As a retail jeweler or jewelry designer, feeling stuck at crossroads can be quite overwhelming. Not knowing how to create a jewelry eCommerce website to push your products outside of your local market can seem confusing and dreadful at first sight, but in reality, it is a highly rewarding move for your business in the long run.
So what are the reasons stopping you to venture online? What are your customers really telling you?
Buying joaillerie in person has been, for a long time indeed, the “accepted norm” for consumers who have to deal with egoistic salespeople every now and then when choosing a piece to try on. However, especially since the 2008 crisis, such a conservative approach to jewelry buying has seen a transformation with the emergence of social media and shopping online on big sites such as Amazon or eBay just to name these two.
In this segment, we will closely examine the pros and cons of jewelry eCommerce and what realistic solutions we propose to these so-called “disadvantages” of selling your amazing jewelry items in the limitless world of the Internet.
Pros: What are the advantages of launching an online jewelry store?
Did you know that roughly 80% of luxury goods sales are digitally influenced according to McKinsey? Moreover, the same study shows that the common high-end shopper interacts with a product 5 times prior to making a buying decision.
1. Online shops have global accessibility and are open 24/7
You could be in a small rural town and produce flamboyant jewelry items, as long as you have a stable internet connection and a reliable shipping company to do business with, your jewelry shop is technically open to the global market 24/7. No need to pay thousands of dollars for store rent as well as employees you must train and entrust with your products and customers.
It’s impossible to attract large numbers of potential customers worldwide by distributing flyers and posting your product images on a Facebook page, right? With a fully operational eCommerce jewelry shop, you can. Not only that, but you can also measure your marketing effectiveness and know which product is popular in which region.
2. Expand your customer reach by connecting to multiple online marketplaces
What’s even better than having your own eCommerce website? Being a seller in world-leading digital marketplaces such as Etsy, Amazon, eBay & Wish. These three have over 200M registered users combined and a good reason to open up shop through them and get your fair share of this mega consumer base.
What’s even more interesting is that with the right eCommerce platform set up, you can manage every marketplace you are connected with from one single area. This can save you a ton of time and money, especially that can be reinvested somewhere more needed in your business like digital marketing.
3. Merging your retail store to online shopping equals more sales
The number one deceptive mindset jewelry business owners have is that they think going online will spoil their business operations as it is time-consuming and over-complicated to get set up with a proper e-shop. Wrong!
On the opposite, e-commerce will actually empower your jewelry retail business by making your products available to new potential customers from regions you would have never imagined selling to before. eCommerce is a supplement to Bricks-and-mortar shops, not a substitute. In the UK for instance, a B2C framework known as O2O (Online to Offline) is a prime example of such an omnichannel business model. The goal of the O2O model is to connect both worlds and build a practical framework that would benefit them simultaneously.
Cons: What are some of the misconceptions about opening a jewelry eCommerce store? + Solutions
1. Lack of touch-and-feel and trying items on
This must be one of the most popular on the list. Retail jewelers often think customers will never savor a jewelry piece the same way when visualized online. This is also false. If such a statement was true, then why would over 29 million users buy jewelry on a daily basis?
Solution: High-quality product photographs are great, especially when accompanied by stunning models who wear the jewelry piece to let shoppers envision what it would look like on them. But better than that, is 3D visualization technology, such as photorealistic renders generated by advanced CAD software. The latter provides a much sharper level of detail for each jewelry item, something not really doable via normal eye examination. 360-degree zooming and spinning motions really let your potential buyer inspect a model from each angle. In a jewelry retail store, you would require a magnifying glass to get up close. Plus, when you browse online, you can check as many pieces you want without tarnishing any of them, nor having that awkward feeling of a sales representative breathing down your neck.
Another great option to emulate jewelry trials via AR (Augmented Reality) Apps which uses your smartphone camera to project the desired piece on your desired body part in real-time. You can read our previous blog if you are interested to learn more.
2. Unsure about product quality and lack of trust in online shopping
Consumers that have never purchased luxury goods online are often skeptical about the quality of jewelry items being sold. Along with that, many of them have trust issues with the idea of entering their credit card online to buy luxury goods, given the fact that some items in this category of products can be high priced.
Solution: Having well-written product titles and descriptions with enough technical information to grant a sense of reliability as a seller, and fullness of details concerning the jewelry item (like measurements, structure, precious metal and gemstone used, weight, radiance, and even suggestions when combined with stylish clothing), that would be a much more tiresome experience to accomplish via inquiries made in a physical store.
With online shopping, doing side-by-side product comparison is much more convenient. With a flick of the mouse, you can visualize the variants of a given jewelry item, be it the gemstone color, or precious metal desired. Furthermore, you can pick extra customization options, such as special engravings or gift packaging, at your convenience.
Today, as an online seller, earning credibility through social proof and authentic reviews over your products and services are some of the strongest factors that drive the majority of e-commerce businesses.
3. Costly in-house eCommerce creation
The #1 question jewelry business owners have when considering going digital is how much would it cost to build an eCommerce website and maintain it? The truth is, there is no perfect answer as many key factors must be carefully taken into account.
Generally speaking, the costs could go from $5000 to hundreds of thousands, depending on the platform and requirements needed to best serve your business operations.
A typical mistake most business owners will make is not knowing exactly what eCommerce platform is best suited to help their business grow online. Hence, they will blindly go with what’s available without proper research and spending money uselessly. Depending upon how simple or complex the eCommerce platform is and what the licensing costs might be, the costs may vary quite dramatically for similar functionality.
Solution: Outsourcing to a team of eCommerce experts who hold the proper skill and expertise necessary for proper shop building is essential. You can save way more money by dedicating these tasks to professionals who know what they are doing rather than going after the trial and error approach.
Here at Sarkissian Luxury Studio, we have a team of dedicated and skillful experts ready to help you along your journey of going digital for your jewelry business. From catering supreme quality product imagery with the latest CAD technology to guiding in each step of your e-shop creation, our services are a true one-stop-shop for all your digital needs.