October 7, 2011, 4:57 PM

It’s out with the old and in with the new at Ice

Ice.com retools its name, design and branding.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

There’s a new design, a new name and a new way of thinking about the online retailing business at Ice.com.

For starters, Ice.com, No. 242 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, has changed its corporate brand and name to a single word: Ice.

With a new brand, Ice is also reinventing how it sells online. Since the online jewelry site launched in 1999, the business model and site design has been all about selling online shoppers rings and other jewelry the instant they clicked on the web site, says CEO Shmuel Gniwisch. But the model wasn’t working, with sales for Ice.com declining 13.3% to $52 million in 2010 from $60 million in 2009.

Now with a new design and corporate branding initiative that launched Aug. 1 Ice is transforming itself from a direct marketing company into a lifestyle brand and destination company, says Gniwisch. “It’s time for us to engage with our customers and not just make it all about selling,” he says.

The newly redesigned home page contains a big change—there are no products set up for immediate sale. To make a purchase, customers must use the updated navigation links to get to a product page. The Ice home page now features a design that creates a destination where visitors and shoppers can discover and then find the particular product they are looking for, says chief marketing officer Jonathan Kowit.

New features on the Ice home page include:

  • Newer and simpler site search tools that let customers shop by most popular, by price range and other metrics
  • A What’s Your Style section that helps shoppers find the type and size of diamonds, pearls and gems to fit their current need.
  • A “What’s Your Persona” section that includes blogs by jewelry designers such as Sno from Sweden.
  • A community section that takes visitors to the product pages of hot-selling and popular items.

“Ice is now a style focused, fashion forward destination site,”  says Kowit

Ice is also working to reinvent its video section and add more social media. Older videos that simply show models posing with a single piece of jewelry are being replaced with more sophisticated videos that contain music snippets from independent artists and more close-ups of models putting on and wearing jewelry items. “We have gotten away from just being an ‘in and out’ destination,” says Gniwisch. “We are rebranding as Ice, a style and fashion destination.”

A new emphasis on social media includes more social links on category and product pages and developing new ways to engage Ice’s nearly 260,000 fans on Facebook. Ice also is launching a series of ads on cable TV networks such as Lifetime, Cooking Channel, Food Network, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel and others. “We are now all about creating an experience for visitors and not just selling,” says Gniwisch

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