Ultimate Guide: Tips for Selling Jewelry Online at Max Profit

Deborah Mecca
February 20, 2024

The tradition of wearing jewelry dates back as far as civilization itself. If you’ve decided to join the jewelry industry and sell jewelry online, this article is for you!

With a jewelry-focused e-commerce business, your jewelry sales are only limited by how well you can master the online landscape. This article explains everything you need to know as an entrepreneur, from setting up your jewelry brand and choosing the types of new jewelry you’ll offer, to connecting with your target audience, sourcing products, and selecting the best plugins to enhance your business. Dive in to explore how to bring your jewelry into the eager hands of your buyers.

6 Basic Steps to Sell Jewelry Online

Setting up your online jewelry store can feel like a daunting experience. This piece explains the essential things you need to know to start an online jewelry business and convince shoppers to buy.

You could sell handmade jewelry, either by crafting it yourself or by sourcing it from elsewhere and marking the price up on your e-commerce website. Handmade jewelry is especially popular now because people are generally more attuned to the idea of supporting small businesses rather than buying from big corporate entities.

Under the handmade jewelry niche, you could also offer custom or bespoke pieces. This would-be more complicated, since you’d have to work closely with the buyer on the exact design. A bespoke piece of handmade jewelry might take quite some time to make, but you could charge premium prices for them, too.

One major drawback of selling handmade jewelry is the time you may need to spend making your own jewelry. It might be helpful to start with a pre-made inventory and then add to your stock as time goes on.

1. Brainstorm Your Main Products& Jewelry Types

The first step in selling jewelry online is to define your niche and the types of jewelry you'll offer. Common favorites include:

Fashion Jewelry

While certain fashion trends may go in and out of style, there will always be a demand for fashion jewelry. Also known as novelty jewelry or costume jewelry, fashion jewelry is a niche dedicated to affordability, using lower-cost materials to create necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets that appear to be more expensive than they actually are. To get an idea for your own fashion jewelry pieces, look to the most popular fashion magazines, like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Marie Claire, and similar periodicals. Lower-priced novelty jewelry appeals to a younger demographic, particularly young men and women who are students or who are early in their careers and working with a tight budget. You may need to sell more fashion jewelry with a narrower profit margin, but there is a huge market for this type of inexpensive jewelry, as long as it’s interesting or attractive.

Body Jewelry

Body jewelry includes more of the non-traditional items, like toe rings, belly button rings, nose rings, eyebrow rings, and other exotic piercings. This segment of the market is growing as members of the younger generations embrace the ability to express their personality through piercings. Know that many shoppers will prefer high-quality body jewelry that won’t cause an allergic reaction. Offering products made from precious metals (gold, silver, etc.), surgical steel, or implant-grade titanium would be ideal. It’s also smart to offer customers variant options for the same design, but with different metals. This can be accomplished in by installing third-party apps, like Product Options and Customizer, on your Shopify store.

Handmade Jewelry

You could sell handmade jewelry, either by crafting it yourself or by sourcing it from elsewhere and marking the price up on your e-commerce website. Handmade jewelry is especially popular now because people are generally more attuned to the idea of supporting small businesses rather than buying from big corporate entities.

Under the handmade jewelry niche, you could also offer custom or bespoke pieces. This would be more complicated, since you’d have to work closely with the buyer on the exact design. A bespoke piece of handmade jewelry might take quite some time to make, but you could charge premium prices for them, too.

One major drawback ofselling handmadejewelry is the time you may need to spend making your own jewelry.It might be helpful to start with a pre-made inventory and then add to yourstock as time goes on.

Plated Jewelry

Plated jewelry is a middle ground between fashion jewelry and fine jewelry. The term plated refers to the finish layer over the foundation layer of metal. So the main metal might be something inexpensive like nickel, while the top finish plating layer might be sterling silver, platinum, or gold. This is a great option for buyers who can’t afford fine jewelry, but who need something more elevated than novelty jewelry. If you decide to get into this niche, you’ll want to be careful to steer clear of certain wholesalers who might be selling plated jewelry containing lead. Lead is a neurotoxin that’s prohibited in specific use cases, including jewelry.

