A hallmark of the business world today is the massive involvement of sophisticated technology, not only in product development and manufacturing, but in the marketing and sales process as well. In the diamond trade this was not a foregone conclusion, for many believed that with valuable merchandise, where often subtle variations in carat, clarity, color and cut can have substantial effects on value, buyers would be reluctant for forgo the traditional physical examination of the stone.
At MID House of Diamonds, the standard operating principle has been to embrace technological development, but the company recognized both the opportunities and the challenges that e-commerce presents. “We understood immediately that this is going to a be a significant part of our industry’s future, but at the same time realized that we should not expect our clients to compromise in terms of the purchasing experience,” explained Asaf Hirsh, MID’s Vice President of Online Marketing. “We made it our goal, therefore, to develop a system that would provide the access, choice and immediate response that the new technology provides, while at the same time ensuring that the clients feel able to make a reasoned and rational purchasing decision, with the same and possibly even more information available than what they were used to in a traditional office setting.”
With this guiding principle, the company developed its online sales platform, which today operates around the clock and includes thousands of loose diamonds available for immediate delivery, complementing the company’s global brick and mortar operation in eight offices in diamond and jewelry centers around the world.
Clients using computers are able to access the MID online sales platform via the SEARCH DIAMONDS menu item on the company’s main website at www.middiamonds.com. A general search of the database is possible to for first-entry users, but in order to obtain certain information, such as prices, registration is required.
Clients on the move can search the MID sales platform using an mobile application, which is available both in Apple and Android format, free of charge from the Apple and Google Play stores. It provides a remarkably intuitive user’s experience.
A variety of search criteria are available, including standard ones, such as shape, weight, color and clarity. But users are also able to search using more specific criteria, including quality of cut, polish and symmetry; fluorescence; pavilion depth and table ratio; general ratio; types of treatments or absence
of treatments; and laboratories issuing grading reports.
A variety of search criteria are available, including standard ones, such as shape, weight, color and clarity. But users are also able to search using more specific criteria, including quality of cut, polish and symmetry; fluorescence; pavilion depth and table ratio; general ratio; types of treatments or absence of treatments; and laboratories issuing grading reports.
Each diamond meeting the user’s search criteria is a listed, with a comprehensive breakdown of the stone’s dimensions and quality criteria. Users are able to download and study grading reports.
Selections are added to added to a shopping cart, but the transaction is not completed automatically. After the contents in the shopping cart are received by the company, an MID sales representative personally contacts the clients to finalize the sale and arrange delivery. With items as valuable as diamonds, MID feels, the one-to-one relationship remains essential.
To provide users of the online system with a comprehensive buyer’s experience, MID uploads with each stone a magnified, 3-D photograph, which can be turned and manipulated in the same way one would do if examining the stone physically under a loupe. It is produced with Vision 360 (V360), an imaging system built specifically to meet the exacting demands of the diamond, gemstone and jewelry business. It is a 21st Century tool for what is most definitely a 21st Century company.