When I started my jewelry business, I did not have any idea on how to start an online jewelry store, let alone marketing them.
I have been into fashion jewelry selling in my online store hosted in Shopify for a year. I used to do it full time, but I’ve recently been spending fewer hours as I am also focusing on other online ventures such as this informational blog.
Some jewelry history
Jewelry has been a part of humanity since 40,000 years back. Our ancestors had them as body embellishments in a form of bones, teeth, stones and animal ligaments.
In ancient Egypt, they were fond of how workable and shiny gold is which led to them making jewelry out of gold. It then symbolizes power for them. But in general, ancient people treat jewelry as a means to ward off evil elements.
Jewelry also serves as a mode of payment to ancient trades when currency bills and other monetary mediums we have today did not exist yet.
Fast forward to today, our modern pieces of jewelry are now polished metals. If you will ever look back to what jewelry looked like during the homo-sapien age, you will be thankful for evolving jewelry designs.
The reason I started an online jewelry store
It happened after I lost my 9-5 job due to an unfortunate medical situation that I had in 2018. Way back then, I was so eager to start an online business, mostly in e-commerce but I was stuck with what product to sell or niche to tackle.
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You maybe are like me at this point when the idea of starting to build your online business is like a sugar rush. When I was in that stage, I could not stop myself from doing thorough research.
Let me tell you something
Please do not fall on the scams on the internet about fast money-making blah blah. It may be very tempting, but if you fall in one of those false promises, the effect will keep on lingering to your mind. It will in any way convince your brain that you need to earn that money so fast and it’s possible.
These autopilot money-machine promises are all BS and they need to get out your peripherals in order for you to see the practical way of making money online.
Practicality depends on how you perceive it. However, practical means, it is indeed a fact with measurable results and can happen in the real world as opposed to theories and ideas.
Is online jewelry store profitable?
Starting an online jewelry store and slowly building your way up to the limelight is one example of practicality when it comes to making money online.
Jewelry business can be really lucrative if you are equipped with the knowledge of selling jewelry online before you actually start selling.
Talking about profitability, an online jewelry business has a really wide chance of growing into success due to factors such as:
- cheaper shipping
- profit margin
With me, I saw these totally sparkly earrings that I can make into a “line of jewelry” and brand them. That’s how my idea of starting an online business came into reality.
Jewelry is always and will forever be in demand for fashion enthusiasts. In fact, the overall value for the jewelry market around the world hits 278 billion.
Part of the niches that business owners need to consider is the jewelry niche. Although it does not solve a pain point, jewelry makes people feel good about themselves. That’s more than enough to convince them to buy the shiny and shimmery product you are selling.
People who buy jewelry for the first time in your store will likely purchase again in the coming months, and so on. We have days when almost all orders in a day came from repeat customers.
These people love jewelry so much that when you launch a new product, they will swarm in to buy. No kidding. We have avid customers who don’t just buy but leave 5-star reviews all the time.
In Canada where my jewelry store is based, shipping is pretty expensive. The cheapest is what we call lettermail by Canadapost and it’s basically for mailing letters and documents.
The next option is regular shipping which does have a tracking number but takes a couple more days to arrive than expedited shipping.
The expedited parcel is where prices can escalate fast with just a province away. If you live in BC and you are shipping to Nova Scotia or Newfoundland with an expedited parcel, you will end up with around $18 in fees.
However, it is a whole different story with jewelry. Luckily, because of the size of the jewelry, most artisan and small business owners can ship these beautiful pieces through lettermail.
The good side about it is they do allow some other type of contents in an envelope or narrow box as long as it’s within the required height limit which is 2cm.
I know different countries have different rates but I believe that shipping jewelry costs way less than other bulky items.
The savings you made from cheaper shipping definitely adds to your profit if you’re including it in the price. Or, the small shipping amount will completely entice a customer and influences them to buy.
Jewelry is perceived as a precious object. The reason why many people love jewelry. The market for these products is highly passionate and can easily be targeted just by researching the big jewelry brands.
When it comes to marketing these products, jewelry can be presented to other customers outside of the “jewelry passion” as long as they can totally relate to your marketing strategy.
One example that I did with my store is that I made baseball earrings and put up an ad that targets moms of kids who love baseball. Some of these moms may not be a jewelry lover but the thought of having a baseball-related keepsake is enough reason for them to purchase the pair.
If you notice, when you look around, you know somebody who loves jewelry within your circles. That is a good indication that this niche can be very successful when properly managed.
Speaking of properly managing, we will still talk about the problems that you may encounter and all the other significant details on how to start an online jewelry store.
This is huge. If you dig deep in the jewelry business and discover a way to bring in wholesale supplies for a very low cost, your profit will be around 40-50% after all expenses such as shipping and marketing costs.
In my case, I was able to find a wholesale website with good feedbacks. I tested it by purchasing what I call samples to be able to gauge quality, service, and shipping.
It also allowed me to compare already finished pieces to the materials and realized that I can cut some more on the wholesale price if I purchase the materials and make them myself.
It does, obviously, take more work but the reward goes into the profit.