Fine Jewelry

This is a top-of-the-line market, where you’d be selling jewelry made with precious metals and gems. Fine jewelry is made with varying carats of gold, silver, and platinum. It may also have precious and/or semi-precious gems like diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and similar. The markup on fine jewelry is large, but you have to weigh this with the fact that your target market will be smaller and that your investment in your inventory will be greater. Also, people don’t buy as much fine jewelry as other kinds of jewelry. They may make only one or two fine jewelry purchases in their entire lives; whereas they may buy other—less expensive jewelry—much more frequently.

Vintage Jewelry

Vintage jewelry is popular with a certain niche market, too. You would need to spend time sourcing your inventory from places online, such as eBay, brick-and-mortar shops like Goodwill and Salvation Army, estate sales, yard sales, and more. The advantages of selling vintage jewelry are that they’re already made, unique, highly desirable, and may only need a good cleaning to be ready to sell online. Finally, you only need to invest as much as you can afford at any given time. When your inventory gets low, you simply go out and buy more from the sources mentioned above.

2. Design Unique Pieces of Jewelry

If you decide to go the route of making your own high-end jewelry, you can look for inspiration using Tiffany’s modern/elegant look as an example. Branding is as important with jewelry as with other kinds of products, and you can follow a certain “look” for your brand (i.e., pieces are all very modern, or all very couture), or you can mix it up. Be sure to offer distinctive pieces that set your brand apart from others.

Remember that if you design a piece of jewelry, you don’t necessarily have to make it yourself. Entrepreneurs could simply be the visionary and then outsource the creation of the jewelry pieces to another entity or individual. Many successful business owners in the jewelry industry have adopted this model, and there are several places that will take your unique jewelry designs and materialize them.

3. Secure Jewelry Supplier & Dropshipping Partners

Having a reliable supplier is essential, especially in the jewelry market. Before finalizing a partnership with a jewelry supplier, consider browsing platforms like Alibaba to understand the variety and quality available. Your customers will associate your jewelry brand, not the supplier, with the product they receive. Thus, ensuring product quality is crucial.

To find the best jewelry suppliers online, you can conduct a search on Google for “wholesale jewelry suppliers.” Next, check their reputation with Google reviews. Pay closest attention to reviews that reference shipping times and product quality. Finally, ask for some sample products to be delivered to you because pictures can be photoshopped to make a product look better than it is in person.

If you prefer not to handle the packaging and shipping aspects of your e-commerce business, consider integrating a dropshipping model. Platforms like Shopify support a plethora of dropshipping plugins, making it seamless for online jewelers.

4. Build Your Online Jewelry Store

The next step is to actually build your online jewelry store. The easiest way to do this is to start with an e-commerce platform. Many million-dollar businesses use Shopify because of its simplicity to use and get started quickly. Shopify offers several pre-built integrations and accepts several payment options like Stripe, Paypal, and well-known credit cards. The Shopify App Store offers thousands of potential apps and plugins to help boost your online store’s offerings.

One downside to Shopify, though, is that they have a 100-variant limit on products, which limits e-commerce merchants with large inventories. This is just one example of a problem that’s easily solved with a third-party app from the app store. For instance, Product Options and Customizer allows Shopify store owners to offer nearly unlimited product variant options and enables upselling, optimizing, and customizing each jewelry product in your inventory.

Another thing to note while building out your online store is to focus on publishing high-quality, nicely styled product photos. These images play a significant role in the jewelry industry, allowing buyers to see the product and imagine themselves or a loved one wearing it. Make sure your product images match the actual product to maintain brand trust.

5. Establish a Pricing Model

Pricing can be a differentiator, both for lower- and higher-priced items. Pricing impacts the perceived value of the product and the brand as a whole. If your brand is associated with lower-priced items, people will be hesitant to pay a premium price for anything you sell. Vice versa, if people associate your brand with a high-quality product, those with smaller budgets might never visit your store.

