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Jewelry E-commerce: Why has it not Worked?
Jewelry has always been considered a form of investment. People buy jewelry not just to beautify themselves but also as a savings asset. So, people put a lot of thought and effort while buying jewelry. In this day and age of technological advancements and the digital revolution, online shopping and e-commerce has taken over.
Jewelry has also come under the radar and there are a number of e-commerce sites selling jewelry these days. However, reports show that the e-commerce industry, especially with regards to jewelry, has not really taken off very well.
Experts believe that buying jewelry is a process of establishing trust, and people prefer to visit jewelry showrooms to have the tactic experience of touch and feel. This is as much to do with checking out the quality of the product as much as it is about ‘feeling’ the product you want to buy.
Touching a jewel and trying it on has a unique experience that can never be felt by checking out stuff online. Women, who form the biggest target audience for jewelers prefer to touch, feel, and try on a jewel before they buy it. The fact that they can choose from a variety of options by touching and feeling each one of them, and once they buy it they can get instant gratification is another reason they prefer physical stores. Buying a jewel online not only means not being able to try it on but also that they will have to wait for the package to arrive before they can wear their jewelry, which is a major put off when it comes to jewelry e-commerce.
Second, people do not always buy the jewel they first set their eyes upon. People have varied tastes and desires, and they like to mix and match things. Be it the gemstone or the design or the setting metal, people like to experiment until they get the jewelry that can define them. This is more easily done in physical stores, where there are expert gemologists and jewelry designers who can help people make the correct choice. Online, though there are many choices available, it is often difficult to make customizations, which does not suit people very well.
Third, purchasing a piece of jewelry online means an additional cost burden on the purchaser. This is because more often than not most online jewelry e-commerce sites have a minimum purchase requirement that you need to fulfill before completing your order. In addition to that, shipping costs, handling fees, taxes, and other charges will add to overall expenses and burn a hole through the pocket.
Fourth, since jewelry is a niche product category people still do not have complete faith to trust online stores. If you buy a damaged bag or a broken gadget, you could get it exchanged and/or returned. However, if you invest a heavy amount on jewelry, and you receive a broken or damaged thing, then it is a major setback and quite a harassing situation. The fear of not getting what they ordered for and going through a harrowing experience chasing the company to get back their money is a major drawback that works against jewelry e-commerce.
Fifth, if a buyer wants to replace or return an item, it often takes a long and arduous process; which may be quite a tense situation. This is more so in case of expensive jewelry like gold or diamonds, and people are kept on tenterhooks before they can return the product and get a refund; or an exchange. Moreover, it is not sure if the exchanged product will be up to expectations or not.
E-commerce is on the rise on a generic level. Jewelry, however, is a very niche item. And people still prefer to walk to their preferred stores, talk to their trusted jewelers, and check out the choices on before they make the final purchase.
These are some of the reasons that jewelry e-commerce has not taken off as expected, and it is high time jewelry stored tried to win over customer loyalty by offering people a wider, smoother, and more trust-worthy online shopping experience.