Professional Jeweler Archive: Getting Emotional

October 2001

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Getting Emotional

iBBC offers jewelers the E'motions Gallery, a new tool for selling jewelry


Combining retail entertainment with the Web, the E’motions Gallery by iBBC Inc. is an in-store kiosk that should prove popular with established and newer, younger customers.

For people who want to buy in the real world, the kiosk acts as a handsome case displaying moderately priced jewelry. Customers can try on any of the pieces and make their purchases in the store.

For your Web-savvy customers, you can transform the kiosk into a cutting-edge interactive display – they can scan their faces or hands and try on jewelry the virtual way. This allows a much wider inventory (500 styles available to sample via the computer), and they can try on the displayed pieces to get a feel for the color and weight.

When your customers find something they like, they can even e-mail a virtual photo of them wearing the jewelry to friends or family along with broad hints about upcoming birthdays or holidays. In one store testing the E’motions Gallery, a woman e-mailed her wish list to her husband at work. Twenty minutes later, the jewelry was hers.

Once your customer is familiar with the E’motions line, she can access it online 24 hours a day at home, allowing you to sell even when your store is closed.

Gem-Intensive

The gems in the E’motions collection carry branded names such as Azure Seas iolite,™ Burgundy garnet,™ Sea Mist peridot™ and Panther quartz.™ That the line is gemstone-intensive isn’t surprising – at least three of the company’s principals are former employees of the Gemological Institute of America. Jim Littman, former chief fund-raiser for GIA, is iBBC’s CEO, Harry Stubbert is COO and Joe Duffy is vice president of communications.

The E’motions Gallery’s merchandise ranges from $100 to $3,000 suggested retail, with average prices around $300-$400. The jewelry carries price tags with keystone mark-ups.

If you participate in the program, you can give your customers home access to the online inventory through your own Web site, created by E’motions Gallery. Your customers then have access to home delivery and 24-hour customer service for online purchases. The company also offers you marketing services, including permission-based e-mail communications, birthday and anniversary reminders, postcards, gift giveaways, distinctive packaging and branded gift cards.

The company plans to introduce an Auction Center component of the service this fall. It will include two programs that allow you to post merchandise that isn’t moving quickly in your store.

Costs, Details

You can participate in the program in one of two ways:

  • Pay $1,000 for installation and $200 per month rent.
  • Buy $10,000 worth of the E’motions Gallery products up front, buy an additional $10,000 worth of products during the first year and pay $1,000 for installation. There are no monthly fees with this option. Included are the virtual inventory comprising $250,000 worth of jewelry on consignment, the marketing program to drive customers into your store, the cabinet, hardware and software, at-home shopping, branding services and the auction module. A video host guides customers through the gallery.

• E’motions Gallery, iBBC, Carlsbad, CA; (866) 600-9925 or (760) 918-6900.

– by Peggy Jo Donahue

The E’motions Gallery kiosk allows customers to try on real jewelry in the store or scan their faces and hands to try on additional pieces virtually. The screen shows customers the results.
A customer at the E’motions Gallery scans her hand to try on virtual jewelry. She can then e-mail the photo to family and friends with hints about buying or to ask their opinions.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications