We checked out an ingenious marketing approach used by a leading online diamond ring retailer, Brilliance.com.
The problem with any online fashion operation is one of fit. Unlike a typical brick-and-mortar retail operation, the clients of an online shop are unable to try on the goods to determine which one is best. In many cases people won’t even bother shopping online for such items for this reason alone. But now there could be an answer.
Brilliance.com is a leader in custom diamond ring online sales, offering a large number of ring and stone designs who had that very problem. Their solution was described to us by Shai Barel, their Director of Strategic Partnerships. We think it’s brilliant.
They’ve broken down the “online shopping problem” into three key questions, at least for the diamond ring business:
- Is the ring the right size for me?
- Did I select the right style of stone cut?
- What is the correct size of stone for me?
You might think that it’s simply a matter of “bigger is better” and therefore the largest carat is what you want. Not so, according to Barel, who explained that the shape and size of a person’s fingers often causes one style to appear better than others. The only way to figure it out is to try it. However, you can’t send expensive rings across the world just for testing.
Or could you?
That’s exactly what they’re doing. They have created a large set of 3D models that includes set of:
- Ring size testers
- Stone shape testers
- Stone size tester
You can download the files and print samples yourself or they’ll do it for you through the use of a 3D print service. They’re “bringing shopping to the customer”. It might sound expensive, but the cost of a diamond ring can easily justify this process.
So far they’ve delivered over 100 sets to prospective customers, including us. We tested 3D printing a few of the testers to see how they turned out.
We found the samples to be easy and quick to print, even at a high resolution – they are pretty small, after all. We tried printing with and without support structures and found little difficulty in either, although for some samples you’ll have to orient the model appropriately for the best print. We found printing them “stone down” worked pretty well.
Barel explained their intention is to eventually digitize their entire line of rings, making it easy to explore their catalog while staying at home.
One very interesting statistic: of those who take up this offer, the number requesting files for printing outnumbers those requesting prints 30 to 1.
Perhaps many 3D printer owners are getting engaged?