It’s a whole new level for lux jewelry. You are here looking for tips on how to start an online jewelry store so I’m positive that we are on the same page – fashion jewelry selling.
Types of jewelry you can sell
There is no limit to the type of fashion jewelry you can sell. Whatever you think works for you in your potential market, you can absolutely start with it and add more collections along the way.
When I started, I only had stud earrings on my website. Slowly, as I observed what colours are selling, I gradually add new items every time I make a wholesale order.
In my opinion, jewelry style never becomes obsolete. The style from 10 years ago is still selling today. However, it is also essential to follow trends and new styles.
Here are some trendy jewelry styles in 2020:
- Tortoise Shell Earrings
- Enamel Earrings
- Initial necklace
- Enamel Ring
- Link Bracelet
- Leather Earrings
- Stretched Bracelet
- Tassel Earrings
- Pearl Earrings
- Geode Earrings
- Inspirational Bangles
- Sterling Silver Studs
Jewelry metals 101
This is the most vital part of jewelry selling – familiarity with metals that are used in making a piece of jewelry.
Why so? Because other people’s skin as we know it reacts to certain types of metals used in jewelry. By knowing and familiarizing the types of metals manufacturers use, you can be able to categorize and describe your products properly. And by doing this, people who have an allergy to some metals will know right away of which ones they will have to skip buying.
It does save you some troubles and at the same time, will make your brand more trusting and professional.
I am going to list the metals and their description for you to get to know with them and avoid the mistakes that I did when I started.
|White Gold||A silver-coloured alloy of gold with nickel, palladium, platinum, or another metal.|
|Vermeil||Silver or bronze-made electroplated with gold|
|Titanium||A lightweight grey-coloured pure element. Considered hypoallergenic and ling-wearing. It can be coloured by anodization.|
|Tin||A pure metallic element that withstand corrosion and oxidation. The reason why it is most commonly used in jewelry and battery.|
|Sterling Silver||Made of 92.5% silver (the reason why call it 925 silver) and 7.5% copper or other alloys. Over time, its colour will change into an antique look (patina).|
|Sterling Silver-Filled||Combined Sterling silver (outer) and copper alloy (inner). A metal can only be named Sterling Silver-Filled when there is at least 10% of Sterling silver component.|
|Stainless Steel||The general term for steel with a 10% chromium component. It resists corrosion and maintains its strength over time.|
|Rose Gold||Made of gold with high amounts of copper hence the rose-tinted color.|
|Red Bronze||A blend of 80% copper and deoxidizers. It can contain a thin layer of protective coating to prevent tarnishing.|
|Plated||The piece is immersed in an electrolytic solution to deposit metals into the surface of the base metal.|
|Pewter||Tin mixed with copper, antimony, or bismuth. A soft metal in silver-tone colour. Usually plated with silver, copper or gold.|
|Niobium||A pure element used in aerospace industry and known for its strength, flexibility, and hypoallergenic properties. Has a natural grey colour but can be coloured through anodization.|
|Nickel Silver||Combined copper, nickel, and zinc. Has the same look as of sterling silver and know for the term German Silver.|
|Karat||Amount of gold in a jewelry. 24k is pure gold, while 14k is parts pure gold by weight.|
|Imitation Rhodium||An alloy of copper, zinc, nickel, and tin. It gives a shiny look to a base metal when used as a coating.|
|Gunmetal||An alloy of copper, zinc, and bronze with black chrome-like finish in grey background. Named as gunmetal because of its appearance and being used in gun making.|
|Gold-Filled||Gold alloy-layered base metal that is long-lasting and can be worn by most people without any skin reaction. A piece should have at least a 5% gold component to qualify as gold-filled.|
|Finish||A coating at the surface of base metal that is weaker than plating (plated).|
|Fine Silver||99% silver and appears really white and soft. No copper is blended so there is less chance of corrosion compared to sterling silver.|
|Copper||A pure element that is very common in jewelry. Malleable and resists corrosion however it forms a patina (greenish substance formation) over time and mostly occur in a bare copper.|
|Carbon Steel||Steel with a carbon component that forms rust over time. A common name for steel other than Stainless Steel.|
|Bronze||Combined copper and tin. Has yellow-greenish appearance that resembles an antique.|
|Brass||Combined copper and zinc that appears like gold but tarnishes over time.|
|Aluminum||A non-magnetic, pure, maleable element that withstands corrosion.|
Summary on metals
- Stainless Steel
Marketing Strategy for an online jewelry store
Plan your marketing strategy ahead before opening your store to avoid losing money on unsuccessful marketing initiatives.
We all get to start somewhere. I, personally, had no idea about marketing strategies and how to properly implement them. As a result, I fed Facebook and Google amounts of money that did not really yield a positive ROI (return of investment).
4 marketing strategies for your jewelry store
- Paid advertising
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
Paid advertising as its name implies are the sponsored ads that we often see on social media and websites. They are usually spaces that you “rent” through bidding. That explains why businesses with higher advertising budgets get to be seen first.
It can very challenging and overwhelming to even think about creating a campaign for the first time.
