|November 14, 2001|
The highly sought-after domain name Jewelry.com is once again in use, and has no connection to the previous incarnation. Jewelry.com closed its doors in Sept. 2000 when Miadora.com shut down. Now Jewelry.com is again a destination for jewelry shoppers, but this time it's owned by Andin International and is a consumer resource rather than a purely retail site.
The purpose of Jewelry.com is to expand the industry's reach by bringing together leading national jewelers and department stores to promote jewelry as a gift purchase. Consumers can visit the site to learn about jewelry, gemstones and gold as well as browse some of the jewelry selection from well-known retailers Zales Jewelers, Service Merchandise, Sears, J.C. Penney, Macy's and Kay Jewelers. If shoppers want to buy something, they can use the store locators to find a retail store near them or link to one of the retailers' Web sites.
Browsing the jewelry on the site is quick and simple thanks to the many browsing options. Shoppers can browse by stone, metal, category, occasion or price. The products are shown six per page two have large product images and four have small images. The individual product pages have a large image, a short description and a price for the item and link to the appropriate store locator and Web site. There's also a simple search that allows shoppers to specify the stone, metal, style and price range.
The education section of Jewelry.com is filled with useful information for jewelry buyers. Shoppers can read about the journey of a diamond from the mine to retail or how to build a basic jewelry wardrobe. The 4Cs are covered and there's information on gem treatments, synthetic gems, certification, history of jewelry, jewelry care and how to select the right engagement ring. The one thing the education section lacks is informative graphics and pictures. All the information is text based and some topics, such as the 4Cs, would be more informative with visual aides.
Jewelry.com is set up with online browsers in mind, and since many consumers browse online and then buy offline, the site will surely be used. However, there are some flaws. One problem, for example, is there's no way for shoppers to tell if the nearby Zales has the items on Jewelry.com in stock. If shoppers have to go to more than one store to find a particular item or can't find the item at all, it's doubtful they'll use the site again. Visitors wishing to purchase items seen on Jewelry.com will have to then search the particular retailer's site for the items Jewelry.com only links to the main pages of the retailers' sites. It could cause more hassle than it's worth or it could inspire more jewelry gift purchases. Only time will tell.
- by Julia M. Duncan