What to Know When Selling Jewelry Internationally
Selling jewelry internationally can be a great opportunity for both retailers and wholesalers. Jewelry is in high demand globally; this has been the case for decades, in fact. While the pandemic did hit many jewelry stores, most survived or recovered primarily from pivoting to eCommerce.
A large benefit of eCommerce is the wide access to international customers. However, before taking advantage of new international markets, jewelry sellers need to address certain challenges first. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
One of the easiest ways to sell your jewelry internationally is by using marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Bonanza, and the like. Each of these has its own rules, fees, target markets, and pricing ranges. They may also specialize in specific industry products (e.g. fashion jewelry vs fine jewelry). So you’ll need to study them carefully in order to select the ones most appropriate for your own jewelry products.
We’ve done some of the legwork for you and detailed a few specific requirements of each marketplace known for their high jewelry sales. Take a look and see which one you might want to use.
2.Online Jewelry Store
You should always have a jewelry store website even when using a marketplace. It does not only help you establish a brand image, but it also gives you more virtual real estate to showcase and promote your catalog and product selections.
One way to ensure you reach a new market through your website is to use geographically-focused SEO. A sales funnel is also another method of optimizing international sales, as it gives you more touch points with customers from different demographics. You could create separate types of advertisements or lead magnets to attract various audiences into your funnel, then nurture each of those segments separately until they make a purchase.
The popularity of social channels has long entered the business arena, and if you aren’t yet on there, you are definitely missing out on large opportunities. Social media is essential for:
- Customer engagement
- Brand awareness
- Product showcasing
- Testimonials and social proof
- Partnerships and collaborations
and a lot more. It’s also one of the easiest ways to reach global audiences of all ages with minimum investment.
With every online business, certain logistical considerations need to be well understood. However, when shipping internationally a few more factors should be addressed. Firstly, customs regulations differ per country, as well as per region (e.g. European Union, GCC, etc.). You have to be aware of shipping fees, import duty fees, value added taxes, packaging requirements, and the like.
On top of that, pricing (keeping in mind inflation levels, industry price points, and competition levels), language (proper translation, dialect, etc.), and legal matters are just as important to understand. In Europe, for example, heavy metals like cadmium, nickel, or lead won’t be allowed entry into the country. Also, the use of some materials (e.g. shells, leather, wood, coral reefs) from plants or animals that are considered endangered species under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) is also prohibited.
One last important point to keep in mind is PIM (product information management). Everything from managing product information, inventory levels, shipping labels, etc. needs to be established. You might not have to reinvent the wheel completely, but you should certainly not expect it all to go the same way as your domestic operations. This is where a tool like Valigara comes in handy, allowing you to update and replicate processes with a few clicks, while also giving you the flexibility to make individual changes.
You may not have demand for all your catalog products abroad. This would heavily depend on the traditions and societal expectations of the country you’re selling to. For example, in some societies, piercings are quite popular whereas in others, they barely exist.
In some places, men cannot wear gold and in others, the value of gold is lower in comparison to other metals. Also, certain stones, gems, or metals could be considered bad omens. For example, in India, the Koh-i-Noor diamond is considered cursed. In other regions, opal is a symbol of bad luck.
2. Business Styles
Cultural differences exist not only around the jewelry products themselves, but also around communications, negotiations, and the understanding of time. Because of time zone differences and various interpretations around punctuality or verbal agreements, you should expect delays and renegotiations.
It’s also important to verify the legitimacy of any business partner with the country’s Better Business Bureau to avoid fraudulent transactions or loss of investment. Some cultures also care about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and giving back to the local community, or at least sourcing materials in a responsible manner.
These are just a few of the most important points jewelry sellers should keep in mind before launching their operations internationally. Navigating through them is no easy feat but it does get easier with advance preparation and reasonable expectations.