While strategizing the retailers’s business plan, chief marketing officer George Pich says Keyzar Jewelry management looked around at one another and asked themselves what they had in common with their customers.
“We realized we’re all in our 30s and tend to be broke — but that doesn’t mean we don’t want or deserve a fine piece of jewelry we can be proud of,” he says.
Fine jewelry brand Keyzar Jewelry started its online business on Etsy, Inc. more than two years ago with an average order value of $1,000. It sells engagement rings with Moissanite, natural and lab-grown diamonds, bracelets and other pieces. The Etsy store took off, becoming a star seller, and Pich says the company knew then it had an eager audience. Etsy star sellers have a history of five-star reviews, confirmed on-time shipping and quick turnaround responses to customer inquiries. Keyzar still sells items in its store on Etsy.com.
“We realized we wanted to cater to people like us,” Pich says. “We decided to think of ourselves as the jewelry brand that cares and understands millennials and Gen Z. You can still get the proposal you want, even if you don’t have a big budget.”
Keyzar Jewelry gives shoppers buy-now-pay-later choices
With prudent spenders in mind, Pich says it made sense to offer buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) when it launched its direct-to-consumer website in January 2021 with PayPal and Shopify’s Shop Pay installment payment options. But shoppers told the online retailer via its Contact Us web page that they wanted Klarna as well.
In May 2021, Keyzar Jewelry launched Klarna as a BNPL option. Within 30 days, Pich says customers checking out with Klarna started making higher average order value purchases. Conversion rates increased about 6% in the first month and on top of that, another 5% the next month.
“Our conversion went up by a total of 11% in those first two months,” Pich says. Overall web sales increased by about 14%, he says. Keyzar Jewelers declined to provide its overall conversion rate or how much higher AOV were when customers used BNPL.
With an average order value of $2,500, which is higher than its Etsy.com store’s AOV, offering BNPL choices at checkout is a natural fit, Pich says.
BNPL payment options are not the same. Each offers different features, and all require approval based on the shopper’s credit history. Consumers are increasingly turning to the payment method, as BNPL accounts for 2.9% ($157 billion) of global ecommerce transaction value in 2021 and is projected to reach a 5.3% ($438 billion) share of global ecommerce transaction value by 2025, according to “The Global Payments Report,” published in March 2022 by Worldpay, a payment processing firm owned by FIS, a global payment technology company.
Globally, Klarna leads the way, followed by Afterpay and PayPal, according to the report. In the U.S., BNPL is growing more popular, with nearly 35% of ecommerce compound annual growth rate (CAGR) projected through 2025. CAGR is the rate of return that would be required for an investment to grow and is measured between two given years. The report collected data from 41 select markets throughout the world, offering real-time payment options both online and in-store.
As BNPL options grow in popularity, a key benefit for retailers is appealing to younger consumers who look to break up more expensive items. These items
that might otherwise be financed through payments made using traditional credit cards and paid off by carrying the balance, says Jed Danbury, vice president at global payment service provider Computop.
“While already popular overseas, BNPL received a boost in the U.S. during COVID-19, as it provided cash-strapped consumers the ability to make partial payments upfront and then over a short time span,” Danbury says.
Different buy-now-pay-later options
Klarna allows shoppers to break up payments into four interest-free transactions up to $10,000. Customers can also pay-in-30, which is when a person buys items today, returns what they don’t want, and pays only for what they keep. If a customer decides to pay later with financing, they can select a payment plan.
Shopify offers Shop Pay, which is when shoppers can pay in full at checkout or split their purchase into four equal interest-free installments. But orders are limited between $50 and $3,000.
PayPal will split the total price of an order into four equal installments, due every two weeks, with the first payment due at checkout. Customers can pay down purchases between $30 and $1,500.
Klarna, Shop Pay and PayPal all charge Keyzar Jewelry an approximate 2% fee, Pich says.
Pich says Klarna is by far the most popular choice among its customers, with nearly 75% choosing to use Klarna when selecting BNPL at checkout.
From the retailer side, Klarna is easily integrated with its Shopify website setup, Pich says, taking a matter of weeks to go live on the website. Pich did not specify exactly how long it took to integrate Klarna with its Shopify website.
The retailer is not looking to add other buy-now-pay-later options at this time but continues to listen to customer requests, Pich says. Keyzar Jewelry has a wide international customer base, but it plans to add Venmo as a payment option in 2022 because it is a popular payment option for its U.S. customers, he adds.
The overall goal for adding payment buttons is to provide a secure shopping experience for customers while giving options that don’t require a long waiting period to save up enough, Pich says.
“Since we sell engagement rings with an AOV of $2,500, flexible payment plans are a big deal for our consumers,” he says. “It’s a privilege to be part of our customers’ lives and help them make the proposal or give the gift they really want, and that’s special.”
As an international brand, Keyzar Jewelry has both customers and employees throughout the world. As the Russian invasion of Ukraine wages on, the online retailer is experiencing a direct impact on its business as it employs remote workers in the Ukraine as part of its illustration, development and content teams.
“Illustration, development and content have all slowed down because those people are either in hiding or evacuating,” Pich says, adding that one of the employees is currently fighting for Ukraine.
Pich and one of the brand’s partners have family and friends in both Russia and Ukraine.
“We’re all watching people we know lose their livelihoods in both countries over this,” he says. “It’s difficult. We spend a lot of time watching the news and wondering what is going to happen.”