Jewelry TV Unearths a Data Management Gem in Riversand
Jewelry TV (JTV) bills itself as the world’s largest retailer of loose and wholesale gemstones and features an extensive selection of rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, watches, and more. It claims to sell everything “from simple and subtle to bold and beautiful.”
The 25-year-old company, which has more than $500 million in gross annual sales, has had its own television channel for decades, providing live TV programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to 85 million U.S. households. But as retail evolved, it added online shopping through the web, over-the-top (OTT) devices such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick, and mobile apps.
JTV was also looking to build its own Wikipedia-like information portal, Gemopedia, and wanted to increase the scope and quality of the product data it was already providing on its site, says Chris Meystrik, the company’s chief technology officer. “We wanted people to see us as the expert in jewelry and gemstone information. We wanted to include information about gemologists, historical information about product—basic information that fashion shoppers want. We wanted to add to that product data as we gathered more information. We wanted to be able to have all of that information when we replatformed our website.”
The Knoxville, Tenn.-based company has built most of its support technology in-house, including its order management and warehouse management systems, so it was very rare for the retailer to add third-party software, particularly something “off the shelf,” Meystrik says.
But that’s just what JTV did to increase the scope, quality, and speed of availability of product data to prospects and customers. The company’s search started in May 2016 and ended with the selection of Riversand’s Product Information Management system.
JTV chose Riversand for a number of reasons, according to Meystrik. “We liked their vision. Their [master data management] platform for this was very unique. And this is all they do, so they have a very focused attention on this. A focused attention is what we like to have in our partners.”
Additionally, since JTV builds its own technology ecosystem, the company wanted a solution that could easily plug into its existing systems, Meystrik says. “[Riversand] was simpler, more redundant, and the versioning and upgrades were all very easy. We wanted something that could handle the volume of complex information that we were going to add and could handle it at scale.”
After starting with a few product categories at the beginning of 2018, the company went live with its full product line as well as its replatformed website in June. The website is built on Oracle e-commerce and is hosted by Rackspace.
“The results have been phenomenal,” Meystrik says. “We are so excited.” And while it’s too early to tell how the change has impacted website visitor conversion numbers, according to Meystrik, several other metrics have improved.
New products move from SKU creation to the website in seconds, rather than “10s of minutes” with the old system, meaning that customers can more quickly research and purchase new products.
Similarly, new data is pushed out to mobile devices in near real time, which didn’t happen before.
“We’ve also reduced the amount of time it takes to enter new SKUs,” Meystrik says. “It’s increased our efficiency by 30 percent. That’s a substantial amount of time savings.”
JTV has tripled the amount of data available on its website, with more descriptive language, while also enabling prospects and customers to search by broad (e.g., animal) or specific (e.g., dog) categories for pendants, earrings, and the like.
JTV plans to continue to add to the products and information available through the Riversand Product Information Management system, including an apparel line planned for later this year. The company also plans to work with its online marketing vendors on product descriptions so they place higher on Google search results.
Since implementing Riversand Product Information Management system, JTV has seen the following results:
- new products move from SKU creation to the website in seconds, rather than minutes;
- new data is pushed out to mobile devices in near real time;
- efficiency has increased by 30 percent; and
- the amount of data available on its website has tripled.