Site Review | Professional Jeweler

November 14, 2000
Service Merchandise

The holiday shopping season is here, and Service Merchandise's online store is in peak form to encourage holiday spending. Free rush shipping on all jewelry purchases, e-mail specials and a chance to win a $10,000 shopping spree are just a few of the things it's doing to entice holiday shoppers to spend money in its online store.

Once jewelry shoppers find their way into's "Your Jewelry" section, there isn't any reason for them to leave until they are finished checking out. The jewelry section has information on everything shoppers need to know, not to mention plenty of merchandise to accommodate most shopping lists. There are links to a page explaining the latest jewelry trends and to another page featuring the month's birthstone. There is even a conflict diamond policy posted.

The first thing that will draw shoppers into the store's merchandise is the advertised gold sale – all gold jewelry is on sale. The special section for the gold sale gives shoppers everything they need from traditional gold jewelry and the hottest styles of gold jewelry to basic gold jewelry. Shoppers can click on a featured product or choose to browse the entire gold jewelry collection.

Each section of the store is simple to navigate, with a list of sub-categories to choose from. Unfortunately, the sub-category list disappears once the user clicks on one. This makes it more difficult for users to find their way back to where they came from. When browsing jewelry categories, shoppers are shown small product images, short descriptions and prices for each item. They can click on any image to see a larger image and more detail about the product. There is even a link to Service Merchandise's "Jewelry Buying Guide" from each product's page plus information on gemstone treatment and diamond weights.

For holiday shoppers, has an impressive gift guide. Shoppers select the age and gender of the gift recipient and the price range for the gift, and returns a wide selection of gift ideas. In addition, the site features a bridal registry and a section devoted to business gifts.

In case the customer needs help, has an extensive customer service section. There is information on everything from shopping and buying online to privacy policies and store locations. Customer service representatives aren't far away either; they can be reached by phone or e-mail. Overall, has everything a customer could ask for in an online store.

- by Julia M. Duncan