There are agencies who manage paid advertising campaigns, however, they are usually not cheap. My advice is to slowly learn advertising strategies so you can be able to do it yourself and avoid hefty fees for agencies.
The downside with paid marketing is that you have to invest large amounts first before seeing returns. Only invest in what you can afford.
SEO is a good route if you don’t have budgets for paid advertising. However, this takes a while to take effect.
Optimizing products for search engines means, you have to match your product pages with keywords that people are searching on Google, Bing, etc.
This way, your website will appear when someone types in a specific keyword such as when they are looking for a product to buy online.
For instance, people type in “Necklace” in Google because they wanted to buy a necklace online, your website should show on the top page.
The image above shows that Pandora and Tiffany are on top spots. Not surprising as we know that they are giant brands and have been in business for many years.
How to do this?
For example, you have a honeycomb necklace product. Upon typing “honeycomb” in Google, it auto-suggests the term “Honeycomb Necklace”. This indicates that a lot of people are searching for honeycomb necklaces. You can leverage SEO by targeting this specific keyword.
Notice that the term “honeycomb” and “necklace” appeared multiple times in the title and description/snippet of these top results. That’s SEO in a nutshell.
SEO certainly does not happen overnight. It took a year for our website to show on at least the second or third page for keywords with less competition.
Like paid advertising, SEO can be learnt by researching and continuously educating yourself about the strategy.
Collecting emails for marketing is one of the core strategies in e-commerce. Like social media following, emails are an asset to your business.
Start collecting emails at the very beginning of your e-commerce journey. To be able to do this, you have to provide some value to your visitors/potential customers for them to give out their email address to you.
Coupon code is the most common barter for emails in the e-commerce world.
We offer a one-time 40% coupon in our online jewelry store in exchange for an email. Now, this can be very hard to give out if your products have high base prices. That is the advantage of fashion jewelry, you can offer these discounts without losing money.
Mailchimp is good to collect emails as you don’t start paying until you reach more than 2000 emails.
Blog integration is an evergreen type of content marketing. Why evergreen? Because blog articles over time will make your store more search engine-friendly. However, like product SEO, it takes patience and a lot of learning required to be able to implement blogging successfully.
Your blog articles have to be keyword-rich as well in order to be seen in search results.
Your company/brand blog can be directly tied to your domain such as the Shopify blog which is also integrated inside the Shopify dashboard.
You can have a separate blog as an option with a totally separate domain and platform such as WordPress. All you need to do is to link your product pages to certain blog topics.
An example of this is a review blog post that lists some of your jewelry products. You then link these items to your specific products being reviewed.
Blogging for your brand is a great way of putting in more value to your potential customers because, in product page descriptions, there is only limited information.
3 things to focus on content marketing
- Optimize your posts for product keywords.
- Create high-quality content to rank in search engines.
- Create really good, engaging content so other websites will link to you as a source.
Social media marketing
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest – these are top social media platforms that you should consider in your marketing efforts.
You don’t have to do them all at once as managing social media for business is tedious. In fact, you can focus on one platform and be good at it.
These social media platforms have one thing in common – they favour consistency. Be consistent in posting valuable content to gain followers at a faster pace.
You can actually leverage on schedulers to auto-post content for you. Marketers are raving for Tailwind for Pinterest and Instagram post scheduling.
Create your online jewelry store with Shopify
Do these before you sign-up with Shopify
- Pick a business name. This will also be your brand name and domain name. Aim for short and easy to remember names.
- Get a domain for a dollar. Search for “1 dollar domain” on Google and follow the link of the dollar domain results. Ionos (formerly 1and1) is my go-to website for domains as you also get a business email (firstname.lastname@example.org) when you purchase a domain.
- Prep your PayPal business account by changing the main email into the business email that you got from Ionos.
- Create your brand assets such as logo and cover photos with Canva (it’s free).
Sign up with Shopify platform and take advantage of the 14-day trial.
Follow the steps inside your Shopify dashboard.
When adding your domain to Shopify, just press “Add domain” and then “Connect existing domain”.
Type in the domain that you got from Ionos and press “Connect automatically”. A new window will pop-up where you can log in with your Ionos account.
Setting up payments with Shopify is pretty straightforward. Activate Shopify payments and enter your bank details to receive payouts. Add your PayPal as well so you don’t miss on PayPal-paying customers.
Why am I recommending Shopify to begin with? Because the platform is super easy to manage and customize.
Do not skip these if you are serious in creating your online store
Selling jewelry at marketplaces
The competition is also high so people might shift their attention to your competitor’s product that is being suggested beside your product.
It’s easy to literally start an online jewelry store. The thing is, you have to be ready to avoid common mistakes.
It’s confusing, I know. But I promise it’ll get better. Do not hesitate to reach out to anybody you think who could help you in building your jewelry business.
Dive into Youtube tutorials, join Facebook groups of other jewelry owners, read articles, and follow prominent people of your niche and marketing in general. They always have great advice and inspiration that you can reflect on.
This guide should kick start your jewelry branding and marketing.
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