September 1, 2009, 12:00 AM

Blue Nile aims to sparkle with redesigned web site

Online jewelry retailer Blue Nile launched its first redesigned e-commerce site in 10 years with new features including larger imagery, expanded product detail and improved site search capabilities on category pages.

Online jewelry retailer Blue Nile Inc. hopes sales will sparkle with its newly redesigned web site. The new site features imagery that is four times larger than those that appeared previously and advanced product search capabilities to improve the site’s usability.

“Most fine jewelry customers are men buying gifts for their wives or girlfriends,” says senior vice president Sue Bell. “We know our customers, and they want to be in control of the shopping process. This redesign gives him even more tools to create his own shopping experience.”

New flyouts-information boxes that appear when customers hover their mouse over product images-contain information such as product measurements, metal type, stock availability and customer ratings.

“What we try to do is give guys as much information on the page they’re on,” says Blue Nile spokesman John Baird. Baird also notes that the web site’s Build Your Own Ring tool now has expanded search features such as delivery date, polish and depth percentage, as well as price, cut and clarity, to help customers search through the site’s 60,000 diamonds. Customers’ selections now appear on a one-page comparison chart.

Instead of the left-hand navigation bar on the former site, category headers now appear on the top of the page to give the site a more upscale look, according to Baird. Blue Nile, No. 56 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, conducted the redesign project in-house.

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