Luxury goods e-commerce times they are a-changin’

How to drive sales in a changed retail jewelry climate

In 2016, Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” One of the earliest poetic expressions he penned was “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” which has been acclaimed as one of the early ‘60s great protest songs. In later decades, it has been adopted as a general change anthem and used in everything from product announcements to advertisements, and I often think of it whenever a paradigm shift forces business in new directions. I specifically think of these brilliant lines, “Your old road is rapidly agin’ … For the times they are a-changin’.”

Research shows us that retail jewelry sales aren’t just a-changin’; they have changed. Global luxury e-commerce is growing, and jewelry sales are a significant portion of that growth. According to the Technavio Global Luxury E-tailing Marketing 2015–2019 report, sales in this market are expected to reach $42 billion in the next two years. That’s a 100 percent increase over the $21 billion sales high of 2014.

The 2015 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ Study, conducted by comScore Inc., analyzed data from 5,118 U.S. online shoppers, 576 of which were identified as purchasers of luxury non-apparel goods, which includes jewelry and watches. The data collected by this study gives luxury retailers insight into how to grow sales in today’s environment where shoppers have more options and more access to goods than ever before.

So, how do jewelers compete on a playing field that has already changed so dramatically and continues to change and grow at an explosive rate?

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