The percentage of jewelery consumers buying online has grown to 42 percent over the last 9 years, according to a recent study by JCK-Harrison Group. In 1999, just 3 percent of those questioned had bought online. However the study also revealed that buyers are still favouring the high street stores over online retailers by more than two to one, with 87 percent continuing to purchase this way. This reluctance to commit fully to shopping online for jewelery, despite huge savings of as much as 60 percent, is a result of several factors.
This is because the reduced prices are seen as tantamount to a lack of quality or authenticity, neither of which is accurate. Online jewelery stores are able to offer such discounts primarily because they do not have the overheads tied up with operating shops. They also work on lower profit margins because of the competitive nature of the Internet and assume profitability through sheer quantity of sales. This buying power gives them access to preferential rates from wholesalers which is why it is not uncommon to find literally thousands of pounds difference between a high street product and its' comparative online counterpart.