Consumers continue to fuel online jewelry purchases

Consumers who have purchased jewelry online, have done so anywhere from one to 300 times, with four times being the average, according to a recent survey. Respondents were most likely to shop online at an auction site or a site other than one managed by a well-known retailer or online jewelry stor —with eBay,, and Wal-Mart the three Web sites respondents visit most frequently.

Earrings, fashion rings, necklaces, bracelets and watches are the five items people were most likely to have purchased or would consider purchasing online, according to the recent survey conducted by the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council (JCOC), conducted by MVI Marketing Ltd. While more than two-thirds of respondents who’ve purchased jewelry online have never spent more than $250, 14% have. In fact 13% have spent more than $500. Some 84% of respondents consider themselves satisfied with the jewelry they purchased online, and more than 87% were satisfied with the price they paid. Satisfaction with online customer service is slightly below that of quality and price, according to the survey.

“Online jewelry purchases continue to be dominated by lower price-points and are most widely seen in the auction-site channels,” says Destini Gillham, research manager for MVI Marketing, creator of the JCOC—an e-panel of fine jewelry consumers throughout North America representing all ages, genders, income levels, buying categories and geographic regions. “Consumers who purchase jewelry online tend to be bargain-hunters. For retailers seeking ways to expand their online business, offering auction style sales or reduced priced items will attract online buyers. Online retailers have done an excellent job of maintaining customer opinion of price, quality and service.”

Nearly 90% of survey respondents have made an online purchase at some point. The most commonly cited reason for not buying online was a preference for seeing items in person and a fear of identity theft. A more secure environment and better pricing would convince 54% of those who’ve never purchased via the Internet to do so. Convenience is the primary reason consumers shop online. Among those who have shopped online at least one time, more than 42% have purchased jewelry.

For consumers who are hesitant to purchase online, Gillham advises Internet retailers improve ways to reassure shoppers that their purchase information is safe and secure. More detailed photographs and product descriptions will also help persuade shoppers to purchase online.

Among those who have purchased jewelry online, more than 70% plan to purchase jewelry from the Internet in the future, according to the JCOC. As for those who’ve never purchased jewelry online, more than 35% would be willing to buy jewelry on the Internet, while over 46% were still undecided.

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