SOURCE: SLI Systems

SLI Systems

March 18, 2010 08:00 ET

Latest Ecommerce Podcast Features Interview With Gary Ingram of The Diamond Store

Online Jewelry Retailer Uses Gift Packaging and 3D Images to Improve Shopping Experience

CUPERTINO, CA--(Marketwire - March 18, 2010) -  SLI Systems, provider of on-demand, intelligent search services for Internet and e-commerce sites, announced today that the latest Ecommerce Podcast interview features Gary Ingram, managing director for The Diamond Store, a retailer of precious gems and jewelry that operates 100% online. Podcast host Shaun Ryan, CEO of SLI Systems, and Ingram discussed how to bring the benefits of real-world shopping experiences into the online world, especially for touch-and-feel products such as jewelry.

The Diamond Store sells diamond and precious-gem jewelry, with a good portion of its business devoted to engagement and wedding rings, Ingram explained. "Because people like to see jewelry up close and try it on, it's difficult to sell online," he said. "And there's a large element of romance that's often attached to jewelry. Trying to install that in an online experience is quite challenging."

Since many people may be buying jewelry as a gift, The Diamond Store ships elaborate gift packaging and presentation folders along with purchases. However, Ingram notes that jewelry is not wrapped when it is shipped: "People want to rip open the package right away to see what they've ordered," he explained. Acknowledging that buyers want to confirm that they have received the correct product, The Diamond Store then makes it easy for shoppers to repackage the purchase for gift-giving.

Also challenging, said Ingram, is giving shoppers a comfort level with what is generally an expensive purchase. The website offers 3D images that can be rotated as needed, so buyers can experience the product as realistically as possible.

"We have to get over the trust issues of buying jewelry online, and we do that through branding and better imaging," Ingram said. "We also show rings on a hand, so you can see how they look."

In spite of the challenges involved in selling jewelry online, many brick-and-mortar jewelry retailers have developed online storefronts, Ingram said -- although such competition actually benefits The Diamond Store. "A lot of high street jewelers have been pushing their online channels, but that validates the idea of buying jewelry online," Ingram said.

About Ecommerce Podcast
Ecommerce Podcast is a series of interviews with experts in e-commerce on a range of topics, including marketing, site design and usability, search, and merchandising and promotions. The podcast interviews are hosted by Shaun Ryan, president and CEO of SLI Systems, a provider of hosted learning-based search and navigation technology. Ecommerce Podcast can be found at www.ecommercepodcast.com.

About SLI Systems
SLI Systems is the developer of learning-based search and navigation technology for corporate Internet sites, e-commerce destinations and consumer Internet portals that Searches, Learns and Improves the user experience. SLI Systems' hosted site search and user-generated SEO solutions empower businesses to enhance customer satisfaction while increasing sales, reducing costs and yielding valuable customer information. Unlike traditional search software, SLI Systems' patented technology continuously "learns" from the behavior of visitors over time to deliver more relevant results. SLI Systems is a privately held company, with offices in Silicon Valley, London, and Christchurch, New Zealand. For more information, visit www.sli-systems.com, or see the company's blog at http://blog.sli-systems.com/

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