The jewelry industry continues to grow, especially when it comes to selling online. Last year alone, bags and accessories held a 29% share of global internet purchases.
Want to know how to tap into that market? After reading this blog post, you’ll have all the necessary information to build, manage, and market your online jewelry store.
To get started, I’ll cover why and how you should build an ecommerce website for your jewelry brand.
Why Your Jewelry Business Should Sell Online
Worth $2.7 million in 2018, the U.S. jewelry industry is strong.
The online share of the accessories market reached an all-time high in 2018 at 22% in North America — and is expected to grow 11% by 2021.
To top it off, global online jewelry sales are predicted to reach a market value of $340 billion by 2023, later reaching $645 billion by 2035.
In addition to the data, jewelry is a great fit for ecommerce as products are lightweight and easy to ship, come in many variations, and can be customized.
Bringing your jewelry business online lets your customers shop from anywhere at any time and gives your business a competitive edge by bridging online and offline experiences, all thanks to technological advances.
How Established Jewelry Businesses Can Sell Online
The complexity of your business can present challenges when bringing your products online. However, with the right ecommerce strategy and tools, you can grow your jewelry sales and customer base.
1. Research ecommerce websites that sell jewelry.
Before launching your online jewelry store, you’ll want to do some research on top performers in the space.
Both Dogeared and Dana Rebecca Designs deliver top notch ecommerce websites. Each online store is composed of a user-friendly website design, seamless cart functionality, mobile optimization, promotional campaign management, and high quality product and marketing content.
Dogeared allows users to easily navigate the entire customer journey, from the homepage, to the product detail page, to checkout.
Their gateway marketing content highlights current promotions, new products, and seasonal collections, while detail pages offer more in-depth information including reviews, product details and specifications.
Dana Rebecca Designs ignites the customer journey with a content driven experience. Their fine jewelry catalog is married with on-brand messaging of the product’s quality and everyday practicality.
When customers arrive at the product detail page, they find product variations (like color and size), financing options through Affirm, and detailed information on shipping and return policies for the specific item.
2. Determine necessary site functionality for your online jewelry store.
To ensure your online jewelry store is set up for success, you’ll need the following site functionality:
- User friendly web design.
- Mobile optimization.
- High resolution product and marketing content.
- Social media integration.
- SEO features and fully customizable URLs.
- Product management tool.
- Promotional campaign management.
- Cross-sell and up-sell capabilities.
- Detailed shipping options.
- Security features.
- Advanced payment.
- Clear return policy and FAQ.
These functions are essential to your online business because they support your marketing strategy, frontend and backend operations, and security measures.
With support like this, successfully managing your online jewelry brand will be easier than you ever imagined. It’s a win-win for both your company and your customers.
3. Determine how to integrate payments with your current business.
How you integrate payments will depend on whether your business is multi- or omni-channel. When thinking about how your business is aligned, consider plans for both online and offline strategies. To make sure we’re on the same page, here are some simple definitions.
A multi-channel business is defined as a company selling products via various online channels (e.g. eBay, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, or other online marketplaces).
An omni-channel business is defined as a company selling products both online and offline (otherwise known as brick and mortar).
If you have an omnichannel business, it is likely a better decision to integrate your online sales with your current Point of Sale (POS) system.
If you have a multi-channel business, it may be time to consider a POS integration. Most ecommerce platforms can integrate with your current POS system or help facilitate a new one, such as Square and BigCommerce.
Remember: customers love flexible options, so do your best to include an assortment of payment options (e.g. credit card, Apple Pay, PayPal).
4. Identify who will be in charge of online orders.
Online order management is an integral part of ecommerce success.
Identify a key stakeholder in your business to oversee the online order process. This person will be responsible for understanding the checkout journey, solving order issues and contributing to an overall customer service strategy.
5. Develop a system for integrating product inventory.
Effective product inventory management is important because, depending on your niche, jewelry sales can be strongly influenced by seasonality.
While everyday, affordable, fashion-type purchases remain fairly consistent throughout the calendar year, niches like fine jewelry experience higher demand around Mother’s Day, holiday, and wedding seasons.
Study your month-to-month sales, pinpoint your times of higher demand, and implement a system for integrating product inventory to take advantage of periods with higher traffic.
Monitoring your sales will also give you insight as to how your supply and demand grows over time. Take this growth into consideration when developing a product inventory system.
