How are you holding up? We are fully aware of all the curveballs this holiday season can throw at you. So we’ve gathered up a few news pieces that should help you get ahead of the curve.
See what the top marketplaces and couriers have in store for you this month, as well as how to better prepare for this time of the year. Don’t forget to check our blogs and webinars for more information on jewelry eCommerce.
Jewelry eCommerce News 📰
Amazon begins Black Friday-like deals early this year
More than a month away from Black Friday and Amazon has already launched the holiday sale season. In a recent press release they’ve highlighted “one-of-a-kind gifts” which include homemade and personalized items.
Personalized jewelry isn’t new during the holiday season, but now Amazon is helping small businesses know what exactly their audience is looking to buy. Their “Amazon Small Business Gift Guide”, “Amazon Launchpad Gift Guide” and Holiday Prep Shop assist sellers with customization for celebrations such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and others.
eBay changes the jewelry categories structure
More than 150 changes were made in the structure of the Jewelry category. The update was announced as part of the eBay seller Fall update, and became active on 12th October. Importantly, such changes also influence the Items Specifics (eBay’s search attributes) requirements, which means all listings have to be updated too.
They will achieve this through strategic partnerships with delivery companies, many of which have already been established in Europe. Their 72 worldwide delivery hours are difficult to match by most of the global eCommerce players.
These are the moments of glory for Valigara, as it only takes several minutes to update all listings (instead of months of manual work).
Walmart pushes their fulfillment services
To encourage sales during the peak season, Walmart is offering a 50% discount on storage pricing to sellers using their fulfillment services (WFS). To take advantage of this deal, one must have been approved to sell on their online marketplace and get their inventory to a fulfillment center by November 1st.
This move is unprecedented and puts fashion jewelry sellers at a competitive advantage during this holiday season, especially since most of the items on the Walmart Marketplace have prices on the lower end. This strategy is also quite advantageous for sellers with smaller items, such as jewelry, as even a small additional storage space can host a larger number of products.
Amazon moves up Christmas fulfillment deadline
Amazon has changed their previously announced fulfillment deadline for Christmas orders from Dec 11th to Dec 2nd. The reason isn’t clear, but sellers have their doubts about how well this will work out. December is when best selling products can be more clearly determined, leaving many sellers at risk for running out of stock.
While jewelry is a hot product during Christmas, many eCommerce newcomers could be affected by this move. More seasoned sellers can pull data from past years, but for new online sellers they will have to rely on their best guesstimates.
More possibilities for eBay sellers
eBay has set in place new store capabilities meant to improve brand image and build seller trust. These include both frontend and backend changes, such as an “About Me” tab, more modern storefronts, coded coupons, and video integrations.
Last year, they also introduced the Authenticity Guarantee for sneakers and watches, which has since authenticated over 1 million items. We’re hoping we’ll see something similar for the jewelry category soon.
Amazon to start lending funds to small business sellers
Amazon is set on helping small to medium-sized businesses this holiday season. So they’ve joined hands with Lendistry, a well-established financial lending institution that supports minorities and small businesses in low-income US communities. Through their partnership, Amazon can now offer term loans of between $10,000 and $100,000 with annual rates ranging between 8% and 9.9%.
Jewelry sellers would benefit from introducing new innovative capabilities like VR and personalization to their product selections. A loan could help with that. It could also be useful for new jewelry start-ups or for those expanding their operations.
Intercontinental delivery suspensions
A number of national mail couriers from across the globe, including USPS and Canada Post, have suspended air packages to Australia and New Zealand. Those packages which have arrived by Oct 1st, will get delivered but with delays.
The long lockdown periods in those countries have led to an increase in online shopping which now means an opportunity loss for online sellers. A few services, such as Priority Worldwide, USPS Global Express Guaranteed, eBay international standard, and a few more, will continue to remain available. However, the shipping costs of these services will likely affect niche jewelry sellers with large markets in Australia and New Zealand.
The Etsy virtual house
Etsy is jumping on the VR trend through their recent collaboration with The Boundary studio. Together, they’ve created The Etsy House, a virtually augmented reality setting that simulates a house with decor and gift items for sale during the holiday season. Buyers can walk around the house and browse through a curated selection of items for sale.
Given the recent VR online shopping craze, we believe this tool will likely stick around for a while. So we’re hopeful Etsy will add some jewelry items in a box or drawer of that house in the future.
UK Royal Mail releases holiday delivery schedule
The UK Royal Mail is keeping an eye out for unpleasant surprises this season by advising buyers on how early they should purchase and deliver their holiday gifts. For items going to Europe, US or Canada, there is still hope with the earliest economy shipping deadline being November 1st. For other destinations, the clock is ticking.
While their announced dates are subject to change due to COVID challenges, the rule of thumb is always “the sooner, the better.” Jewelry is a common gift this season. So, for jewelry sellers in the UK, that means already having inventory stocked up and pushing most of the inexpensive items out by November before shipping costs skyrocket.
eCommerce holiday season trends
A recent report published by Packhelp, which surveyed 400 eCommerce businesses in Europe, highlighted a few best practices to keep in mind this holiday season. These include:
- prepare early (62% of businesses start in August and September, 27% start in October and November)
- increase engagement and reach new audiences
- add new products to catalogs (27% of businesses do so)
- focus on social media selling (17% of businesses)
- offer free shipping (24% of businesses) and discounts (22%)
Through our automation and integration functions, Valigara can help jewelry sellers with all the above.
Amazon releases Checkout v2
Amazon Pay, a checkout app which has been around since 2007, has finally gotten an upgrade. The app came about in an attempt to help affiliated online businesses reduce their number of abandoned carts online. Given that 37% of shoppers leave the page when asked to create an account, this solution has helped numerous businesses by allowing buyers to use their existing Amazon account during checkout, with corresponding delivery addresses and payment options.
Their upgraded Checkout v2 further reduces the number of steps shoppers take before completing a purchase and can even provide voice delivery notification through Amazon’s Alexa. Not only that, but the tool also integrates with major eCommerce software providers, like BigCommerce, Magento and Shopify, and can be implemented in other online websites through easy-to-insert widgets. This is great news for FBA jewelry sellers who also have a website, making multi-channel sales that much easier.
News from Valigara 👀
We are proud to be endorsed by the Jewelers of America, as the preferred jewelry eCommerce technology provider! We continue to invest in the industry, providing the most jewelers with relevant knowledge and helping make right decisions.
Our CEO, Igor Nusinovich, was invited by the JoA to participate in their holiday season eCommerce panel, along with other jewelry eCommerce experts. The event will happen on October 21st and everyone is welcome to attend. Don’t miss it!
Igor’s Tip of the Month: While the right setup is important, you cannot "prepare" yourself for eCommerce
“Selling online is not just about “knowing”; it’s also a lot about “doing” – creating workflows that work for you. This can be reached only through trial and error. What jewelry sells well online, how to price it, how to sell it and ship it – all these plus thousands of other well-known and thoroughly-discussed topics need to come up on your radar. And still, this doesn’t help w/o applying such knowledge to your own team’s skills, processes, and labor.
Consider your first year online as “practical learning.” Only by jumping into the water, you will find out what works for your business online.