Ejewelry.com helps retailers offer bread-and-butter jewelry
Many of the new Internet jewelry retailers have resources
beyond compare. Often backed by venture capital to build the
perfect, expensive mousetraps, they are forming Web partnerships,
launching exclusive jewelry collections and buying banner ads
on coveted sites such as Yahoo! For small independent jewelers
who've barely begun with the Web, competing on these e-tailers'
level seems an insurmountable feat.
Several companies have introduced services to help small businesses
introduce e-commerce on their sites without shelling out thousands
for the "back end," which includes the programming
work, secure server space and equipment needed to process orders
via the Internet. Now a jewelry company has added inventory to
The Web sites that Ejewelry.com designs for its retail jeweler
"affiliates" connect directly to a catalog of nearly
25,000 jewelry items. The catalog is actually the inventory of
Quality Gold, Cincinnati, OH, which owns Ejewelry. Once a consumer
orders an item through the retailer's Web site, Ejewelry processes
the order and ships the jewelry by FedEx for next-day delivery.
Retailers set margins for products in each of 25 categories,
then receive that profit for each piece sold.
The service is an especially useful solution for custom or
high-end jewelers who aren't interested in selling bread-and-butter
items in their stores or on-line but don't want customers to
go elsewhere, says Patrick Brown, director of marketing for Ejewelry.
"One jeweler shows his own designs on his home page and
bread-and-butter items through the Quality Gold connection,"
he says. "He doesn't want to sell chains on his home page,
but if he doesn't make them available, he risks losing customers
In the consumer's eyes, all business is transacted with the
retail jeweler. While the Internet often causes a problem with
geographical exclusivity, Ejewelry's directory points consumers
to an affiliate close to their ZIP code.
The service recently took a step to make itself even more
attractive to retail jewelers trying to get noticed in the competitive
world of on-line business. Ejewelry.com became part of the Premier
Partnership program with Respond.com, an on-line shopping service
that queries sellers about requested products and returns e-mails
to consumers about the availability of the products they seek.
The only jewelry company in such a partnership with Respond.com,
Ejewelry will respond to all consumer requests for jewelry by
matching an Ejewelry retailer to the customer's ZIP code and
putting the retailer in touch with that customer.
"Promoting the Web site and the Ejewelry catalog as an
extension of my business has been very valuable for me,"
says Jeffrey Dunnington of Designs in Gold, Houston, TX. Dunnington
was already building his Web site, Dreamgold.com, to promote
his popular charm jewelry for firefighters, emergency service
personnel and Web surfers. Ejewelry was a way to make a few extra
sales on-line. He also plans to launch a new Web site (called
DesignsinGold.net) directly related to his retail store to serve
the 3,000 active customers from his physical store. He says Ejewelry
will be an extension of that business too.
Statistics for the Dreamgold.com site show 75% of visitors
enter the Ejewelry catalog, Dunnington says. Of those, about
one-third register as shoppers and about one-third of registered
visitors make a purchase numbers that coincide exactly
with national averages for e-commerce patterns. "For the
small annual fee, once you make a couple of sales a year, it's
paid for itself," he says. Ejewelry.com membership costs
$240 per year with a one-time setup fee of $50.
- Ejewelry, Fairfield, OH, (800) 354-9833, fax (513) 632-1101.
by Stacey King
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.