Monday, February 7, 2011

5 Reasons Why Online Jewelry Sales are Slow

By on Monday, February 07, 2011 13 Comments

One of the most common complaints from artisans who have set up shop online is the slow jewelry sales. It's a misconception the internet will instantly bring loads of customers.


In reality, getting traffic and getting customers to buy present the same challenges whether you have a physical store somewhere in town or sell online.

But there are also other unique challenges facing online jewelry sellers. The good news is they are not insurmountable. It helps to know what they are in order to deal with expectations and come up with solutions.

1. It's seasonal.
In any given year, jewelry buying peaks at certain times. If you look at the Google trend results below for jewelry, there were essentially 3 times in the past year when people get serious about buying. The biggest is the run-up to Christmas (see B flag). The smaller bumps in the chart represent the periods leading to Valentine's Day (between C and D flags) and Mother's Day (US) (before E flag).


So while it's possible to sell year round to a loyal customer base, slow periods are to be expected. That's when we will have the time to do a myriad of tasks. Store promotion, stocking up on inventory and making jewelry ahead of time seem like the best ways to handle down times.

2. It's the recession
The poor economy has been cited as the reason for poor jewelry sales too. After all jewelry is not a necessity unlike food and shelter. High end jewelry sales have definitely plummeted.

But jewelry at lower price points still sell. Sales of smaller items like earrings, pendants and rings may well be similar to the well known phenomenon of lipstick sales. Cosmetic sales have been shown to dramatically increase during recessions because they make the buyer feel better without spending a whole whack. A small indulgence works wonders for the mood.

3. Humans are tactile creatures
While there are some people who are comfortable with buying clothes and jewelry online, many are not. These people still prefer to try on jewelry to see how it looks on them before committing.

That's why photographic quality is so important for online stores. We have to show not just the jewelry itself but how it looks in different situations and with some reference to its relative size - close-up, hanging (earrings), draped (necklaces and bracelets). Both clothing and jewelry sell much better if they were modeled in photographs.

4. E-commerce is only just taking off
I got my first email address back in the early 1990's when few people had their own email accounts. Now nearly everyone I come across has one. So it is with online shopping. Most people I know have not yet cottoned on to online shopping. But e-commerce is now growing at a faster rate than the traditional bricks and mortar retailing. In the coming years, sales will grow as more and more people embrace the concept of buying goods and services via the internet.

Even if you sell most of your jewelry retail at say craft shows, having an online presence is essential. The website is your portfolio showcasing what you can do. People who have bought from you locally may well buy from your online store in the future.

5. Nobody knows about your store
I've covered this topic before where promotion is key for any store, retail or online. So check out these past posts for tips :
Selling your handmade creations can be fun partly because you come across many people. It takes all kinds to make this world so be sure to read my past post Hilarious site about when customers are NOT always right.
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

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13 comments:

  1. A most appropriate and timely post. Speaking as a jewelry maker I've definitely seen a decline in sales, especially higher end pieces. Buyers right now have an eye out for bargains and are more inclined to purchase an inexpensive pair of earrings rather than a luscious but pricey necklace.

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  2. great tips...def a must read for anyone who has or is planning to open an online store like me. Also are there any resources I can read or (connect to) to understand the currency conversion process and the commissions most sites & paypal take for it. It will be great if somebody writes a post on 'how to sell online from Asia/middle-southEast and still make a profit' ;) as we have loads of issues in finances and logistics...

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  3. Check out the Paypal site for the guides you need. Same with Etsy if you are interested in them. Both have extensive info and instructions.

    Alas there aren't many good alternatives to Paypal at the moment. The situation in India is unique and will bear watching -

    http://www.labnol.org/india/paypal-problems-with-rbi-india/13182/

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  4. Also? On Etsy anyway, every other shop is a jewelry shop. Tough competition.

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  5. I considered adding this point as a 6th reason but the going is still tough no matter how unique or good the jewelry is.

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  6. Excellent post. I have some work to do!

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  7. You know I am a fan Pearl, but dare I say this is your best post ever! Awesome, honest, real life advice - perfect!

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  8. This was definitely worth a repeat visit.

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  9. Thanks for the links. My online sales slow down quite a bit. Jan from abellagifts.com

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  10. As always, your post is spot on, Pearl, and your infographics are amazing. I like the way you think!
    Thank you for being a guiding light in a forest of choices.

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  11. As always, your post is spot on, Pearl, and your infographics are amazing. I like the way you think!
    Thank you for being a guiding light in a forest of choices.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes Yes! I think everything you say is true. Thank you for #4 since I think people think "everybody" is totally plugged in. It is definitely here, but esp. "older" folks are a little slower to plunk down dollars in cyberspace. It does take getting used to.

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