Retail Growth

3 Challenges Jewelry E-Commerce Merchants Face (+ How to Overcome Them)

Angela Marrujo
December 15, 2021

Despite strides in jewelry e-commerce, traditional brick-and-mortar jewelry stores still reign with consumers.

In a 2020 study by Platinum Guild International and 360 Market Reach, consumers surveyed agreed — with 92% of respondents gifting jewelry and 90% of those self-purchasing jewelry saying that they shop in-store.

Compare that to the 69% of jewelry gifters and 66% of self-purchasers who report buying jewelry online.

The numbers are promising for jewelry e-commerce merchants. Yet, consumers remain hesitant to purchase big-ticket jewelry items online.

Much of that hesitance stems from consumer concerns and misconceptions about purchasing jewelry online. But the good news is that you can overcome these challenges — and set yourself apart from competitors at the same time.

Challenge #1: Shoppers can’t try on jewelry in person

Jewelry is typically a risky purchase to make without experiencing the product in person. Imagine buying what you thought was the perfect ring online, only to be disappointed after trying it on for the first time at home.

This is a very real fear for consumers as they look through jewelry online. Not being able to see or try on jewelry in person keeps many people from buying online. They need to be able to envision themselves wearing the product and make sure it’s perfect for them.

Help customers try on products virtually

Modern jewelry e-commerce merchants can use tech to let customers virtually try on jewelry. Customers can see themselves wearing jewelry pieces virtually via image uploads, real-time camera filters, and more. That way, they can decide if they like the way the jewelry looks on them before purchasing it.

Brilliant Earth offers virtual try-on tech in the mobile view of their website. If a potential customer is scrolling through ring selections on their phone and wants to know how one will look, they can tap on the ring, select “Virtual Try-On,” and upload an image of their hand to see how the ring will look. From there, they can customize the ring and share the finished design with others to see what they think.

Offer product customization options

The appeal of in-person jewelry shopping also lies in crafting and customizing the perfect ring, necklace, and more. Offering in-depth customization options online gives consumers the chance to create a one-of-a-kind jewelry piece they’ll feel connected to.

MoissaniteCo lets customers customize every jewelry product on its website, from rings and earrings to pendants and bracelets. With a ring, for example, a person can select the shape, brand, size, and stone and metal type. The company then creates the custom ring with those exact specifications before shipping it to the customer.

Consumers stay involved in the creation of their jewelry — right from their computer or phone. And, in the end, they’ll receive something they love without ever having to set foot in a store.

Challenge #2: People are scared to buy big-ticket items online

When purchasing big-ticket items like engagement rings or luxury bracelets online, people want to be 100% certain before making a purchase decision. In a jewelry store, they have the luxury of asking sales staff questions before buying — but for e-commerce merchants, customer service requires a different approach.

Give consumers peace of mind through chat support and accessible information as they browse jewelry online.

Offer live online chat support

Have someone available to answer questions a customer has — just as a salesperson would be at a store. Offer live online chat support and train support staff to give customers everything they need to be sure about their purchase decision.

My Trio Rings has chat support readily available during business hours for customers if they need help. A red live chat button is on its website — all it takes is a click of a button to receive assistance.

Once all questions are answered, and customers get all the reassurance they need, they'll feel ready to buy.

Make it easy for customers to trace jewel provenance

Customers value transparency. People want to know more than merely how many carats a diamond is before purchasing. They want to know the full story behind the jewel. They want to know about its authenticity, worth, and maker.

Don’t make them hunt down that information. Instead, have it readily available on your website for customers to view. Jewlr, for example, packages information alongside each listing on where the jewelry was created, the ethical practices behind the jewels, and even background information on the metals used to create each piece.

By being open about jewel provenance, you might just earn yourself a sale.

Challenge #3: Product protection plans don’t offer enough coverage

Customers are spending a lot of money on your products, and they want to know that their purchase is protected — especially within the first few years of ownership. But more often than not, product protection plans offered aren’t as thorough as they should be. For example, more often than not, center stones aren’t protected if they are damaged.

Stand out as a jewelry e-commerce merchant by offering extended warranty plans with simple claims processes.

Offer lifetime coverage with a modern plan

People buy jewelry in the hopes that the pieces will last a lifetime. That’s why offering lifetime, modern protection plans is important. And not just any coverage — but coverage that protects their purchase even if the center stone of a ring is damaged.

Recognizing that, Brilliant Earth lets customers purchase optional lifetime protection via Extend with their jewelry. Coverage includes stone repairs and resetting (center stone included), center and side stone replacements for setting defects, ring band resizing, and earring and chain repairs. Extend protects purchases from everything, including traditional wear and tear to accidental defects and damage.

With lifetime coverage, customers feel more at peace with making a large purchase such as an engagement ring because they know it’s protected.

Make the warranty claims process easy

When defects or damage happen to an expensive or sentimental piece of jewelry, customers are anxious to get it repaired or replaced. Product protection plan offerings are the first step, but the warranty claims process must also be simple.

Jewlr’s product protection plans through Extend come with a painless and worry-free warranty claims process. Customers pay no deductible, and Extend processes claims in minutes.

The quick and easy warranty claim leaves a lasting impression on customers. And along the way, you gain the loyalty of customers who are likely to return for their next purchase.

Build consumer trust in jewelry e-commerce with Extend

Buying jewelry online can be stressful for the average consumer. Cross out some of those worries and concerns by adding product protection plans that earn customer trust and loyalty.

With Extend’s plans, your online jewelry business will stand out from the competition with exceptional, modern coverage that others don’t offer. Add in the easy warranty claims process, and customers are left with a customer experience they’ll remember the next time they’re looking to purchase.

Want to learn what Extend has to offer you as a merchant? Schedule a demo and find out.

Angela Marrujo
Angela Marrujo is a content creator at Extend.

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