More than 700 jewelers closed in the past year, reflecting the industry’s continued contraction. While digital channels offer a lifeline amid that downturn, they also give larger brands an even bigger advantage.

Many of the shuttered jewelers were smaller businesses with scant digital budget or experience. Even if they wanted to get into digital, they would have faced a tough battle to gain visibility. The top ten brands in the industry generate only 40% of global sales, but control nearly 75% of traffic to Watches & Jewelry brand sites, according to L2’s e-commerce report.

Share of sales vs. site visits

As e-commerce accounts for an increasingly large proportion of the industry’s sales, Jewelry brands hesitant about selling online will need to play catch-up.

“Those that are winning are designing new products, they are creating demand, they are innovating,” said Dione Kenyon, the former president and CEO of Jewelers Board of Trade.


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