When jewelry marketer Avelor Collection launched its Website in April, the site specialized in necklaces, pins, and other gifts for mothers and babies. Six months later, the site has grown to offer roughly 9,000 SKUs of jewelry and gifts for the whole family.
In addition to online, Avelor jewelry is sold in stores such as Kids ‘R’ Us. While response to the Website from previous customers “blew us away,” says founder/owner Carlos Botero, response from new customers was lower than expected. In fact, he still doesn’t “know if cataloging will work,” because consumers like to be able to see and feel jewelry before they buy it. Nonetheless, Botero is considering mass-distributing a DVD version of the online catalog, which should be cheaper than producing and mailing a print version that features the full product line.
Although Botero won’t disclose specifics, he says the number of hits has grown 20%-30% a month since the Website’s debut. Better still, September sales were 200% higher than sales during the site’s first month. Price points vary widely, from $25 for a sterling-silver pin to $1,880 for a platinum diamond ring. The average order size is $200.
Web address: www.avelor.com Product category: jewelry Launched: April 2002 Target customer: mothers and gift-givers Phone: 866-Avelor-8 Competitors: BillBarnes.com, Babyjanejewelry.com, Gwensjewelry.com
Shimmer & Stone
What started as a dinner conversation between jewelry designer Kay Wickramasinghe and e-commerce operations professional Ishan Seneviratne about sterling silver as an alternative to pricey platinum has become the jewelry Website Shimmer & Stone. Launched last December, the site sells jewelry and accessories made of sterling silver, gold, and semiprecious stones at affordable prices.
Launched with only $10,000 of seed capital, Shimmer & Stone had a “very disappointing” $2,000 in sales during its first few months, Seneviratne says. “Our timing was a little off. The dot-com boom had just collapsed.” But when the partners lowered the average price point in March from $70 to $35, sales soared, with Shimmer & Stone taking in $3,000 in sales during one week alone. At the same time, based on customer feedback, Shimmer & Stone began offering more silver jewelry. “That made the difference,” Seneviratne says. “Response was better than we anticipated.”
Shimmer & Stone’s Website, designed inhouse, started with an average order size of $60, which is now $120. The site attracts around 53,000 hits a month, with a conversion rate of 8%-9%. Although magazine advertising tests didn’t prove profitable, the company has attracted shoppers with its presence on CatalogCity and Yahoo! Shopping. Shimmer & Stone plans to release its first print catalog for Valentine’s Day 2003.
Web address: www.shimmerandstone.com Product category: jewelry Launched: December 2001 Target customer: females 23-38 years old Phone: 800-Shimmer Competitors: Ice.com, JewelryDays.com, Fair Lawn Jewelers
You Glow, Girl!
As its name (a play on the hip-hop saying “You go, girl!”) indicates, San Diego-based You Glow, Girl! is after a teen audience. The company sells skincare and sun-protection products as well as beauty-related books and videos.
Response since the site’s September launch, says owner/cofounder Dianne York-Goldman, has been “overwhelming.” York-Goldman and partner Mitchel P. Goldman, M.D., have had to add six phone lines to You Glow, Girl!’s existing three just to keep up with demand. “For the teen population, a pimple can destroy their self-esteem,” York-Goldman says. “I think this is something that is really needed.”
You Glow, Girl! has an average order size of $75. That’s also the price of the company’s popular Cool Clenz acne treatment system, though customers can purchase system items separately. The site’s average price point is around $30. York-Goldman says that You Glow, Girl! is averaging more than 100 sales a day, which includes sales to dermatology offices and boutiques.
The company has run ads in YM and Cosmo Girl magazines, to reach teens, and in Skin Inc., to attract skincare professionals. You Glow, Girl! also has distributors in Texas, California, and Nevada who sold the products about a year before the Website debuted. The marketer is also planning to launch a print catalog at some point.
Web address: www.youglowgirl.com Product category: skincare Launched: September 2002 Target customer: teen girls and skincare professionals Phone: 800-886-5318 Competitors: Drugstore.com, DermatologistRX.com, SkinStore.com
Former marketing, product, and design team members from Getty Images, EyeWire, and Adobe Systems have gotten together to launch their own stock art business, Veer. Both the online and print catalogs debuted in June, selling a vast assortment of stock photography, illustrations, footage, and typefaces for use in advertising, print and Web design, corporate communications, and publishing.
Brock Bohonos, one of the founding partners of Calgary-based Veer, is “very pleased” with the response to Veer’s Website, as well he should be: The site has 300% more registrants than the company had anticipated. (Veer requires customers to register on the site before making a purchase.)
Veer has an average order size of $300. Price points range from $19 for single-font typefaces to $600 for CD image compilations. Seventy percent of Veer’s sales are online.
To help distinguish itself from the competition, Veer has signed an agreement to be the exclusive distributor of royalty-free illustrations from CSA Images, a stock art affiliate of Charles S. Anderson Design Co. The company has run a few promotions as well. For instance, at one point customers who made a purchase of at least $300 received $100 worth of reference books.
Web address: www.veer.com Product category: stock art Launched: June 2002 Target customer: art directors, graphic designers Phone: 877-297-7900 Competitors: Getty Images, EyeWire, Corbis