We hope you had a wonderful and productive Valentine’s/Galentines Day. This month is filled with news. So let’s get right into it.
Jewelry eCommerce News 📰
Both the US and UK eBay marketplaces have recently updated their policies. The UK marketplace, besides new features for promoted listings express and promoted listings advanced, they also adjusted fees for partial refunds to buyers. Sellers can receive a prorated portion of the final fees. For refunds done prior to shipping, they will get 100% of the final fees and the pre-order fee.
The eBay US updates include additional changes. They increased the final fees for most categories to deal with the volatile cost of shipping. These fees include both payment processing and commissions. Another fee spike is the penalty fee for sellers falling below standard performance (from 5% to 6%).
These changes are particularly useful for jewelry sellers with low-ticket, fashion items, for whom these fees would’ve been a major percentage of profits. It also facilitates logistics for all sellers and speeds up processing times, as they no longer have to contact customer service.
eBay UK Offers Micropayments Promotion with Low Processing Fees
After eBay took over payment processing from PayPal, low-cost item sellers (under 10 £) struggled to pay payment processing fees. eBay started offering a reduced fee but only to specific categories. This didn’t resolve the issue. So now they have a limited-time promotion for almost all UK eBay categories, until the end of March. This promotion includes a fixed fee reduction, from 30p to 10p per order for a total order price of up to 10 £. However, these changes will be applied as a monthly refund to the seller’s account and not directly during the selling process.
Fashion jewelry sellers are most impacted by these changes. Offering or promoting bundles could be one way to address this issue. We are definitely hoping that eBay can continue to provide some type of micropayment fee solutions even beyond March, 2022.
New Themed Email Templates on Amazon
Amazon launched a new feature under the Customer Engagement Tool, available for sellers registered under the Amazon Brand Registry. This tool contains themed email templates for holidays and other occasions that would qualify for marketing campaigns opportunities.
Jewelry is a seasonal product line, with higher sales during holidays and special events. This tool proves how crucial email marketing and customer engagement are, especially in the jewelry industry.
Etsy to Invest $50 million in Improving Customer Support
After a recent petition signed by more than 20,000 sellers, Etsy is committed to improving customer support. The $50 million planned investment is meant to increase the support team by more than 20% and purchase critical tools and resources to empower their community.
This attests to the importance of customer support and post-sale marketing. Even for the fashion jewelry industry (predominant on Etsy), customer service is a big marketing component.
Amazon to Expand Phone Support to Pro Sellers
A new, on-demand phone support feature will be added to Pro seller Amazon accounts, to deal with urgent account health issues. A call-me-now option will become available to all professional sellers later this year.
Customer support has been an ongoing issue for Amazon. Many sellers had gotten their accounts taken down or moved to bad status because of issues that were not black or white. This change gives sellers the opportunity to explain more complicated situations and avoid losses or unnecessary delays. Jewelry sellers with large sales quantities will benefit the most from this feature.
To Use Amazon Live or Not?
Amazon’s streaming feature (Amazon Live) is not performing as expected. With this feature, sellers, influencers, and brands can do live demos and video presentations. But it got very little traction from buyers – no more than 1000 active viewers per day. The reason may be poor quality videos or the fact that buyers already know what they are looking for.
Jewelry is an emotional purchase, where customers prefer to observe the product features. So we still recommend sellers to give Amazon Live a shot. Visuals have always been crucial in selling jewelry. Also, trends like VR and AI have amplified live buyer experiences on other platforms. So, with good videos and innovative presentations, this could be a good opportunity for jewelry sellers.
Amazon Marketplace Accounts for 25% of US eCommerce
Amazon marketplace represents 60% of Amazon’s entire GMV and brings in 25% of the US eCommerce spending. Even outside the marketplace, it still brings in 17% of the spending, making it the biggest online global retailer. Walmart, which is second in line, is less than half of its size.
As a jewelry seller in the US, Amazon is definitely a platform to include in your cross-channel marketing campaigns. Given that jewelry is a large category within its catalog, Amazon brings a lot of growth opportunities for sellers.
eBay Partners with Black Girl Fest
Searches for “black business” grew by 40% in the UK. Still, black women founders find it hard to access support and become visible on the UK market. So, eBay UK is partnering with Black Girl Fest, to provide a training program on using its marketplace, as well as fee reductions and grants to black female sellers. The deadline to register for this co-sponsored academy program is February 26th, 2022.
This is a great opportunity for small jewelry businesses in the UK, as most items are female-worn and would get support through increased spending. Previous participants in Black Girl Fest’s original program attest to the advanced knowledge and skills development that they gained.
News from Valigara 👀
We are proud to present new partnerships with eBay Israel and eBay India, working on strategic, joint projects. Our CEO, Igor Nusinovich, was one the first employees when eBay opened in Israel. So, we have a strong connection with the company and have maintained communications over the years.
Also, since logistics is essential to the success of an online jewelry business, we have revamped our integration module with Google ShipStation – one of the largest shipping software for eCommerce.
Igor’s Tip of the Month:
2022 jewelry business
As a new online jewelry business owner, you should build your website gradually, step by step. Don’t try to have the perfect website right from the beginning. It’s more important to get it up and running quickly, at first. So start with a functional, decent website and revise it after 3 years. This is the average time frame for your processes to stabilize and for you to fully understand all areas of your business.
Valigara offers ready-made websites to get you started at the beginning of your journey. You can then optimize it or change to a new website after the 3 years mark.