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  1. #1
    Full Member Travelin Man's Avatar
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    Unhappy Dismal Jewelry Conversion Rate
    Okay, Iím with a very reputable SAS jewelry merchant who IMO has very nice products at good prices. I built a nice dedicated website for their products and have had okay success with traffic. My problem, the conversion rate for the targeted traffic I send them is dismal. On top of that there are more returns than I care to see.

    I know the jewelry business is very competitive but is a conversion rate of around a 1/4 percent normal? What say you gurus?

    Thanks much!
    Travelin' Man

    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will lead you there." -- unknown

  2. #2
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travelin Man
    I know the jewelry business is very competitive but is a conversion rate of around a 1/4 percent normal? What say you gurus?

    Thanks much!
    I would say the conversion often depends on the level (type) of jewelry sold and how the product sold compares with educational and government checklists. When the customer receives the jewelry, is it the quality expected? Are hopes fulfilled or does the customer say, "eww, I made a mistake"?

    The customer most likely will follow this educational government checklist about shopping for jewelry:
    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/...ts/jewelry.htm

    If the items don't measure up there will be a return and a reversal.
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  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Diamond in the rough
    IMO - jewelry is a popular search item, and it is also a market that is filled with countless merchants. As a result, consumers "shop" it more than they do many other items.

    Returns are traditionally higher as a ring, bracelet, earrings or necklace often look different in pictures than they do on the customer. Other considerations:

    *how long have you had the site going?
    *are your visits mostly organic or ppc?
    *does the merchant share data regarding reasons given for returns. (this can help you both as it may show you a trend on certain types of merchandise)

    Jewelry is something that must be tried on in order for the customer to actually make a final decision.

    It is also a higher ticket type item, which increases the possibility of buyer remorse, or closer scrutiny by the purchaser once it is received.

    With the number of jewelry sites online - a lower conversion rate would not be shocking, but 1/4 % seems pretty low. I'd start by communicating (in a positive manner) with the merchant to improve conversion and explore how they might suggest reducing returns. You would also want to ask them what their historic return rate is so you can factor it into the equation. If you bounce ideas back and forth with your merchant, you might come up with something.

    Good luck
    Last edited by ALH - AmeritrustRx; October 21st, 2006 at 10:52 PM. Reason: added
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  4. #4
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    High end jewelry is very tough. There seems to be a price breaking point for conversions.

  5. #5
    Full Member Travelin Man's Avatar
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    I Appreciate everyoneís input!

    I realize there are a gazillion factors for what converts and what doesnít when it comes to jewelry. I was just wondering if others are seeing a better conversion rate.

    @ Rhia Ė Government checklist for buying jewelry? Iíve never heard of such a thing. Is that something only women know about? Thatís a pretty thorough article and nice to know about. Thanks for pointing it out. Also Iím sure the ďewwĒ factor is the biggest reason for returns.

    @ AmeriTrustRx Ė Excellent response! My site has been up about a year and most of my traffic comes from search engines. Iím not real sure about traffic quality. Iíll have to take your advice and speak with the merchant about reasons for returns and also what I might do to increase sales. Good advice!

    @ Webworker Ė The products I list runs the gambit from very cheap to expensive. Any idea what that breaking point might be for conversions? Care to wager a guess?

    Thanks again!
    Travelin' Man

    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will lead you there." -- unknown

  6. #6
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    Travelin' Man, let me put it this way. If an "item" is under $50 individually (maybe even under $30) and in demand, it can sell. Even if several similarly priced items are in that price range and several related ones are ordered at the same time and amount to over $100, it's the per item price that isn't scaring people and making them do a huge amount of comparison shopping. That's for certain niches I'm involved with, though they're not overly lucrative because of low % payouts.

    As far as jewelry education is concerned, I don't know if every site needs to have such a section, but if you take a look at Mondera's site they've got pretty complete information up explaining about such things as diamond quality factors to look for. Chris also has put up a PDF about selling high end products like Mondera has, but still - the conversion rate can't be expected to be as high as stuff that's in the under $100 range like apparel or domestics.

  7. #7
    Full Member Travelin Man's Avatar
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    Webworker, very good information. I went back and took a good look at my site layout, where products are located, and along with their prices. It's quite possible many of my visitors are scared off by higher priced items. I'll look into rearranging products and spend more time on tracking what people are clicking on. I'll have to find that sweet spot.

    I've read that Mondera is an excellent merchant. I'll have a look at the area's you've mentioned. Again very good information. I appreciate the schooling!

