Prepare to Embrace Change

As of May 2020, it’s clear that the effect of depressed economies worldwide is disrupting jewelry eCommerce – but signs of hope from Etsy, Walmart, DHL, and other jewelry industry players are upon us like Spring itself.

Across the board, the industry is dealing with potential customers having less discretionary income and interrupted supply chains, leading to greatly reduced sales and lower stock prices. A recent article in Rough-Polished posits the possibility of a lingering recession, with hard times ahead for sellers. But it’s not all doom-and-gloom: opportunity lies in wait.

As countries slowly begin to reopen, the marketing war for consumer dollars will begin in earnest. Sellers may wish to consider refocusing their marketing efforts on messaging appropriate to the times and emotions of their customers. A decisive program geared toward generic marketing of diamonds is also a strategy worth investigating.

While brick & mortar retail is struggling, there’s no doubt that the recent changes bring good news for the future of jewelry eCommerce. Those who once saw the switch to online operations as a future move now have a clear understanding that eCommerce is not a bonus or luxury, but a mandatory part of the jewelry business. Online marketplaces are growing at a fascinating pace, changing the proportion between online and offline retail forever.

In other words, prepare to embrace change — because jewelry buying and selling habits have changed forever.

Headlines

Here’s the latest jewelry ecommerce news:

  • 1. Why hanging on may pay off for jewelers

    As economies begin to reopen, and people begin to go outside again, the focus will be on finding beauty and connection — which is exactly what we sell as jewelers. People will need that after so many months of ugly news and “distancing.” Potential exists for increased sales due to “revenge spending” (spending money to make up for cancelled plans, etc.); and also an increase in ring sales from a pending wedding boom.

  • 2. Etsy breaking records — and gifting is back

    Etsy sales have nearly doubled in April compared to 2019. The number of items sold has increased 98% and are more than 25% higher than sales during its previous record month — December 2019. Nearly 130,000 new sellers joined Etsy in April, an increase of 40% compared to March and almost 70% compared to April 2019. While many sales are attributed to the new demand for face masks, stay-at-home rules and lost employment are driving more to become new sellers and more to buy unique items. This is great news, as about 25% of Etsy stores are in the jewelry category.

    There’s been movement in that sector on Etsy, too. Etsy is reporting a rise in gifting sales, particularly of self-care items, DIY kits, furniture, masks, and jewelry. Many people are sending gifts to healthcare workers on the front lines and including messages of support. In the coming quarter, Etsy projects 33% of purchases will be centered on gifting.

  • 3. Walmart marketplace is surging

    One of the top-8 online jewelry marketplaces, Walmart has seen an unprecedented surge in business, growing more than Amazon or eBay. Web traffic to Walmart increased by 55% in April compared to February, before the pandemic started. By comparison, both eBay and Amazon saw 15% growth. While online grocery sales (and the merging of the Grocery app into the main Walmart app) have been driving sales, third-party sellers in the general commerce catalog are also seeing considerable growth.

  • 4. DHL shipping volume of lightweight packages increases to holiday peak levels

    Since late February, DHL has seen volume growth of over 36% in domestic volume and 28% in cross border volume from online retailers who ship lightweight packets and parcels. The 5 categories at the top of the list: Nutraceuticals, Pharmaceuticals, Health & Beauty, Home Office accessories & supplies, and Apparel. No doubt that the increased volume of jewelry sales online for the US Mother’s Day holiday in May contributed to this increased volume, and it bodes well for jewelry ecommerce going forward.

  • 5. It’s not too early to prepare for 2020 holiday sales

    The specter of the coronavirus and stay-at-home orders have put most of the world’s buyers online. As of Monday, May 11th, some reports have found that there has been an 87% increase in eCommerce revenues when compared to normal averages. The time is now to develop your contingencies for jewelry sales at the holidays, considering that “back to normal” may not be an option. Don’t be complacent, be prepared — and get your marketing plans ready to go.

May 2020 Jewelry eCommerce Webinar

Check out our latest webinar to discover new emerging opportunities for the jewelry industry and how you can take advantage during our CEO Town Hall Panel. Our upcoming webinar will go more in-depth analyzing the online marketplaces’ performance, changes, and providing the updated best practices. Stay tuned!

Stay safe, be well, and be agile — new opportunities await!