Last year, nearly 60% of jewelry retailer Moriarty’s Gem Art’s total sales came in just two months: November and December.
Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are also key to the jewelry retailer’s sales, but “November to December is what makes us or breaks us each year,” said Jeff Moriarty, marketing manager.
“During the holidays, we do more just because we showcase a lot newer jewelry,” Moriarty said. “People tend to be open to spending more during that time, so it works out for us.”
He said he expects November and December to account for about 60% of total sales again this year.
Jewelry retailer increases web sales significantly during Cyber 5
Moriarty’s Gem Art increased sales from its website, MoreGems.com, about 25% year over year in the Cyber 5 period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. It also increased the number of orders 20% year over year in the same time period, Moriarty said.
To drive that increase, the retailer offered a sitewide sale this year, he said. Last year, however, Moriarty’s Gem Art only offered sales for specific items and categories.
It also offered free shipping throughout the Cyber 5 week this year as well as free extended returns. He added that foot traffic at the retailer’s lone physical store has been even with last year. Additionally, the retailer’s online sales have grown.
“2019, before COVID hit, it was still a ton of people coming into the store,” Moriarty said. “We do have lots of sales online during the holidays, but every year that we’ve been in business, the majority of the sales during the holidays are still in-store. People love to go out shopping during Christmas season. … People just love to shop in person. The following year, in 2020, we noticed a huge drop.”
The drop came because 40% of the retailer’s sales each year were from people 50 years old or older, Moriarty said. That demographic was more careful about when they left their homes during COVID-19 surges, he said.
To combat the decline in foot traffic, Moriarty’s Gem Art began pushing its online buying experience to its local customers through physical mail, emails and SMS, Moriarty said. That helped lead to about 55% of Moriarty’s Gem Art sales coming from its website this year through July. And that ecommerce penetration has grown even since then. Now, through the first week of December, shoppers have completed between 60% and 70% of the retailer’s sales through MoreGems.com.
People are just more comfortable buying online than ever before,” Moriarty said.
Ecommerce revenue for jewelry retailers in the 2022 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 grew to $8.30 billion in 2021. That’s up 24.1% from $6.69 billion in 2020. The Top 1000 ranks North America’s largest e-retailers by web sales.
Jewelry brand Verragio, which sells business-to-business, has increased sales a similar amount to Moriarty’s Gem Art compared with 2021, said Barry Verragio, founder and CEO.
Through the end of the third quarter, he said, its wholesale sales have increased 18% year over year in 2021. Plus, sales have increased 60% since 2020, he said. Holiday season sales are helping drive a higher growth rate for 2022.
“We’re already beginning to see a very strong demand for the holiday season, so we are definitely anticipating to finish the year either in the high teens or low 20s,” Verragio said.
High-income consumers are still spending
The prices of gold and diamonds have gone up in a year with both inflation and international sanctions, Verragio says. Verragio said the price of diamonds increased between 30% and 40% in the last 12 months. But that hasn’t impacted spending for high-income shoppers.
“On the high end, we haven’t seen the impact,” Verragio said. “The consumer that has a budget of $4,000 and up is faring much better. High-ticket items are not getting affected. The feedback I’m getting from a lot of our retailers: The foot traffic is significantly lower, but yet the consumer that is shopping is spending more. Not necessarily because the prices of jewelry went up, it’s just because they have a high disposable income.”
Verragio: Men are spending more
Although Verragio said 90% of the brand’s ad dollars are spent marketing to women, its men’s category has grown. “Men are definitely becoming a lot more edgy,” Verragio said. “They’re embracing diamonds. They’re embracing mixing metals.”
Compared to spending $300 to $400 on a mounting (the wedding band without the gem stones in it) five years ago, Verragio said, men are now spending more than $5,000 — sometimes even more than $7,000. They’re also embracing mixed metals in their wedding bands.
Although Verragio does not have its own physical retail locations it has shop-in-shop locations, meaning it has its own store-like section within another retailer’s store. Verragio said he intends to add buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) to his brand’s website in 2023, meaning a shopper could buy a Verragio ring and select to pick it up at one of the retailers that sell his brand’s products.
“For a fine piece of jewelry, we want to make sure the consumer could do the purchase in the comfort of their home but still make the pickup at the retailer so that introduction is made, so they can come in later for cleaning, servicing and what have you,” Verragio said.
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