There are two easy options when it comes to product inventory integration:
- If your product catalog is small, you can simply use the product inventory management tool supported by your ecommerce platform of choice. Often times, it’s as simple as completing a bulk upload of your items, which you can then go in and edit.
- If your product catalog is larger and your business operates via omni-channel, you may find more success managing inventory through your POS system. This way, you can monitor all sales and get more granular data on how your business performs online versus offline.
Once you have a system in place, think about how you want to display inventory levels to customers. Tip: underpromise, overdeliver.
6. Figure out shipping and fulfillment.
First, you’ll want to choose a carrier (e.g. FedEx) and shipping service (e.g. FedEx Ground) that works best for your business.
Depending on the size of your team, product catalog, and order flow, you may handle shipping and fulfillment entirely in-house. For others, cost effective options such as dropshipping, third party logistics (3PL), or a combination of in-house and dropship fulfillment may offer more timely management.
This decision is a key component of your plan to start selling online.
You also need to decide how your items will be packaged. This is an extension of your brand and options vary depending on fulfillment type.
In efforts to communicate brand values or to connect with customers, companies have begun to pay more attention-to-detail on sustainable packaging, “unboxing” experiences often shared on social media, and may even invest in customized packing materials (e.g. Noissue).
7. Determine which ecommerce platform fits the needs of your business.
How you build and power your website impacts the way you manage and optimize your online jewelry store. Bringing your store online requires a whole new toolset, which might initially feel overwhelming.
Have no fear: while every business has different needs, you’ll be on the right path if you have your foundational features covered.
The right ecommerce platform should:
- Support your core site functionalities.
- Allow a large amount of API calls.
- Offer PCI compliance.
- Provide innovative solutions to your business complexities.
- Accept the plugins (e.g. social media integrations) you need to run your online jewelry store successfully.
A SaaS ecommerce platform may be just what you need. Hosted in the cloud, these platforms are automatically updated and manage uptime for your brand.
These platforms have a large amount of partners to work with, making it easy to integrate different plugins, like BigCommerce for WordPress.
8. Consider hiring a developer.
If you are managing a smaller inventory with a simple design, you may not need to invest in a developer.
However, if you are building a larger scale, more custom site, a developer can be a great asset to your team.
Having a professional resource to address specialized needs can save you time and help improve productivity.
9. Launch your jewelry ecommerce site.
Once you have your foundation set, it’s time to launch your jewelry ecommerce site and watch your business grow.
Be ready to respond to customer questions, fulfill orders in a timely manner, increase site traffic, and engage with your customer base on social media.
Before you celebrate, be sure to have an analytics tools in place from the moment you launch, so you can monitor your success from the start.
10. Create processes for dealing with online sales and customer service.
Your site is live and customers are now exploring your products. As they navigate through your online jewelry store, you need to be prepared to engage with them.
Make it easy for users to contact your company with product or order delivery questions.
Common contact methods include email and over-the-phone assistance. However, a tool that can save your business time and money is implementing a live chat feature, powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
This is a great way to provide immediate guidance to your users 24/7, rather than having them wait for several hours to hear an initial response.
Worried about losing a human touch? Often times, your end user may not even realize they are speaking to a robot, thanks to humanistic advances in AI and machine learning.
This feature is also known to help increase conversion, eliminate the amount of abandoned carts, and can even boost your customers’ confidence in buying your products.
11. Create a marketing plan to drive visitors and awareness.
This is an essential component of setting up your online jewelry website.
Without driving traffic to your site, you won’t have customers to purchase your products.
You’ll need to create a marketing plan that leverages your brand and consumer loyalty to attract new and returning users to your site. This plan should include both online and offline strategies.
A few examples include social, email, digital advertising, and event marketing.
Every marketing strategy should include performance tracking. Compile a list of key performance indicators (KPIs) that make the most sense for your business and track them in a tools like BigCommerce’s Ecommerce Insights and Google Analytics.
A few KPIs that are helpful to track when analyzing visitor traffic and awareness are:
- Total pageviews.
- Unique pageviews.
- Active users.
- New versus returning users.
- Bounce rate.
- Landing page exit rates.
Examples of Successful Jewelry Websites
The following BigCommerce jewelry websites find ecommerce success in various ways.
After experiencing a 40% increase in sales after one month on the BigCommerce platform, Pink Lily grew their online sales to $1 million per month.
The website offers easy-to-use search filters to help users navigate to products they wish to see. In addition, a strong influencer marketing approach drives a large amount of site traffic.
