Professional Jeweler Archive: E-Commerce Made Easy

June 2000


E-Commerce Made Easy

Polygon develops a program that allows retailers and manufacturers to link their sites seamlessly, so consumers can avail themselves of extensive inventories has introduced a program enabling retail jewelers to enter into e-commerce without a major investment and handle credit cards without any extra charge.

The program, a major enhancement of Polygon’s Virtual Boutique program, allows manufacturers and retailers to conduct business together on the Web to sell directly to consumers. Suppliers can choose which retailers they want to do business with, and retailers can select which manufacturers they wish to feature on their Web sites.

The first suppliers to sign up for the program are Stuller of Lafayette, LA; Platinum International of Warren, MI; and Bulova of New York City.

The program focuses primarily on the retailer. When consumers go to a retailer’s Web site, they see the manufacturers’ product lines as selected by the retailer. After an online purchase, the supplier ships the jewelry to the retailer, who delivers it to the consumer; the retailer handles the credit card transaction online with Polygon’s help.

Stuller is working on software that will allow for shipment directly to the consumer, saving more time in fulfilling the order. The sale will still go through the retailer, who will be paid by the consumer.

The benefit to retailers, says Polygon’s Jacques Voorhees, is that e-commerce can be added to a Web site in minutes at no cost, streamlining a usually lengthy and expensive process. Through Polygon, retailers can connect to a secure server to handle credit card transactions, which costs the same as handling any other credit card transaction.

A month after signing on to the program, Platinum International counted nearly 80 retailers linking to its Web site; CEO Sam Safadi calls that response “very good.” He says only a small percentage of the company’s full line is on the site. “We’ll test to see what works and what doesn’t and make adjustments,” he adds.

Steve MacDiarmid of Stuller calls the program “an efficient tool for retailers, who can expand existing customers and make new customers.” He suggests retailers who do not yet have Web sites contact Jewelers of America to check into its program offering free sites to members. Though Stuller’s complete line contains more than 50,000 items, only the Mothers Love, bridal and earrings are available on the e-commerce program.

– by Jack Heeger

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications