June 19, 2009, 12:00 AM

Customers’ stories about Mom help web sales sparkle at jewelry retailer

James Avery, a jewelry retailer, posted a 28% increase in online sales in May partly as the result of a “Love to Share” campaign that gave gift cards to customers who submitted stories about their moms, senior director of marketing John McCullough says.

James Avery Craftsman Inc.’s retail jewelry site, JamesAvery.com, posted a 28% year-over-year increase in May sales with the help of customer-generated stories about moms submitted in a Mother’s Day promotion, senior director of marketing John McCullough says.

Using the Bazaarvoice Stories application during the month-long campaign, James Avery’s customers shared nearly 1,000 stories about a mother’s love-“driving deep engagement on our site and contributing to a 28% online sales increase in May over the previous year,” McCullough says. The campaign generated nearly 30,000 visitors to the Love to Share section of JamesAvery.com, he adds.

James Avery, which is using the Stories application under a software-as-as-service model from Bazaarvoice, a provider of technology and services that support customer-generated content, launched the Love to Share campaign on April 1 with a home page invitation to visitors to share stories about moms, post related photos, and rate one another’s stories. The Love to Share section also promotes popular Mother’s Day gifts such as charms, engraved jewelry, and heart-shaped pendants.

The retailer rewarded each story contributor with a $1,000 gift card and promoted the Love to Share campaign through web site displays, e-mail, in-store signage, in-store sales people, and box inserts for store as well as online and call center sales. Customers who submitted stories received an automated e-mail encouraging them to create an e-card on JamesAvery.com to send to family and friends.

In addition to its e-commerce site, Austin, TX-based James Avery operates more than 50 stores in Texas and five other states.

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