Sean John Watches offers a unique brand experience and highlights product variants. It also communicates detailed information regarding secure checkout, free shipping and lifetime warranty, providing an added value to customers.
High end, fine jewelry ready for purchase. Icing On The Ring offers a wide range of options for customers, whether they are looking for a specific engagement ring style or material (like moissanite or rose gold).
The online store offers simple customer journeys whether you want to purchase the ring as marketed or customize it yourself.
4. Pompeii 3.
Highlighting its exceptional affordability compared to leading competitors in the diamond jewelry space, Pompeii 3 makes payment plan options, customizable products, and promotional information easily accessible.
Gemological Institute of America (GIA) gradings of the 4Cs (color, carat, clarity, and cut) are also available for items with precious metals.
Tips for Building Your Jewelry Brand’s Online Presence
Building an online presence is essential to the digital success of your jewelry brand.
The key is to draw on your brand’s authenticity and message to build consumer loyalty and drive site traffic and conversion.
1. Create a social media following.
Did you know that 95% of millennials are most likely to follow a brand on social media? Better yet, 75% of consumers say social media plays a vital role in their buying process.
Creating a social media following has the power to increase your product discovery, ultimately driving site traffic and conversion.
Deciding which social media platforms to use depends on the type of content that works for your brand. Consumers want to visualize a piece of jewelry, making Instagram and Facebook preferred platforms.
Get creative by showing your products modeled in everyday life, including customer features and eye-catching imagery to match your brand feel.
When brainstorming your content strategy, think about what sets you apart from your competitors and find ways to highlight those benefits.
Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of features like Instagram Stories or Facebook Live to engage with your audience in real-time.
2. Consider paid advertising.
Consumers are faced with many forms of content on digital platforms, so how will you stand out? An easy way to grab the attention of new customers is through paid advertising.
Use analytics to determine your best paid advertising opportunity by understanding your customers’ interests and where they spend their time both online and offline.
3. Get email subscribers.
Email marketing is your key to lead generation.
Per a Marketo study, 96% of the time users visit your site they are not ready to make a purchase. Gaining email subscribers cultivates an engaged customer base, leading to increased online sales.
First step: incentivize your users to opt-in to emails. It is key that you offer a benefit to your users that is difficult to pass up.
Many successful brands offer one-time discounts, anywhere up to 50% off or access to exclusive content. Study your customer base to understand what they value most.
Once you have a growing list of email subscribers, you will need to deliver high quality, personalized and relevant content.
Examples of this include weekly newsletters highlighting new promotions or using machine learning to provide personalized recommendations based off shopping behavior and site navigation activity.
4. Optimize your site for SEO and create a content marketing strategy.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is key to ranking above your competitors on search engines like Google.
Optimizing your site for SEO — pay close attention to quality and original product descriptions, URL building, product reviews, and using various forms of media on your product detail pages—just to name a few.
The key mentality is to provide more value to your customers than your competitors.
Content marketing will also improve your SEO while building customer trust and brand loyalty in return.
Create blog posts, social media, and various content mediums that are curated with the goal of bringing value to your customers and, in return, traffic to your online jewelry store.
5. Contribute to other sites.
Strategically partner with other sites to increase brand awareness, optimize SEO, and create more backlinks to your content.
If your business sells products on other retailers ecommerce websites, you may consider contributing as a guest blogger on their sites to spread brand awareness.
Other ways to contribute online include offering accessory styling advice on a fashion and apparel online store or blog, sharing jewelry industry trends on business or fashion magazine websites like Forbes or Vogue, or featuring products in proposal and wedding stories on sites like How They Asked and Style Me Pretty.
6. Work with influencers.
Prioritize creating relationships with influencers to promote your online jewelry store and brand name.
Influencers are trusted by their following to deliver authentic and engaging content and will aid in increasing brand awareness and ecommerce sales.
Depending on your budget and size of business, you may choose to work with micro-influencers or influencers with a larger following.
Regardless of following size, focus on engagement rate when selecting who you partner with to get the biggest bang for your buck.
Between collaborations, featured promotions, and shoppable posts, BigCommerce customer, Pink Lily Boutique, has doubled down on its influencer strategy.
What sets the strategy apart from the rest is a partnership with LIKEtoKNOW.IT, the largest influencer shopping platform.
With this tool, influencers can earn a commission on the items they share while Pink Lily gains targeted referral traffic. Everyone benefits, especially customers.
