Site Review | Professional Jeweler

April 5, 1999
Art Import

There are plenty of e-commerce Web sites aimed at consumers who want to shop in their bath robes – many of them even advertise themselves as "wholesalers," yet still eagerly sell to the public. Conversely, Art Import, a wholesaler of 14k gold jewelry, brings the ease of Internet shopping to jewelry retailers with a password-protected site and easy-to-use e-commerce technology.

Jewelers have to register for a password by submitting their trade credentials, including organizations of which they are members. It takes a day or so for the company to check out qualifications and send the password back by e-mail. Once the password arrives, users can access the company's on-line catalog, which Art Import says includes more than 2,000 items.

The catalog is conveniently organized and loads quickly. The site is set up in frames, with a list of product categories on the left side to help users get in and out of catalog sections easily. On a selected page, products are organized into rows that include small images of the product, price, specifications and description. When an item is offered in a different color of gold or with different gemstones, there's a link to a picture of the alternative item. There are boxes next to each item where you fill in the quantity desired. At the bottom of the page is a Javascript-driven "Calculate" function; you hit the button to add up how much their selections will cost. When finished with a page, hit the "Add to Shopping Cart" button. You also can view your shopping cart at any time to delete or change quantities quickly.

When finished, you proceed to the "Checkout Stand" to access a secure on-line order form. Art Import offers percentage discounts to customers who shop on their Web site.

- by Stacey King