizes the chances that a customer will find the jewelry they want and make a purchase at your e-store.
As you can see, launching an online jewelry store has several benefits. However, despite this fact, building brick-and-mortar jewelry shops is a common occurrence in the jewelry industry. Typically, it’s in response to some of the challenges that come from doing business as an online retailer. Let’s clarify these challenges and consider some solutions.
Challenges of Starting an Online Jewelry Business
According to research, in 2019 the revenue in the global jewelry market was $293 billion. The U.S. remains the “boss” in the jewelry industry, followed by the Asia Pacific and European markets. So, if the jewelry market appears to be so robust, why is the percentage of online jewelry customers so small? Let’s find out what the challenges that you might experience are while searching how to sell jewelry online successfully.
High return rates
Returns are a common occurrence in the world of online shopping. The reasons can range from the items being the wrong size, the gemstones lacking the expected clarity as compared to the photo, or simply, that the color doesn’t complement the new dress it was intended to. To recoup some of the costs, store owners often include high return fees, so a return of the goods comes at the customer’s expense. Thus, the owner not only loses money from the original sale, but potentially loses credibility and therefore, the customer, when it comes to future purchases. How do you avoid this headache?
Solution: Set clear return conditions so customers understand your policy upfront. To sell jewelry online from home and reduce the risks of the return, be sure to only make use of trustworthy shipping companies (e.g. United Parcel Service, FedEx, and DHL) that are well known for fraud prevention in goods delivery. If you’ve got a customer return, you can take positive steps such as offering favorable terms for exchanging the goods, and perhaps a discount for the second purchase or a one-off gift.
Must see before purchase
A frequent customer need is to explore all facets of a jewelry item before making their choice. For example, when considering rings, buyers can experience great difficulty in things like knowing their correct size or picturing the ring’s appearance on their finger. It may happen that a customer simply buys the “wrong” jewelry for whatever reason, returns it, and then goes to another shop instead of continuing with you. So, the question becomes how to sell jewelry online without disappointing customers or having to set up a brick-and-mortar location?
Solution: Add high-quality images, implement a video showcasing each of your items, or include a 360° view. You can even implement virtual try-on experience platforms, or “view size” options, where customers can see how the rings fit on different fingers.
This aspect has always been a cornerstone of the e-commerce industry in general. Some customers still have concerns about the security of their personal and payment information, and this makes them hesitant about making a purchase from an e-commerce store.
Solutions: Integration of reliable payment gateways such as PayPal, Authorize.net, and Stripe will provide secure transactions. These gateways possess a high degree of safe user experience. You can also use hosted gateways, where the SSL protocol has already been installed.
Cases of fraud are most commonly seen in the jewelry industry, as it constantly attracts swindlers and thieves. The main reason is the high price of the jewelry and its quality. Experts say that goods costing over $400 are 35% more likely to be fake. So, how can you avoid such trouble, or at the very least, minimize your risks and assure your credibility to your customers?
Solution: First, have gemologists authenticate the jewelry. They will inform you about any fraud, and help to produce proof that a returned product is indeed the original item. Additionally, it would be advisable for you to hire a qualified appraiser to evaluate your products. You must also include documented evidence, and certificates for all jewelry items, preferably in PDF.
Customers count on a tailor-made approach, so give them what they want! What do we mean? Personal invitations, tracking user activity to learn their preferences, and provide propositions for special days. But, how exactly do you build trust and achieve smooth relationships the best way between you and your customers?
Solution: The integration of CRM helps to improve user management so you’ll never forget about your customers. With the Gift Card extension, you are additionally able to manage gift card service with a no-hassle customer experience. Plus, the “track your order” service enhances your credibility to your customers and makes the shipping process less stressful for them.
