November 21, 2005, 12:00 AM

BlueNile.com says no to glitz, yes to service and selection

While many online retailers are trying to make their sites more entertaining through the use of rich media applications, jeweler BlueNile.com has stated unequivocally it will never include a video application or graphics that are merely entertaining.

In an era when many online retailers are trying to make their sites more entertaining through the use of rich media applications, jeweler BlueNile.com, No. 48 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, has stated unequivocally it will never include a video application or graphics that are merely entertaining. BlueNile.com has made this bold statement based on its belief that such applications actually create obstacles to selling jewelry, a point with which e-commerce experts agree.

Instead, the online jeweler is focused on providing tools throughout the site that aid the customer in making the purchasing decision. BlueNile.com’s latest tool allows customers to build their own five-stone diamond ring, three-stone diamond pendant, and six-stone diamond earrings. Customers can choose from more than 60,000 diamonds and a variety of settings. Customization, which BlueNile.com began offering in the late 1990s for engagement rings, is intended to make it easier for customers to purchase the piece of their choice.

“So many times in a store customers are limited to what is in the display case, when what they want is something more distinctive,” says Curt Barry, president of consulting firm F. Curtis Barry & Co. “This is a good marketing tactic that reminds people of some of the personalized service they can get from fine jewelers. Adding glitz to this kind of site only detracts from the product.”

BlueNile.com is betting its latest enhancement will be a hit with customers in Canada and the United Kingdom, markets the jeweler entered this year with the launch of web sites in each country. Typically, retail jewelers in those countries carry a very limited selection, according to a BlueNile.com spokesperson.

 

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