With the global jewellery market set to grow to $518 billion by 2030, now is the time to ask how to start a jewellery business online. If you’re drawn to the glittering world of jewellery, you’re not alone. The allure of jewellery has captivated humans for millennia. From a Moroccan snail shell necklace thought to date back some 150,000 years to a 41,000-year-old hand-decorated mammoth ivory pendant, it is clear that jewellery has long held significance in our lives.
Today, whether you want to sell fine jewellery crafted from precious metals and gems or you prefer working with more affordable mediums, there is a market for classic, contemporary and beautiful pieces of jewellery. In the first part of our informative series on how to start a jewellery business, you’ll explore the five key steps you must master to launch a successful online jewellery business.
The joy of starting an online jewellery business in 2023 is that you can tap into a global market. Even if you’re looking to produce a niche range, your target buyers are within easy reach when you choose to launch an online jewellery store.
Having a clear understanding of who your target market is will inform almost every decision you make moving forward with your online jewellery business. You probably know exactly what sort of jewellery you want to sell. Next, you need to understand who will want to buy that jewellery – and why.
Remember, it’s okay if your jewellery doesn’t appeal to all. Whether it is a matter of taste, occasion or budget, you can’t please everyone. You can, however, make sure you create a range, a store and a customer experience that will resonate with your target market. If you’re a jeweller who plans to craft and sell bespoke diamond engagement rings, your target audience will be coupled with a high disposable income. If you’re selling cute or sentimental personalised jewellery, you’ll have a much wider audience – predominantly those looking to gift.
A common mistake new businesses make is trying to please too many people. Finding your niche can be helpful because it drives customers with specific needs and requirements to you. Work out if your target market is looking for:
Finding that strong unique selling point will help you stand out from the crowd. Crucially, you also need to discover whether enough people are looking to buy the type of jewellery you want to sell.
Conducting some market research will very quickly help you ascertain whether there is a large enough market for your product range to offer a successful and sustainable online jewellery store.
If your start-up budget allows it, you can buy market research reports from the likes of MarketResearch.com and Neilson. You can conduct your own research too, with surveys on social media and forums used by your target market. There is also the Google Trends tool which allows you to see if any of your jewellery styles or pieces are currently trending and, as a result, inform your product range choices. Find popular jewellery and fashion bloggers online and read their recent posts to see the latest trends, colours and styles. You don’t need to copy and individuality is key – but taking note of what is popular within your niche is vital.
Think about the size of the target market you’ll need. An online store that sells high-end jewellery requires a smaller customer base than a store that sells cheaper jewellery.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. It can be overwhelming when you’re planning how to start a jewellery business from home. A business plan helps you think through the process logically and gives you a blueprint to follow as you move forward.
A well-constructed business plan will help you focus on the goals and purposes of your online jewellery store. This may seem obvious, but as you go through all the separate strands of your fledgling company, it’s easy to lose sight of the essence of your business.
If you’ve never compiled a business plan before, there are templates available online which cover the following key points:
This business plan will serve to guide you through the set-up of your business, keeping you focussed and on track with your expenditures.
As a creative person, you might be tempted to focus on the sourcing and creation of your jewellery above the paperwork. But if you leave the form-filling to the last minute, or dodge it all together, you could find your business vulnerable to fines.
Business rules can vary from council to council in the UK, so double-check all the requirements with your local authority when you’re starting a jewellery business. The steps you’ll need to follow to make sure you’re running a legitimate online jewellery store will depend on the type of business you are, too. You need to register as a sole trader, a limited company or a partnership. You’ll also need to register for your tax returns and complete the necessary paperwork if any aspect of your business requires a license from your local authority.
As an online retailer, there are a few rules you’ll need to follow. You must familiarise yourself with the UK requirements for distance and online selling. These dictate the type of information you must present to your customers to allow them to make a purchase fairly, and with a reasonable opportunity to amend and cancel their order.
If you’re going to sell your jewellery globally, you’ll need to look into the VAT and exportation rules. If you import any items for your business, be it precious metals or pretty packaging, you must ensure you’re paying the correct tax and duty and obtain licenses or certificates if applicable.
If you’re thinking about how to start a small jewellery business from home, you may need to consider:
You’ll want to secure insurance for your new enterprise, whether you’re home-based or working from business premises. Jewellery business insurance includes cover that protects you against financial claims made by members of the public should your business or the products you sell impact them negatively.
For example, a policy will include product liability cover, so should a faulty fastening on your jewellery or a mix-up of an allergy-inducing metal lead to a complaint from the customer, you’ll have protection. Your insurance can also be tailored to cover your stock and, as an online store, you can include cyber and data cover to keep all your digital information safe.
For a creative like you, starting work on your jewellery range is probably the moment you’ve been waiting for throughout the whole process. Before you immerse yourself in hours of crafting or sourcing beautiful pieces, be sure to go back to your market research and business plan.
When you’re starting a jewellery business, think about the designs and styles your target market will want and keep your unique selling point in mind. To prevent you from ending up with an online store that lacks cohesion, think about creating a few collections of jewellery, each sharing a common theme. Make sure that the themes speak to the customers you’re looking to attract.
Working on your range will help you to come up with ideas for your branding and potential marketing strategies – topics that will be covered later in this series.
Making or sourcing your jewellery for your range represents an important financial step within your business, so you need to make sure you’re getting it right. To make your first product range a winner:
The budding jewellery entrepreneur is spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing their online ‘home’. You could choose to develop your own independent website, either outsourcing to a professional or creating a site using designing platforms such as Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, WordPress and Shopify.
Alternatively, if you’re a small home business, you could join one of the third-party e-commerce platforms. Jewellery is a popular purchase on the likes of Etsy, eBay and Not on The High Street, and consumers now fully understand and trust the concept of these sites.
When you’re thinking about starting a small jewellery business from home, your budget may be tight. But selling online is more affordable than ever. Even with a low budget, you can still create an eye-catching online presence, especially if you understand what your target market likes.
Your images, product descriptions, colours, layouts and schemes can all be cleverly chosen to represent your brand and reflect the needs of your customers. Be sure to keep your backgrounds simple to allow the images of your jewellery to take centre stage. Most often, jewellery is a joyful purchase – chosen as a gift for a loved one or as a treat for ourselves. Your online store should therefore represent a sense of luxury, love or guilt-free indulgence.
Your online store needs to appeal to your target market and represent the essence of your brand, so keep referring back to your business plan and take inspiration from the product range you are busy developing. To help your online store become visible, make sure you use keywords in your content and keep looking at Google Trends to see which terms will bump up the traffic to your store.
A smart move to make as you start your enterprise is to secure specialist jewellery business insurance. It’s never too early to start protecting your new venture from those unexpected issues that can leave you financially vulnerable. As soon as you start investing time and money into your business, a jewellery business insurance policy can give you peace of mind.
At TH March, we have over 130 years of experience insuring jewellers and are therefore uniquely placed to offer exceptional advice, service and protection. Get in touch today to discuss your insurance needs with our team.