We hope the holiday sale season is bringing in lots of profits and joy. This month is also one of reflection and planning. Think back at your highs and lows, and see how you can improve coming next year. January will be a slow month to test new ideas and be innovative. So be ready.
Since we know that you’ve learned a lot this year, we’d like to invite you to share some of that with us. We’d be happy to feature some of your tips in our jewelry eCommerce news.
So do let us know your number 1 lesson for sellers like yourself to take to heart. And, in the meantime, see what else is happening in the jewelry eCommerce world below.
Jewelry eCommerce News 📰
eBay’s new sales number feature may not be a hit
While trying to optimize seller store pages, eBay may have crossed some lines. Sellers have recently noticed that eBay is now showing the store’s sales amount. However, it is unclear the time frame for that number.
With no announcement made about it and no option to remove it, privacy concerns have been rising. Sellers have been complaining about the new feature, which does not seem to benefit anyone.
Since jewelry items vary depending on the category, with fine jewelry having multiple times higher price points, this feature can create confusion. Also, since jewelry is a seasonal product, a monthly sales amount will not accurately reflect the success of the store.
Without additional clarifications like a time period and number of products sold, the new feature may not be an improvement for jewelry eBay stores.
Etsy made holiday shopping easier
Late arrivals are one of the shoppers’ biggest fears. So Etsy created geo-targeted campaigns, both on their platform and by email, to address this fear.
On the website, they introduced a button “See what’s nearby” for last-minute gift options that would arrive before the holidays.
The exact date was also featured once on the product page. Also, in their email newsletters, they included links with gift ideas from each state.
There is a lesson to learn here, especially for jewelry sellers since jewelry pieces are small, light items to ship. Optimizing marketing campaigns to consider, not only location but also, shipping options and price could be the final closure for your sales.
USPS to delay new hidden fees until April
In their last press release, USPS already announced a 3.1% shipping price increase for priority mail services, starting from January 9.
But they failed to announce new fees for nonstandard packages, namely a $1.5 dimension non-compliance fee and up to $15 in other nonstandard fees. However, they later informed the Postal Regulatory Commission that these two charges will not go into effect until April 3rd of 2022.
The later date should give sellers some time to plan their logistics properly. While these fees would not pose much of a challenge for any single jewelry item sold, it could become an issue when shipping bundles or replenishing inventory.
Walmart now fulfills 25% of its marketplace sales
In less than 2 years, Walmart has achieved a large milestone – fulfilling around one quarter of all third-party sales on its marketplace through its Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS).
The retailer is on the fast track to catching up with its competitor, Amazon, which has reached a 75% rate in over 15 years.
This benefits international sellers the most, allowing them to still have access to the extensive US market without worrying about logistics. Walmart is a great marketplace for both fine jewelry and fashion jewelry, given its large price point range and widespread national coverage.
eCommerce is back to pre-COVID growth rates
The 2020 online sales boost in the US did not continue through 2021. The pandemic-driven eCommerce growth reached 40% by the second quarter,
making it the fastest increase recorded. However, in the third quarter of 2021, eCommerce amounted to only 12.4% of all retail spending – a number closer to pre-COVID predictions.
This might be disappointing at first sight but it shouldn’t be discouraging. The eCommerce trend is still heading upwards, and some companies, as well as some geo-locations, are growing faster than others. This is why a multi-channel marketing approach, particularly for jewelry sellers competing in a highly saturated industry, is even more important nowadays.
New US federal tax laws may impact small marketplace stores
eBay was the first one to bring sellers’ attention to the new law changes, but these will impact all marketplaces. Starting from January 2022, sellers are required to report any annual sales over $600 to the IRS. This also means such sales will be included in the 2023 tax filing season.
Worried that it will affect their sellers, eBay has taken a stance on the matter by bringing their concerns to the US Congress. Nevertheless, new jewelry sellers, particularly those with high ticket items, should get familiar with tax matters quickly, if they are planning to make any US sales online in 2022.
Optimized Black Friday listings helped eBay sellers capitalize on trends
Analytics and optimization are key components to successful online selling. A recent eBay case study showed a Black Friday shopping trend around old items like vinyl records, CDs and old books. However, the only sellers who were able to benefit from this were those who had taken advantage of eBay’s recent listing optimization features.
This is a reminder of how important it is for sellers to not only stay up to date with the latest eCommerce/marketplace news, but to also implement new features in their listings and stores. We take pride in the fact that our Valigara online manager understands this well and helps our jewelry sellers make such updates quickly, in one go.
eBay UK is raising sales fees for items shipped in 23 countries
Whether or not sellers use eBay’s Global Shipping Program, the marketplace is still increasing their fees from 0.5% to 1.05%, when making sales to 23 European countries. These will take effect on January 1st, 2022.
With very little time to respond and a large market to consider, sellers find themselves having to make difficult choices. They may exclude these countries from their logistics or take on the new fees. This will be particularly challenging for fashion jewelry items which tend to sell at a lower price point.
eBay releases new features for promoted listings advanced BETA
eBay offers sellers two models of CPC marketing, the Promoted Listings Standard and Advanced, the latter being introduced just this year. Right before the holidays, the marketplace upgraded the second model to include the following features:
- Monthly keyword search counts
- Ability to download bulk campaign reports
- New tab for negative keywords when setting bids
- Negative keyword count for each ad group
- Larger keyword viewing area
- Hidden out-of-stock items
- Count of listings matching filter selections
- Ability to filter listing by category
Keywords are important optimization points for jewelry sellers, as these items have many more search variables than most items sold online. For example, besides the basics like size, color, and composition (for both the metal and the gem), jewelry listings also include certifications, karats, cuts, style, and more.
News from Valigara 👀
We have been as busy as it gets this time of the year. But we’re loving it!
We do have some announcements for you – two new features we’ve recently introduced. Firstly, we’ve integrated Stripe into our website’s engine. As you know, providing multiple payment options is a key strategy to successfully running an online business. So adding Stripe, a major global payment gateway will help us provide you with even more value and convenience.
Secondly, Valigara now natively supports eBay’s new listing videos. This functionality, only recently introduced by eBay, promises big changes on the marketplace, and Valigara users can instantly implement it and stand out from the competition.
Igor’s Tip of the Month:
When adopting a new technology in the company, consider its 3-year life cycle. Why 3? Because having it for less than this will prevent you from fully enjoying it and making the efforts of implementation and transition worth it. Also, thinking farther than this is irrelevant as your business processes and technology will change.