    Selling Lingerie is so much easier
    Travelin' Man

    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will lead you there." -- unknown

  8. #8
    Newbie ampalian's Avatar
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    As a large, UK, high end Jewellery merchant I may be able to help with this. Firstly, jewellery is highly seasonal. There's a saying here that whatever turnover is achieved by a jewellery site in the first 10 months of the year will be done again in the last two months.
    For me conversion rates through months 1-10 hover around 1% but this trebles in November and December.
    Returns aren't really a big problem for me. Overall perhaps 1 in 20 orders result in a return but some of those are for re-sizing.
    In this trade I think it's important to be very, very honest about what the purchaser is getting. The photographs, the descriptions and the technical details have to be totally straight. It's also important to have a very wide range so that consumers can clearly see that they can buy a ring with ungraded diamonds, or H/Si or G/Vs etc. and clearly see the price differences. Even with low internet prices we have to convey that you still "get what you pay for".
    Malcolm
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  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    My experience as a 'mid-range' jewelry merchant is just as webworker mentioned. Since prices are in the sub-$100, actually many below $50, returns are very uncommon.

    I've just now begun my affiliates program, so I don't have specifics on conversion rates, but 1/4% seems notably low. As the program rolls out I'd be happy to share my experiences.

    All the best to you

  10. #10
    Full Member Travelin Man's Avatar
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    @ Ampalian - I haven't considered the holiday season. This will be my first with this site and it'd be great if sales picked up. I'll still be making some product changes so my visitors aren't scared away by higher prices. We'll see how that works. You are very correct about honesty when promoting products. I am very up-front with all products/websites I run. One must also consider the merchant in this equation too. If I send them thousands of (targeted) visitors and sales are dismal, something isn't right. In any event, there is some great advice in this thread. I know jewelry is a tuff biz so I'll just have to work at it. Thank you!

    @ Adambha - Thanks for your input. I plan to work in those price ranges on my landing pages and see how it goes. I like your products and have already signed on with you. Good luck with your new program!
    Travelin' Man

    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will lead you there." -- unknown

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travelin Man
    I like your products and have already signed on with you.
    I don't know if you caught my earlier introduction thread, but drop me an email (affiliates at adambha dot com) or just let me know your ID and I'll up your commission.

  12. #12
    Newbie rockybalboa11's Avatar
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    op:

    if your merchant is selling high price jewelry like gold & diamonds, an extremely low conversion rate isn't surprising. imagine how many people walk out of jewelry stores without buying something (and they actually took the time to drive there versus clicking a link :-P).

    to comment on the return rate; odd. aside from what people have said here, at least in my experience as an order manager for an online jewlery store, not many returns happen. then again, they were medals, chains, and swarovski crystal jewelry--not exactly $5,000 a pop. i suppose people can deal with something not being exactly what they thought it was when it didn't burn 3 months worth of pay.

    my suggestion to you is to speak with your merchant; ask for better pictures to be taken. i've always found that "ebay" pictures, ie. a decent digital camera and a bland background, sell so much better than photoshopped supersparkle style photos many small merchants try to copy off the household name jewelers. don't get the buyers expectations so high that they can only be disappointed when they receive the item.

  13. #13
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Well I've had all ranges of fine jewelry displayed at EcomCity since 1998. I showcase Overstock jewelry at www.ecomcity.com/fine-jewelry.htm and seperate natural SERP traffic for Torquoise jewelry to www.ecomcity.com/indian_jewelry.htm and general jewelry to the bridal shop or http://www.ecomcity.com/webworld/jewelry.htm

    Ocassional sales from OS and Mondera. Zilch for trying to showcase Szul for 2 years. A few sales on limited clicks to Arizona Indian Jewelry with nothing from 1400 clicks to JeGem. Tried with 1800+ clicks to sell jewelry with the "make a page" creatives from the SAS blackhole of targeted clicks.... Closeout.com

    A nice ABWer recommended Jewelbasket converts and 400+ clicks later for make a page creatives not even one gold anklet, medical jewelry or gold chain/charm has been sold. I think the PPCSE folks bomb these various jewelry merchants with cookied clicks for a few weeks at a time till conversion stop. Then abandon that one and jump on another one. The EPC looks like a rollicoaster ride, which doesn't bode well for the merchant.... or steady traffic affiliate.

    I have no answer as my 2 jewelry merchant clients steadily sell all year around with birthday and anniversary gifts. Holiday spikes are there. They only moderately use Adwords and submit to Google Base, shopping.com/bizrate etc. They both abandoned the rat race at eBay. Meanwhile I'll just hope some sugar daddy pops for some expensive Overstock bobble as they do have great buys on exotic jewelry items.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  14. #14
    Full Member Travelin Man's Avatar
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    @ Ecom - Wow, sounds like you are doing worse than I am. From what I'm seeing and from what folks here are saying I'm really not doing that bad. Jewelry is just a tuff sell on the net. I just can't expect jewelry to sell like other products. More of my jewelry sales have stuck than those returned...so I guess I can't complain too much. Like I mentioned earlier, I'll move some products around and see if I can increase sales. Thanks for your input!

    @ Rocky - Yep, my merchant does have a lot of higher priced items and most of my sales have been in the lower price range. Good advice in this thread about conversions and higher prices. I do feel better about what's happening. I just have to do some tweaking.

    Thanks again every!
    Travelin' Man

    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will lead you there." -- unknown

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