Visitors to The Diamond Registry booth at the Las Vegas show differed on their views of the impact of the internet on their business.
One visitor dismissed the relevance of the internet to his business, saying that the customer service he has provided for the past 25 years and the variety of styles he can offer customers remains unmatched on the net.
Another view was expressed by one jeweler who does maintain his own web site. He said his site has failed thus far to bring in now customers to his business, but that it has succeeded in attracting the attention — and often new business — of his established customers who come across his site.
A third situation we heard about was that of a diamond sales rep for a large company who has a web page on a shared web site. The drawbacks of this arrangement range from increased competition from other site tenants who sell the same quality or sometimes even the the very same stones at competitive prices. There is also added confusion which can inhibit sales when the customer faces this overchoice of diamond sellers and prices.
Most visitors to our booth agreed with the great benefits afforded by The Diamond Registry Internet Customer Referral Program in which we provide to the jeweler both a new customer and the diamond he/she has selected for possible purchase. The majority of jewelers with whom we spoke were happy to be given an opportunity to show the diamond to a potential new customer for an essentially pre-arranged sale which could result in ancillary sales of the mounting, setting and any other jewelery as well as the 10% commission which we would provide for closing the sale on the diamond.
A small number of jewelers, however, complained that this arrangment would be unworkable for them as a 10% commission would not meet their general operating costs.
At the present time, less than 10% of American homes use the internet and no doubt, an even smaller percentage of Americans use the internet to make purchases. Nevertheless, we do receive hundreds of inquires for diamond quotes from sophisticated internet users. We have noted that the diamond information we provide, drawing on 30 years of publication of The Diamond Registry Bulletin attracts serious potential buyers seeking out serious diamond research before making a purchase.