March 29, 2006, 12:00 AM

Blue Nile takes the mystery out of searching for diamonds

Shoppers can`t touch the merchandise online. But with advanced search technology, Blue Nile wants them to find the exact diamond they’re looking for as quickly as possible.

BlueNile.com is using advanced site search to take the mystery out of shopping for jewelry.

Shoppers online of course cannot touch the merchandise. But with advanced site search technology, Blue Nile, No. 48 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, wants visitors and shoppers to find the exact diamond they are looking for as quickly as possible.

Using Ajax, a development program for interactive web applications, Blue Nile is rolling out a new system that enables visitors to conduct real-time searches through a collection of more than 50,000 diamonds in 12 different categories.

In addition to searching by cut, color, clarity and carat weight, consumers now can also search by polish, symmetry, fluorescence, culet, diamond grading report, depth percentage, table percentage and price.

The new search tool gives consumers the option of customizing their search according to their own preferences and priorities, says John Baird, diamond and jewelry expert at Blue Nile. "With our new interactive search, consumers can choose the criteria by which they want to search, sort and select,” he adds.

Advanced technology is essential to helping Blue Nile grow its e-commerce business, Baird says. In 2006 Blue Nile expects sales to range from $220 million to $245 million.

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