1) The Changing Landscape of Jewellery Sales in eCommerce
There is a steady increase in the number of people purchasing their jewelry online. And quite surprisingly, a significant percentage comprises of staid tech-savvy seniors who have migrated to eCommerce shopping.
Most of them have abandoned the more traditional setting of their favorite gold and silversmiths for the comfort of shopping from home. On the one hand, with travel restrictions in place, shoppers had difficulty visiting their family-favored jewelers in their hometown.
On the other, shoppers dreaded crowded outlets, time-consuming billing processes, and the questionable sanitizing practices of business owners. The outbreak of Covid has contributed significantly to this phenomenon.
Disinfecting protocols in jewelry stores are not mandatory just for the physical environment but also the sterilization of the products. Especially since shoppers may have to try on jewelry. These products may have been worn by someone else just minutes before.
But when it comes to precious and semi-precious jewelry, there are limitations. Only certain cleaning mediums and methods are used so the jewellery does not get tarnished or show wear and tear.
One of the bonuses of shopping at a physical store is the ability to inspect and try products before purchase. However, this could result in a dreaded viral infection. On the other hand, blind faith in brand names does not always lead to happy purchases online.
2) Top Reasons Why Jewellery Bought Online is Returned
Shoppers who purchase jewelry often do so at top dollar. And the delicate nature of its components, construction using filigree, alloys, casting, and mercurial dimensions, often contribute to the reason for returns.
2.1) Wrong Sizing
Fit and comfort are two crucial reasons that spike the return rates of jewelry products. The size of a bangle or a ring is as important as the fit of a shoe and is often unusable from a variation in millimeters.
Additionally, products such as necklaces and earrings may often be heavier than they appear in the images. This could lead to discomfort for the wearer. Since these products cannot be easily altered or modified for better fit and comfort, shoppers usually process them for returns.
2.2) Misleading/ Missing Description
When it comes to the description of stones or metal, it is vital to be as straightforward as possible. Shoppers will shell out for a silver product dipped in gold but not so much for an alloy. They will pay more for original stones when compared to synthetic stones.
Often, the pricing or description could potentially mislead the customer regarding the product's quality. More often than not, inaccurate description leads to an unhappy and dissatisfied customer contributing to your store's returns.
2.3) Blemishes / Discoloration in Metal/ Components
It is incredibly easy for jewelry to get discolored. All it takes is often a bit of perfume on the wearer trying the piece. This reason holds especially true regarding finicky metals such as rose gold.
Inferior quality alloys also often get discolored in storage due to humidity. Any product that has visible discoloration will more likely than not return to your warehouse with all haste.
2.4) Semi-Precious/ Precious Gems with Flaws
It can be off-putting for a shopper when they receive the beautiful emerald necklace they saw online with a cracked or cloudy pendant. Diamond, in particular, is highly valued for its sparkling, flawless beauty.
Any blemish that impacts the shine of a gemstone will have a customer logging in to place a return request faster than the speed of light.
2.5) Poor Workmanship
Another reason for discolored metal is due to poor techniques and craftsmanship. Cracked and damaged fine work or sharp edges and corners are often due to poor handling or hurried production. Poor workmanship can result in visible blackened portions.
When the temperature for casting or melding is too high or too low, its impact is immediately visible on the product. When your eagle-eyed customers receive brand new, stained, damaged, improperly filed, or discolored accessories, they will immediately request returns.
2.6) Delayed Delivery
Jewelry is most often purchased for a specific occasion. While it can be self-purchased or a gift, meeting delivery deadlines is necessary. A missed delivery date ensures your product loses its importance and leads to returns.
Along with returns, delayed delivery can cause a loss in customer loyalty. More often than not, a delayed delivery will also send your customer rushing to fulfill their needs from another competitor.
While a couple of extra dates might seem excusable for businesses, shoppers consider it a betrayal of trust.
3) Corrective Measures to Curb eCommerce Product Returns in Jewellery
Below are a few corrective measures that will enable you to curb your product returns.
3.1) Perfect Product Photography
One of the challenges that online jewellery retailers faces that customers cannot touch, feel or try on the products before making a purchase. As a result, customers may end up disappointed with their purchase and may return the item.
In order to minimize the number of customer returns, it is essential to provide high-quality product photos that accurately represent the jewelry.
All product photos should be taken against a white background and use soft lighting. In addition, multiple images should be provided that shows the jewelry from different angles.
Traditional photography can sometimes be limited in this regard. With 360-degree photography, you can showcase your jewelry from every angle, letting the customer rotate the product in any direction. This feature will help them see the product in detail. AR visualization is another excellent choice.
Models can be used for specific product shots, which would help customers understand how the jewelry looks when worn. Using models of different age groups and genders would give a broad view of how the jewelry looks on various people.
By taking these corrective measures, you can help to ensure that your customers are satisfied with their purchases and reduce the number of customer returns.
3.2) Detailed Product Information
It's important to include product information on each product page, including a list of materials and dimensions. This lets customers know what they're getting before making a purchase, which can help reduce returns.
However, product descriptions may not answer all customers' questions. That's why it's crucial to give them access to more support, such as customer service, if needed during the shopper's decision-making process.
Including a product chatbot on your website can provide instant links to product information. In case the customer has a query that isn't answered there, you should provide the facility to connect them with a live customer support agent.
The customer support agent can address any concerns and help them decide which product will suit them best. This can reduce the number of returns, as customers will have all the information they need before making a purchase.
By providing this level of service, you can help ensure that your customers are happy with their purchases and that they'll continue to shop with you in the future.
