Site Review | Professional Jeweler

May 3, 1999

Duty-free shopping isn't just for vacation anymore. The Colombian Emeralds International Group recently designated its Web site identity,, as the holding company for its various jewelry, gift and fragrance retail divisions. Its Web site customers may be the same people who visit one of the company's 64 luxury duty-free shops while vacationing in the Bahamas, the Caribbean and Alaska, says President and CEO Stephen Crane. They'll also no doubt be the customers who want duty-free deals without leaving home.

The site is divided by the company's retail identities. Colombian Emeralds International offers diamond and gemstone jewelry, while Diamonds In Paradise specializes in big diamond jewelry. Baraka offers 18k gold designs, while Jeweler's Warehouse is the company's super-discount division, offering "50% Off Every Day." The site plans to offer fragrances and giftware in the future. All jewelry can be purchased using a typical e-commerce setup, a shopping cart and checkout.

One fun feature of the site is the personal shopper, whose on-line identity is "Adriana." Accompanied by the photo of a beautiful shopping assistant, this series of quesionnaires breaks down customers' preferences and pulls up available products, all the while inserting the customer's first name into the text to make the interaction seem more personal.

The site also explains the definition of duty-free shopping and gives consumers a list of tips for shopping in the islands.

Technically speaking: Some pages within the site loaded very slowly, which made it hard to navigate since most areas are several pages deep.

- by Stacey King