When setting your prices, you have to take into consideration all the costs associated with getting your products into the hands of your buyer. This includes:

  • Design cost
  • Cost of materials
  • Dropshipping cost/fees
  • Packaging cost
  • Payment processor and/or credit card transaction fees
  • Your time

One of the biggest mistakes that new e-commerce sellers make is to forget to compensate themselves for their own time. If it takes an hour to fulfill one sale and your profit margin is $5, that means you’re only making $5 per hour.

Most businesses set prices as a percentage markup. If you follow this pricing model, you don’t have to calculate the price every time you add a new piece of inventory. Just add up your expenses and then add a certain percentage to come up with your price point. As time goes on and markets shift, you’ll want to review your pricing so that you remain competitive without leaving potential profits on the table.

6. Implement a Marketing Strategy

Next, you need a way for your target market to find your online store. You’ll want to implement a high-impact marketing strategy that makes the most of your marketing budget. Your strategy should be multi-pronged, consisting of a combination of strategies that covers as many bases as possible. Once you start to get some data back on your marketing efforts, such as your Shopify conversion rate, you can begin to put more money toward the strategies that seem to be giving you the most return on investment (ROI) and spend less money on strategies that are less effective.

Your marketing strategy should be built upon things like:

  • Social media presence(TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, X, etc.)
  • Loyalty incentives (points for purchases, referral programs, etc.)
  • Newsletter
  • Paid ads
  • And more

These marketing outlets will enable you to establish your small business brand, improve your Shopify store, build a customer base, and drive future sales for years to come.

Taking Your Online Jewelry Business to the Next Level

Offer Customizable Jewelry Products/Options

Customers love feeling that their personal needs are being catered to. This applies to online jewelry purchases, as well. If you can offer customizable jewelry options, your customers will return again and again. They may also refer their friends and family members to the online jewelry store where you sell customizable products. If they associate your brand with personalized products, there will be no stopping how far you can take your business.

The challenge is working within Shopify’s strict 100-variant limit. Shopify is a terrific e-commerce platform, except for this limitation. Apps like Product Options and Customizer allow your buyers to navigate to a main product page, such as rings, and select custom options, like:

  • Metal composition (silicone,sterling silver, 14k white plated, 14k rose gold plated, 14k gold plate, 24kwhite, 14k rose gold, 24k gold, etc)
  • Ring size
  • Engraving
  • Gemstone (ruby, sapphire,amethyst, etc)
  • Gemstone cut (princess,oval, heart, etc)
  • Add-on gemstones (how many, whatcolors/color combinations, etc)
  • Embellishments
  • Design style options
  • Packaging, including gift boxes,personalized memento packaging, etc.
  • And more

By integrating a trusted 3rd party app like Product Options and Customizer, you’ll be able to offer your customers all the personalization and customization they demand to make every customer feel special.

Sell in Multiple Online Marketplaces

The beauty of selling online is that you’re not limited to one location. Even though you may want to have your main shop on Shopify, you can still sell your jewelry on other marketplaces. This tactic may even help to expand your brand awareness and bring more customers to your Shopify site, where they can browse through your entire inventory of jewelry for sale.

Amazon’s net sales have far surpassed $386 billion, and they now have a special Amazon Handmade division that would be ideal for selling handmade jewelry. EBay’s annual gross merchandise volume is nearly $100 billion. Etsy, another online marketplace, is massively popular with customers seeking unique, handcrafted items. They report gross merchandise sales of nearly $10.3 billion. Even Facebook Marketplace, readily accessible to everyone, is popular with both buyers and sellers of new and used goods. Reseller platforms like Poshmark and Depop have total combined revenues that easily fall into the billions of dollars.

Invest in Your Social Media

Social media is an integral part of every online business these days. For an online jewelry store, where optics play such a pivotal role in sales, an Instagram account is essential. Other platforms to consider are X, TikTok, and YouTube. While creating accounts on these platforms is free, you might want to consider paid advertising or sponsored products down the line. Another way to get noticed on social media is through influencer marketing. Influencers promote products and brands to their wide audience members, for a price. The price will vary among influencers, so you’ll need to shop around to find an influencer who a) would be a good brand ambassador for your jewelry, and b), is within your price range. Finally, consider hiring a social media manager who can successfully post your products and manage engagement with your followers. It’s easy to spread yourself too thin on social media, so having someone dedicated to your social media campaign is something to seriously think about.

