Selecting the right jewelry and marketplace to sell on
You may be thinking about starting a purely online jewelry store or offering part of your current offline selection on the world wide web. Either way, a number of factors come into play when deciding on the most successful way to go about it. Those include your type of products, the marketplace requirements, and your competition. Let’s look at each of these.
You may have your target market’s preferences all sorted out but, by listing your products on a marketplace, you are now targeting a completely different demographic. So you have to make sure that you tailor your online catalog to that audience.
If you’re just getting started with a marketplace, it’s a good idea to have a variety of products available, either new ones or from your existing collection. You should have at least 100 different products in different categories and price ranges listed. Otherwise, you may not meet that market’s demands.
Just as important is adjusting your stock regularly. Refill your inventory as soon as it is about halfway gone. Keep in mind how fast those items sell versus how soon you can have them shipped in your warehouse, to know when to order more. Also, make sure to keep track of your analytics to see which products are more popular and would require a larger inventory.
You have a large number of options when it comes to selling your products online. Besides your own website, there are specialized marketplaces that cover all customer product needs. The most popular ones are eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and Walmart.
Each marketplace caters to a different audience. For example, eBay is a highly competitive, price-sensitive platform, mostly meant for generic products. Walmart is similar in that sense, only that it is focused on the US market alone and is stricter with their seller registration process.
Amazon also has a more rigid sign-up process but a wider range of product categories and access to customers all over the globe. Etsy, on the other hand, is very much focused on unique designs and rare niches.
It is wise to try your hand at multiple marketplaces but you must have the ability to create various product lines for each one of them. For example, on Etsy you would gain most success with fashion jewelry items that have one-of-a-kind designs along with different type of stones (e.g. white diamonds, black diamonds, fancy diamonds, gemstones, morganite, moissanite, etc.).
Classic, cost-effective, or widely popular jewelry items would be better suited for eBay or Walmart. eBay also requires you to provide some type of jewelry / diamond certificates of authenticity or appraisal for your items. All of these factors are important to keep in mind when deciding where to sell.
Having a UVP – unique value proposition (aka competitive advantage), whether it’s within your pricing or in your offer/product is necessary for any store, anywhere. It’s simply a good business practice.
However, when selling online, you have to account for fulfilment and transportation risks, as well as policies and selling fees. These may make it more difficult to stay competitive, especially if your UVP is based on price. A lot of fees will chip away at your profit, so you’ll need to set a larger margin.
Also, on highly competitive marketplaces like eBay, it’s best to start with items in categories with less competition such as pendants, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Competitive categories like engagement rings or wedding bands have more adept sellers, with an established customer base and brand. It is harder to enter those niches.
At the same time, do make sure to follow marketplace trends and check their analytics to find out the best-selling items in your category. You can review the sold items sections of your competitors and identify patterns in consumer behavior and/or product listing details.
Nailing these three main components will give you a better chance at succeeding with your online sales. Once you understand the four main marketplaces and can tailor your catalog to them, your sales should start adding up quickly.