7. Utilize established customers for brand awareness.
Customers want to be a part of your brand story. They want to relate to your values and messaging, and understand that you have their interests at heart while developing your products.
Being in the jewelry business provides you with a great opportunity to connect with your customers on this very topic.
Since purchases often surround special events like Mother’s Day, the holiday season, or engagements, focus the conversation of your products around celebratory and happy moments in your customers’ lives.
How do you succeed in this with authentic brand messaging? Connect and celebrate your customers’ special moments by using a brand-specific hashtag on social media platforms and then, with user consent, feature user generated content (UGC) on your website and other digital channels.
Examples of this include Diamond Direct’s #DDFamilyAlbum campaign on Instagram, promoting their diamond rings by featuring customer proposals to generate a sense of community.
Examples Of Trending Jewelry Niches
Another way to stand out in the crowd is taking part in a jewelry niche. Here are a few that may apply to your online jewelry business:
1. Affordable fashion jewelry.
Known for being every day, fashion forward pieces, affordable fashion jewelry is a well known niche.
Pieces range from necklaces to bracelets to earrings and come in many variations of color and size.
2. Body jewelry.
Body jewelry ranges from body piercings (e.g. nose rings and belly button piercings) to body chains.
Earrings tend to be a big player and come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. This niche is smaller, but growing in the industry.
3. Silver plated jewelry.
Silver plated jewelry is a cheaper alternative to sterling silver.
Many times, silver plated jewelry can be found in an affordable fashion jewelry niche catalog.
However, it takes a strategic content strategy to show the benefits of silver plated jewelry to customers who may be wary of quality.
4. Fair trade jewelry.
Hello handmade. Fair trade jewelry has a large amount of handmade pieces, usually sourcing sustainable materials.
Many brands in this space are tied to a charity or organization that holds significant meaning to the brand.
FAQs About Selling Jewelry Online
Here are some simple answers to frequently asked questions about selling jewelry online.
What types of jewelry can I sell online?
Any type. Handcrafted, wholesaler, customizable, necklaces, rings, silver, or gold jewelry.
With the right ecommerce platform, you can easily manage different product categories making the options endless.
Why should I sell on my own site versus selling on a sites like Etsy, Amazon or eBay?
Selling on your own site comes with many more benefits compared to selling on a jewelry marketplace or another online alternative.
Some of these include eliminating direct competition on the same site, the ability to create a user experience design that speaks to the brand, direct customer service support, and better promotional management.
Hint: you have much more growth potential by launching your own site.
Can I dropship jewelry?
Yes, with caution. Dropshipping can be a cost effective and timely shipping and fulfillment method for your business.
However, as you grow, you may not want to use dropshipping as your single shipping fulfillment method, due to the low profit margins associated with it.
Dropshipping should be used as an enhancement. For more about the pros and cons of dropshipping, check out this article.
If I dropship, how can I determine if the jewelry I am selling is real?
Do your research. Evaluating a quality wholesale supplier is the first step in determining if your products are authentic.
Once you have selected your supplier, have products sent to you to evaluate quality and price.
Repeat this process every quarter to ensure the quality of your products remain the same.
How can I sell jewelry online for maximum profit?
Keep your operating costs low and your retail prices competitive, so you can offer the best price on the market.
If you create handmade jewelry, you have more exposure to the associated cost of supplies and labor, use this transparency to your advantage.
For all types of jewelry, profit margins between 25-75% are standard across the jewelry industry. Be cautious of steeping prices too high, as this can alienate your customers.
How much should I charge for handmade items?
There is no perfect formula for pricing handmade items. That being said, two main factors to pricing your handmade pieces are cost of supplies and time to create.
As a starting point, double the cost of supplies to reach a wholesale price, and quadruple the cost of supplies to reach a retail price.
Depending on the amount (and cost) of labor, increase prices as needed.
In summary, setting up an ecommerce website will greatly benefit your jewelry business from both a sales and brand awareness perspective.
As you build your online jewelry store and digital brand presence, always be asking yourself: how can I bring more value to my customers?
With this question in mind, selecting the right ecommerce platform for your business will be simple.
Apply customer-centric thinking to your online branding strategy as well.
Curate original content that can be delivered easily to your users to drive their purchasing decisions and brand loyalty. Partner with other websites, organizations, and influencers to help expand your reach.
Your online jewelry store and branding strategy will always be evolving and taking new shape, but with the right tools you will stay on track for success.