The jewelry industry had a particularly tough time breaking into eCommerce. Once a market designated to brick-and-mortar, fine jewelry retailers have finally migrated to the web in droves, but at a much slower pace than other businesses.
According to a recent report from McKinsey & Company, the industry is poised to take up a much bigger market share by 2020, likely growing from the current five percent to as much as 10 percent in just two years. Despite this, jewelers still face plenty of unique challenges online, and the most debilitating one is that consumers still prefer to buy fine jewelry in stores.
But what about fashion jewelry? Because it doesn’t have the same limitations as higher-end jewelry, research suggests that it’ll grow at an even faster pace. With that being said, it doesn’t matter if a consumer is looking for a once-in-a-lifetime purchase — like an engagement ring — or a handcrafted piece of jewelry from an online marketplace, their web presence serves one important purpose.
The majority of shoppers engage with jewelry brands and makers online, especially in the form of social media, before going in-store to make a purchase. That gives retailers plenty of opportunity for exposure.
eCommerce Jewelry Influencers: How They’re Reeling In Shoppers
To understand how some of the biggest eCommerce jewelers (and the popular brick-to-click makers who followed in their footsteps) got to where they are today, we have to take a good look at jewelry influencers.
For jewelers, influencer marketing proves to be a gainful investment. After all, people shopping for jewelry tend to do more research online than other kinds of purchases.
- They’re Making Partnerships — Custom online jewelry store Taylor & Hart has a message for the jewelry industry. In a recent blog post, the brand declared that “the industry can continue to grow and evolve only through the joint efforts of everyone involved.” Rather than zeroing in on one certain type of influencer — usually a fashion-focused social media star — jewelry brands should be connecting with jewelry designers, jewelry makers, customers, fans and even jewelry schools to help promote their products.
- They’re Leading with Their Ethics — If you know one big name in online jewelry, it’s probably Blue Nile. For the past 20 years, the company has worked to de-mystify the jewelry-buying process and make conflict-free diamonds trendy. So how do you hammer home the idea that your jewelry is made ethically? You partner with eco-friendly, ethics-focused influencers, of course!
- They’re Handing Over the Reins — If you want a good way to market your product and an even better way to grow your followers, follow the lead of top-tier jewelry brands like Flights of Fancy. The online jewelry sellers let top influencers take over their Instagram account for a few special posts. This tactic can help you reach new audiences and promote certain products.
Other Marketing Techniques to Consider
Besides coming up with a solid jewelry influencer strategy, there are a few other things you can do to help grow your online business. If you’re dealing with fine jewelry, then it’s important that you prescribe a “brick-and-click” methodology to your plan. This simply means adopting a business model where you integrate both offline and online stores into a single retail strategy.
For fashion jewelers, focus on getting a leg up in an increasingly saturated marketplace. Both marketplaces can benefit from the following techniques.
- Social Media — It may sound obvious, but social media marketing can translate into big bucks for your online store. But you have to use smart social media strategy to get ahead of the competition. At Springbot, we help our customers gain an edge with tools like Shoppable Instagram — which allows users to easily shop your posts — and trackable links that help you monitor your social data.
- Content Marketing — Industries that see a higher click-and-brick rate (in other words, industries where consumers are more likely to research online and buy offline) should be taking advantage of content marketing by branding their products through research-based blog posts and articles that cater to consumers at every step of the buyer’s journey.
- Email Marketing — Using an integrated email marketing tool will help you make your email messaging more tailored than ever. Like any industry, jewelry retailers must know whom to market to and when to target them. The right email marketing strategy will help you maximize results without spending your entire marketing budget.
If you’re an eCommerce jewelry merchant, it pays to harness the power of top influencers and social media to turn your followers into loyal fans. Not only will you grow your audience, but you’ll increase your revenue and brand visibility as well.
Curious to see how one small business jewelry designer is expanding her digital footprint? Check out our Customer Journey series featuring Smart Glass Jewelry.