Utilize Email Marketing Campaigns

Creating a successful email marketing campaign for a jewelry store involves several key steps. Start by building a targeted email list of jewelry enthusiasts and segment it based on preferences. Choose a user-friendly email marketing platform like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or another. Utilize visually appealing templates to showcase your jewelry's beauty. Include high-quality images, informative descriptions, and personal touches. Craft engaging subject lines that entice recipients to open your emails. Determine the right email frequency, which is typically going to be a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter. Each email should have a clear Call to Action (CTA), whether it's to shop, click to get a coupon, or follow on social media. Personalization is crucial. Address recipients by their names and tailor content to their interests. Monitor campaign performance with analytics and conduct A/B testing to refine subject lines, content, and CTAs. Ensure compliance with email marketing regulations, and always provide an easy unsubscribe option. Finally, gather feedback from subscribers and use it for continuous improvement. Remember, successful email marketing requires ongoing effort and adaptation to maintain a strong connection with your audience.

Implement Search Engine Optimization(SEO)

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the key that can transform the online presence of your jewelry store. It's the art and science of making your website, product descriptions, and content marketing efforts highly visible to search engines like Google. First, keyword research and content creation are paramount. By identifying the exact words and phrases potential customers use when searching for jewelry, you can tailor your product descriptions and website content accordingly. This makes your offerings more discoverable. Second, internal linking within your website boosts navigation and helps search engines understand your site's structure. It enhances the user experience and encourages visitors to explore more, potentially leading to more sales. Third, earning backlinks from reputable sources builds your site's authority. When other sites link to yours, search engines perceive your content as valuable, further improving your rankings. In essence, SEO acts like your jewelry store's beacon in the online world, guiding customers to your product offerings. When executed effectively, it can elevate your store's visibility, drawing traffic and building your brand.

Add Client Reviews and Product Rankings

Social proof is a concept where people are influenced in their buying decisions by others. It’s a psychological fact that people are more likely to want something when they know that someone else values that item. You can leverage this powerful tool by adding client reviews and testimonials to your online shop. A good review can make the difference when a potential buyer is trying to decide whether to click that “add to cart” button on your e-commerce store. Another powerful tool is product rankings. Just displaying your product ranking on your online store can help influence your shoppers to buy your jewelry online. This strategy also adds a level of transparency that helps your target market to trust your store and your products.

Run Seasonal Promotions & Bonus Offers

Data consistently shows that customers are more inclined to make purchases when they have access to promotions, such as when using Shopify apps to increase sales. According to a survey conducted by RetailMeNot, 80% of consumers feel encouraged to make a purchase when presented with a discount or promotion. This demonstrates the powerful influence of promotions on consumer behavior. When deciding between discounts and bonus offers, it's essential to consider their impact on revenue. Discounts directly reduce the price of products, potentially leading to lower overall revenues. However, bonus offers, such as "buy a bracelet, get free earrings," allow better control over perceived value. Customers perceive added value without reducing the base price of the product, which can be more profitable in the long run. Promotion dissemination across various channels is vital. Social media platforms, email campaigns, and paid ads are effective channels for reaching a wide audience. According to a study by Omnisend, emails with promotions have a higher open rate (26.9%) compared to those without (17.2%). In a similar way, paid advertising can target specific demographics interested in promotions.

Make the Most of Your Online Jewelry Store

Implementing strategies like the pro tips mentioned above can significantly enhance your jewelry store's performance. To take your e-commerce jewelry store to the next level, consider exploring the benefits of integrations such as Product Options and Customizer. It streamlines customization, adds incredible functionality, and makes managing product pages effortless for busy merchants with large inventories. Check out the many things Product Customizer can do for your online jewelry store. Or, go ahead and try Product Options & Customizer free for 14 days to see everything it can do!

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