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Retailers Engage with Unbridaled Platform

Curated selection of diamonds improving bridal business.

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ZOE MANN OF family-owned Fox’s Seattle had competed for years with Blue Nile and other websites on selling diamond engagement rings with frustrating results. Unable even to interest her clients in shopping for diamonds in her store, she had begun advising them to buy their diamonds online and see her about their settings.

Zoe-Mann

Zoe Mann

COVID-19 led to an emergency update of Fox’s 6-year-old website. In addition, Mann learned about a platform designed by Vikas Sodhani of ILA Collection. The platform, called Unbridaled, allows jewelers to show a curated selection of diamonds via tablet to customers in the store, on their website and on customers’ own mobile devices. The Atlerier + Jewelry plan ($3,240 annually) comes with ILA branded ring samples in platinum, silver, yellow gold and rose gold, which customers can try on in the store.

“We were interested in the idea that we could have diamonds on our website without having to look at a million diamonds at once, but instead find the best of the best,” Mann says.

Ellen Hertz of Max’s in Minneapolis, another Unbridaled client, says that her sample rings, the feature that sold her on the program, arrived shortly after the COVID shutdown.

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“Over the years, our bridal business has grown, but we always have skewed to contemporary styles of jewelry design,” Hertz says. “And we have missed some opportunities for classic, traditional settings, for a white diamond set simply on a band. But if you invested in every ring and every shape of diamond, dollars start adding up and you still don’t have the right ring or it’s not in the right metal color. They want to see it and put it on their hand.”

The diamond presentation is also user-friendly, Hertz says. “Now we can talk about diamonds using the app on the iPad to work with customers, rather than saying ‘We’ll get in some stones for you to look at.’ It’s a nice addition and it is highly cost effective.”

Vikas Sodhani and Ellen Hertz

Vikas Sodhani and Ellen Hertz

Signing up for Unbridaled meant Mann didn’t need to spend a lot of money on infrastructure. Fox’s website runs on Shopify, and Unbridaled has a Shopify plug-in. “It’s been incredible,” Mann says. “We’ve sold five engagement rings from our website that were all ILA and Unbridaled, and before that we had not sold a single engagement ring from our website. Clients love the simplicity.” Many of her clients prefer a very simple, sleek engagement ring that can be paired with a more personalized or custom wedding band.

Often, in Mann’s experience, shoppers will make an appointment, come in and look at rings together, then go home and make the purchase online. The diamonds are shown with GIA reports and often with videos, something Mann’s customers appreciate. “People love seeing the video and knowing that that is the exact diamond,” Mann says.

They can also pair another designer’s engagement ring with a loose Unbridaled diamond and make that purchase online.

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Unbridaled controls the inventory of 30,000-plus diamonds in the system, which can be curated and easily compared. Retailers can choose whether or not to show clients laboratory-grown diamonds as well. The platform notifies ILA when a diamond is sold, and the diamond is shipped out. Unbridaled comes with a diamond guide that can be used to educate the customer on price differences. The platform can also match diamond pairs for earrings using artificial intelligence.

“You can also manually curate if you’re looking for something super specific, as if you’re digging through your safe,” Sodhani says. Using the non-consumer facing mode, retailers can view their cost, margins and profit. Retailers can email clients a link that keeps their individual branding to show them the video of a diamond. Photography and social media are included in the plan and retailers can label the jewelry as their own.

“All of a sudden, people aren’t even talking about price, now that we have this on our website,” Mann says. “It’s interesting to see that now that it’s a computer screen telling them a price, there’s no objection.”

Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

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