Online Jewelry Sales Rose 20 Percent In 2006

    March 23, 2007

Online jewelry sales in the U.S. market hit $2.45 billion in 2006, an increase of 20 percent from 2005, according to data from IDEX Online Research. Online sales comprised 3.9 percent of all jewelry sales of $63.0 billion in 2006.

The conventional wisdom at the start of e-commerce was that online sales of jewelry would never be a major factor. Online shoppers now buy a wide range of merchandise online besides books and CDs. They also spend more per purchase.

With the current growth rate, sales will represent over 8 percent of the industry total by 2010, up over 100 percent from 2006.

Around half of the average specialty jeweler’s sales are diamonds. Blue Nile, the largest online jeweler in the U.S. sells about 90 percent diamonds. In 2006 their sales totaled $ 252 million. They also sell more than double the engagement rings as most off line jewelers.

Online jewelry sales took off in the fourth quarter of 2006, according to comScore Networks. The online sales growth rate of jewelry purchases surpassed all other retail categories during the 2006 holiday compared to the previous year.

ForeSee Results examined consumer attitudes about free shipping promotions using the methodology of the University of Michigan’s American customer satisfaction Index (ACSI). Web sites that did not offer free shipping had an average score of 84. Sites that offered limited free shipping did slightly better receiving a score of 85. Sites that offered unrestricted free shipping did the best earning a score of 89.

Consumers view free shipping as a definite incentive when it comes to making an online purchase.