3.3) Sizing Guide
When it comes to purchasing jewelry items such as rings and bangles, size can be a tricky issue. Customers may buy the item as a gift and not know the recipient's size, which can lead to many returns. One way to reduce the number of returns is to provide a size guide.
Shopping for rings online is particularly challenging. Your customer must be able to choose a size that will fit comfortably. Unfortunately, this can be tricky when they cannot try the ring in person.
Many online jewellery stores offer size guides with multiple options for determining the ring size. For example, some size guides include options for measuring ring size with an existing ring, using a piece of string, or purchasing a ring sizer.
These sizing methods can help customers choose the right size first, reducing the need for returns.
3.4) Real-Time Tracking
One of the typical reasons for returns is that the jewelry didn't arrive when expected. This can be exasperating for customers, especially if they purchased the item for a specific occasion. Hence, it's important to use a trustworthy shipping partner and provide your customers with accurate tracking information.
This way, they'll be instantly notified of a change in the delivery date. By taking these measures, you can help to ensure that your customers are satisfied with their purchase. They'll also continue to shop with you in the future.
3.5) Returns Inspection & Processing
All returned products must be inspected and processed extensively for any damages caused during transit and handling. Jewelry products often have delicate and fragile components.
The chances that some may be broken or bent are incredibly high. Fastening mechanisms need to be properly checked. Any scratches in parts susceptible to handling and surface damage need to be rectified.
If you are keen on reducing your store's returns, inspection and processing are nothing to sneeze at. If an improperly inspected product makes it back to your shelf it could be purchased by a customer.
This makes the chances of it getting returned again extremely high. With every return, the re-sale value of the product goes down. This is particularly true for jewellery products.
Proper inspection, scanning, and repair are vital in reducing your eCommerce returns.
4) Power up your eCommerce Jewellery Store's Returns Operations
4.1) Flexible Returns Policy
Many shoppers are now checking a store's returns policy before making a purchase, for a good reason. Returns can be a hassle, and customers want to ensure they won't have any trouble getting their money back if they need to return an item.
At the very least, offer a 30-day return window for items that are in new condition. It's also helpful to offer free exchanges for new ring sizes. Just make sure you put any exceptions in your return policy, such as personalized or engraved items.
You can take a few significant steps to improve your jewelry returns process and make it more customer-friendly.
First, you must ensure that your return policy is prominently displayed on your website and in your store. Second, streamline the process by providing pre-paid shipping labels or offering free in-store returns.
Finally, be sure to process returns promptly and give refunds in the original form of payment. By taking these steps you can improve the customer experience and reduce the likelihood of customers shopping elsewhere.
4.2) Encourage Exchange
A customer returning an item could spell the end of the line for your customer relationship. By converting returns into exchanges, you'll be able to extend the value of that customer relationship while retaining more revenue.
You can also design your returns portal to encourage the possibility of returns. Customers who want to process a return should be able to select from a list of options for why they're returning the item.
Based on the customer's response, you can offer recommendations for product exchanges directly from your inventory.
Streamlining your jewelry return process can improve the customer experience, leading to more repeat customers and brand advocates. This can result in additional sales and referrals, helping you boost your bottom line without additional spending on acquisition.
4.3) Automate your Returns
In any jewelry business, it's vital to have a good returns management solution to improve the customer experience and streamline the process.
Returns management software can help you screen and accept customer-initiated requests quicker, process the returns for exchanges, refunds, or store credit sooner, and lead your shoppers through a hassle-free returns process.
With appropriate technology, you can improve your jewelry returns process and empower your customers to navigate the process easily. This will ultimately improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to more sales and repeat business.
5) How ClickPost Solves the Jewellery Industry Product Returns Problem
Leading jewelry brands focused on online growth and sales, such as Caratlane, Candere, Pipabella, Melorra, Kushal's, and Voylla, are partnered with ClickPost for returns solutions.
Newer, albeit strong players in the online jewelry segment, such as Zavya, have also integrated their returns operations with our ai-driven solutions.
In our conversations with Caratlane, they vocalized their intent to reduce their eCommerce store's RTO rates. Within three months of onboarding, Caratlane improved its RTO rate by 40% and, over a period of 5 years, cut it down by almost 75%.
While Caratlane employed various strategies to achieve its goals, ClickPost’s automated returns management ticked various pain points off its checklist.
We understand that each brand has its unique approach to returns. Our returns management software can be designed to align with your store's needs.
Businesses can identify and partner with logistics partners specializing in pick-up services for their product category across various territories. ClickPost provides visibility on all returns, regardless of the carrier, at a click.
In case of failed pickup, our automated non-pick-up report will automatically reach out to your customer. Any re-scheduling requests or clarifications from the customer are then communicated to the carrier assigned for successful and prompt pick-up.
It's clear that online jewelry returns are a common occurrence and often for understandable reasons. However, as an eCommerce jewelry store owner, you can take steps to mitigate the chances of product returns happening in the first place.
The first step is to ensure your product photography is of high quality. Ensure to provide detailed product information. Having a sizing guide on hand can be greatly beneficial. These steps can help customers make informed decisions about their purchases.
It would help if you also considered real-time tracking, so customers know exactly when their order is being processed and delivered. And finally, have a rigorous returns inspection process in place.
If a return does happen, you can quickly assess whether or not the item meets your standards.
1) Can you return diamond earrings?
Most eCommerce stores accept returns of diamond earrings if it is in their original condition and unworn within the returns window specified by the store's returns policy. The item will have to be accompanied by original tags or packaging in order for your returns to be eligible for processing.
2) Can you return an engagement ring?
Most eCommerce stores will process refunds, exchanges, or store credit for your purchase if the ring has not been made-to-order or customized, or engraved.