Online Jewelry Sales Make Quick Gains

December 11, 2002

Online Jewelry Sales Make Quick Gains

Spending on jewelry and watches rose 66% to $121 million between Nov. 1 and Dec. 6, compared with the year-earlier period, reports comScore Networks Inc., an online market research firm based in Reston, VA.

"Things like books, CDs and DVDs have had strong sales in past years," says Michelle David Adams, vice president of comScore Networks. "Now consumers are buying more personal objects such as ... jewelry and watches, two categories that demonstrate an increased comfort level with buying online."

Cumulative consumer online sales from Nov. 1 through Dec. 6 reached $8.2 billion, up 29% from the same period a year earlier year, as shoppers increased purchases of products they traditionally felt more comfortable buying in stores, according to comScore.

Internet consumer spending is on track to reach a fourth-quarter record, buoyed by a 34% jump in sales in the week after the Thanksgiving holiday compared to the same period last year. The $2 billion spent online by consumers in the week after Thanksgiving, compared with about $1.5 billion in the year earlier, provided a substantial boost to Internet retailers' holiday-season sales.

"Holiday e-commerce spending continues to gather momentum as retailers enter the most intensive weeks of the holiday shopping season," says Adams, whose company records Internet sales from more than 50,000 online merchants daily.

"While travel spending was the dominant force pushing e-commerce trends higher in the off-season, non-travel sales have now become the growth engine, as consumers come online in droves to take advantage of the Internet's convenience, competitive pricing and wide product selection," she says.

While overall holiday retail sales are expected to grow modestly, online shoppers are expected to spend $25 billion to $26 billion in the fourth quarter, up 58-65% from $15.8 billion last year, according to comScore.

Jewelers should ensure their online sites are up-to-date and functional, even if they are not e-commerce enabled. An increasing number of consumers are pre-shopping online and could visit a jeweler's site before visiting the store.

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