When people go to physical stores, they aren’t always exactly sure about what they’re looking for. Maybe it is a silver facet ring. Or, perhaps, they want thread gold earrings with rubies inlaid. These are the moments that shop assistants come to the rescue. By asking the right questions, they are able to help customers make the best choices. So, how do you recreate the savior shop assistant in your e-store?
Solution: Consider the integration of third-party solutions (chatbot or live chat extension) to help yourself support and serve your customers in the best way possible.
Delivering positive customer experience means taking care of all the stages of the purchasing process, which also includes shipping. However, even now customers complain about receiving broken or damaged jewelry. Maybe the watch they’ve ordered doesn’t function. Perhaps they’ve been delivered a necklace missing a gem or a scratched ring. Maybe a week after they’ve received it, the gem falls out of that ring. What will your strategy be in such cases?
Solution: Provide a jewelry warranty that guarantees the workmanship and material of the purchase. By offering repairs or replacement due to manufacturer damage or neglect, your e-store will look more reliable, especially when combined with the use of reliable shipping companies.
Absence at the warehouse
The customer verifies the availability, selects the item, and makes the payment. Then, in two hours they get the call of apology that their item is actually unavailable. Such a poor customer experience kills the customer’s desire to buy in your online jewelry store again and leaves them with a bad taste in their mouth.
Solution: We recommend that you consider using an inventory management system. By doing so, you’ll automate your inventory process, deal with different warehouses, and update your stock in one click.
Too long of a wait
Sometimes delivery takes 7-15 days, depending on the delivery service. A customer becomes nervous and dissatisfied. Time is money, and they do not want to wait. How do you create a positive delivery experience?
Solution: It is best to indicate the delivery date of each jewelry item type on your site. Let’s say, in-stock items can be delivered within 2-5 days, items require sizing – 3-6 days, customized jewelry – within 8-15 days, and so on. Whatever the terms may be, your customers will want to see them clearly.
When it comes to choosing, customers tend to veer towards only unique jewelry. Of course, whether a piece is considered unique lies in the eye of the beholder, but if customers have trouble finding it in your product list, they’ll leave your website without making a purchase. And they won’t come back. How do you prevent this problem?
Solution: Give your customers the possibility to create their own jewelry designs (rings, earrings, necklaces or bracelets). Offer several styles, metals, gemstones, finishes, and sizes. By providing such a feature, you will definitely attract more customers!
Our Experience in Online Jewelry Store Development
We have developed a successful project in the jewelry industry for Gilded Lab. This British jewelry store is based on the Magento platform, where our team of web developers created great website functionality that allows users to select items from collections categorized by types and design.
We integrated the Synoptive extension that allows for the management of the product according to customer wishes. With a step-by-step customization process (choosing style, design, metal, gemstone, and size), customers can make their own jewelry designs. After designing their own item and adding it to the cart, the product automatically appears in the Magento admin panel, and then in the customer gallery.
Opulent Jewelers is another project in our online jewelry portfolio. We started working on this site when it was rife with technical challenges. Now, the website is fully personalized and responsive. Our team customized the engagement logic for the “brand” category, rewrote the code to make it better fit for purpose, and optimized the speed.
With an eye towards making this site the best place to sell jewelry online, we also resolved an issue the site had with blurred images. The large-size jewelry images appeared out of focus and therefore unprofessional. However, we managed to address the problem and now users can enjoy wonderful, high-quality images. This was especially crucial since jewelry exists primarily to please the eye!
Another important feature we created was adding the M2E Pro product extension. With this extension, the owner has the possibility to sync the website product catalog with an eBay & Amazon list.
The online jewelry business is flourishing, and it yields high profits. Given that the jewelry industry hasn’t been saturated yet and that you already know how to create an online jewelry store, it’s time to act! Build your website on either the Magento or Shopify e-commerce platform to make it work without a hitch. Without the knowledge of how to start a jewelry business online, this may be challenging. However, with Whidegroup by your side, your online jewelry shop will be in good hands and your new business will prosper. Connect with us today so we can get started!