The second installment in this series about on-line communities in
the jewelry industry highlights the Polygon network
Polygon, a veteran of the jewelry industry's on-line presence, is an
industry umbrella that has organized most of the major trade associations
and established a well-known trading network. Launched in 1983, long before
the present-day concept of the Internet, the Polygon Trading Network started
as a joint venture between Polygon and Xerox Corp. and followed evolving
technology to become the Web-based entity it is today. Still best known
for its trading network where dealers, retailers and manufacturers
do business on-line Polygon also has made its mark with its TradeLock
industry password system, used widely among trade associations to restrict
their Web sites to the trade. Polygon (www.polygon.net)
also specializes in Web-site development and boasts much-used discussion
channels, a retailer-oriented "Virtual Boutiques" program and
a consumer search engine featuring Polygon jewelers.
- Trading Networks. Members advertise and post their needs for
loose stones here. The idea is that when customers request a stone, jewelers
Continued on page 152 can log on and quickly find one that fits their needs
rather than call several dealers or turn away customers.
- Search engine. On Polygon's home page, consumers can "Find
Your Local Jeweler" by entering their ZIP code or area code to find
a list of Polygon jewelers in that area.
- Web sites and Virtual Boutiques. In cooperation with the associations,
Polygon built generic Web pages for every retail member of the American
Gem Society, Jewelers of America, Independent Jewelers Organization, Retail
Jewelers Organization, Jewelry Information Center and Manufacturing Jewelers
and Suppliers of America. (If you're a member of one of these associations,
go to Polygon to find your page.) Then, cooperating with suppliers, Polygon
added Virtual Boutiques, product profiles that link to jewelers' home pages
at no cost. Jewelers can customize which products they want on their pages.
Polygon also custom-designs Web sites for a fee.
- InventoryPower. Diamond and gem dealers make their inventory
lists available privately to retail accounts 24 hours a day with a searchable
database of stones.
Polygon is expanding its scope internationally, but it's still best known
as a place where American retailers and dealers convene. There's enough
of a mix of independents, bench jewelers, dealers and designers on the discussion
channels to stir up interesting conversation.
If You're a Retailer
If you don't already have a presence on Polygon, you should at least register
for a free TradeLock password and start to look around. So many of the trade
associations are associated with Polygon you should be familiar with the
Costs and Packages
Membership in the Trading Network is $495 for the first year or $199 for
the first six months, then $95 a month thereafter. Custom Web-site design,
construction and maintenance for retail jewelers ranges from $500 to $5,000.
Polygon was founded when technology was relatively ancient, so its designers
are exceptionally sensitive about load time and the capability of users'
computers. The resulting sites may not push design boundaries, but they
probably won't crash your machine either.
by Stacey King
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.