August 21, 2000
One of the biggest complaints Web shoppers have is that many Internet stores don't post their policies on shipping fees, Personal information privacy, returns and guarantees. Shoppers at Blankfield.com definitely can't complain about any of that. From the main page, users can click to sections about secure shopping, privacy policies, quality assurance, shipping information, sales tax, the money-back guarantee, the low-price guarantee and the frequent buyer program. If these sections don't answer customers' questions, the "contact us" section provides a form for questions and a toll-free customer service number.
Blankfield's information sections are simple and clear. Shipping costs are listed in a table that every customer can understand, and customers in Texas can easily find out how much sales tax they will pay. In case a customer is wary about transmitting his or her credit card information over the Internet, Blankfield explains how transmitting information over its server is safe, possibly safer than person-to-person transactions.
Shopping at Blankfield online has its ups and downs. The extra-large product images and detailed descriptions are helpful to customers. However, the poorly organized product categories can cause a bit of frustration. Blankfield's product categories are diamond fashion, gemstones, bridal and more, cubic zirconia, created stones, pearls, watches, gold and sterling silver. The problem is that there are no sub-categories within each section. This means when a customer enters the gemstone section looking for ruby rings, he or she will have to browse through all 117 items, with only six items per page. That can be time consuming. However, a user can save time by using Blankfield's search function to find specific products.
Aside from the lack of sub-categories, Blankfield.com is a simple yet effective online store. Almost every question a shopper could ask is answered on one of the information pages, and the products are shown and described in enough detail to satisfy most customers.
- by Julia M. Duncan