Ecommerce saw massive growth in 2020 and 2021 as the UK’s high street stores were put into lockdown.
Suddenly, digital retail went from a convenient way to shop to a necessity for many aspects of life.
Food delivery services saw a surge in new customers, and enterprises such as Amazon and Netflix became lifelines for retail therapy and online entertainment. Another area of ecommerce that is growing is the jewellery sector.
The number of jewellery stores in the UK has fluctuated in recent years. From 4,428 stores in 2008, there was a dip that led to the UK having 3,937 jewellers in 2012. By 2020, the number of jewellery stores had risen again to 4,218.
However, the future might see a decline in high street jewellers again as the market moves further online.
Why are people buying jewellery online?
When the lockdowns came into effect, there was little choice but to go online for certain products. While jewellery wasn’t essential during the pandemic, online sales still rose as they did across most areas of ecommerce.
Now though, the high street is returning to normal, and yet more people are choosing to keep shopping online, including for rings and bracelets. So, why is this?
You can personalise pieces of jewellery online
A well-designed jewellery website can offer different features to consumers that are not available in stores. Search bars, chatbots, and customisation, can be added to websites.
Some jewellery sites will offer ways to upload photos and choose messages for engraving. If you want a necklace with picture inside then you can go online, upload the photo of your choice, and click on order once finished.
Online jewellers can serve everyone at once
There is no need to wait or queue when buying online. At certain times of the year, jewellers will be crowded with consumers. Holidays and Black Friday are just times when the jeweller’s staff might be overwhelmed. But, an online store has no such problems.
You will never feel rushed or under pressure to make any decision when shopping online, and you won’t be holding up any other shoppers.
It might be less expensive
In theory, digital retail should always be less expensive than buying from traditional stores. Overheads are cheaper in ecommerce than on the high street, and there are often discounts and sales to be had online.
And if you can’t find what you want for the price you would like, you can simply switch to another website.
There is more choice
Your local area might be limited for choice when it comes to jewellers. But, the internet is global. There are no limits to browsing online for pieces of jewellery, and it is easy to make comparisons.
It is safe to buy online
When ecommerce was in its infancy, there were fears about the security of buying online. Data breaches, hacks, and different cyber attacks caused worry among consumers. And while you should always carry out best practices when online, ecommerce sites are secure these days.
Online jewellers will provide encrypted payment methods, and there are often guarantees given by third-party vendors too. If you use a credit card to purchase jewellery online you will be protected under Section 75 of consumer credit lawup to £30,000.
It is important to understand this protection doesn’t cover debit cards, just credit cards.
You can try pieces out at home
Some online jewellery stores allow customers to try on different styles of rings at home. The try-before-you-buy model differs between online jewellers. Some jewellery stores offer a virtual try-on service on the website, while others will ship imitation jewellery to customers to physically try out at home.
A few jewellers use resin copies of rings so that customers can see if the size and style suit them, while other vendors go a step further. Some jewellers will send out a package of rings made from alloys and non-precious stones so a potential customer can get a proper feel for how the genuine ring will look.
Planning the perfect wedding takes a lot of effort. The more tasks that are completed online, the less stressful everything will be. It is likely this is another reason why more people are buying jewellery online.
Unusual pieces can be tracked down
Tired of seeing the same pieces in different jewellers? If it’s something rare or unique you desire then the internet can help. It is easier to track down unusual or rare jewellery online than it is on foot.
At best, trying to find something different by traipsing from jeweller to antique store is going to be a matter of luck. With jewellers, designers, marketplaces, and antique shops online, searching on Google could be far more productive.
Online jewellery shopping is convenient
All online shopping is more convenient, and jewellery is no different. A simple search for personalised jewellery UK will bring up a number of options for you to browse without even leaving your favourite chair. And online stores don’t close, ever.
Reviews and ratings are accessible
The internet lets consumers browse reviews and understand how reputable a vendor may be. Whether you are looking for services or shopping for electronics, it is always worth looking at reviews and getting a picture of how reputable your chosen website is.
Online vendors know to harness the power of customer feedback now. It should be easy to check out your jeweller’s social media and customer reviews online.
Most ecommerce sites have some form of dedicated customer support. Many customers still prefer face-to-face communication. Yet, online customer service is often faster and more convenient.
Travelling isn’t always convenient. By using online customer support, travel can be avoided and time saved.
Comparing prices and options is easy
Selecting a piece of jewellery isn’t something that happens instantly. There is often a lot of thought and consideration when buying jewellery. And there could be a lot of going back and forth between different jewellery stores.
Browsing online means you can line up windows next to each other and compare your choices without feeling rushed. You may also find the piece you want cheaper on another site by doing a little detective work and making price comparisons.
More payment options online
Depending on the jewellery website you visit, you might find a myriad of payment options, certainly, more than are on the high street. E-wallets such as PayPal might be accepted, as could cryptocurrency. Several online jewellers are now accepting bitcoin as payment for jewellery as the crypto goes more mainstream.
Perhaps the two biggest positives of shopping for jewellery online are convenience and cost. Shopping online takes less time than travelling to the high street and browsing in several stores, and is very often cheaper.
Another benefit to buying online is the sheer volume of choices. As long as a jeweller is willing to ship to the UK, you can select from a worldwide selection of online stores to find the piece that suits you.
With such a powerful tool in your hands, you might also be able to track down a rare piece. You might find a bargain and perhaps make an investment out of your purchase.