April 4, 2001
If you've ever had a customer leave your store and never return because you didn't have what he or she wanted in stock, then Gemfinity.com is a site you need to check out. Gemfinity is a business-to-business site for the jewelry industry that functions as a selling tool as well as a place to discover new jewelry lines and manufacturers. At Gemfinity.com, manufacturers and designers post images and descriptions of their high-end jewelry, and retailers who are Gemfinity members can use the site to find high-end jewelry for their customers.
For retailers, using Gemfinity is simple. New members need to customize their main interfaces the page that comes up after logging on to the site. Retailers can choose colors for their pages and include their logos. Once the interface is set up, members can browse or search for products on Gemfinity. Browsing the site is easy: select "browse gems" from the menu and choose what type of jewelry to see. If a member selects rings, for example, the next screen lists all the rings on the site, which can be narrowed by type of stone and metal. More detailed searches are possible also. Members can specify the price range, type of jewelry, manufacturer, new or estate, and choose the metals and stones. The results can be refined further by specifying the criteria for the stone, including weight and cut. Results are listed six per page with small high-quality images. Clicking on a product will bring up a page with a large detailed image, more details about the product and information on ordering. No transactions are made on the site.
Gemfinity can come in handy to retailers when a customer wants to purchase a piece of high-end jewelry that's not in stock. As a Gemfinity member, retailers can search Gemfinity for the item, and in a matter of minutes, have numerous high-quality product images to show the customer. Gemfinity even adds the mark-up the retailer specifies to all the prices shown, so the customer will see the retail selling price instead of the wholesale price. If the customer decides to buy an item, the retailer then calls the sales representative listed, and the jewelry will be at the store in two business days.
In addition, Gemfinity offers more than just a B2B environment for its members. The company created a purchasing cooperative based on its membership to offer benefits and financial services to members at a reduced rate. Currently, Gemfinity offers personal insurance lines of coverage as well as business insurance coverage including Jewelers Block, Fine Arts Coverage, transit insurance and business owner policies. Gemfinity also offers employee/owners benefits including health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, 401k plans, IRA plans and estate planning.
Overall, the Gemfinity site is simple to use for manufacturers and retailers. Retailers can use it to show customers high-end jewelry without having many expensive pieces in the store, and manufacturers can use Gemfinity to show product lines to clients. The cost for Gemfinity's services are reasonable. Retailers can join for $200 per month per store. Prices for manufacturers vary depending on the number of items, but a manufacturer with 30 items would pay $50 per item per month. Manufacturers and retailers can sign up for a three-year contract and get the first year free.
- by Julia M. Duncan