WR Cobb Online’s New E-Commerce Platform Coming Soon

WR Cobb Online will soon release new responsive updates to its long-running e-commerce platform. Cobb’s current platform services a vast range of retailers, from mega-majors in malls across America to standalone family-run single shops. By always striving to stay ahead of the curve, Cobb’s new responsive upgrades cater to the tech-savvy and ever-changing millennial generation.

Responsive design is an approach that provides an optimal viewing (minimum resizing, panning, scrolling needed) experience for those reading and navigating on a wide range of devices (mobile, tablet, desktop, etc.)

Responsive web design involves the process of building a website in such a way that it automatically adapts to the device from which it is being accessed. This is exciting simply because it means that we can create a single site that adapts to devices of all sizes. Previously, we could achieve this same objective; however, it required creating a separate codebase for each individual device; this was tedious for developers, and therefore costly to website owners.

Why do you need this as a retailer in today’s marketplace? Because the future is mobile.

The number of devices, platforms and browsers on which your website is expected to function properly has exploded. New standards in screen resolutions are being established regularly and it is essential that your website is adaptable to the sizes of today and the future.

Responsive design is the way of the future and sites created without this functionality will be obsolete and irrelevant in the not too distant future.

With Google’s recent algorithm-shifts that favor responsive websites over non-responsive sites, it is becoming even more critical to keep up with trends or risk disappearing from mobile rankings and possibly desktop rankings altogether, making it incredibly challenging to not only be discovered but also compete online.

It is becoming increasingly important for businesses to adapt their websites in order to keep up with the growing rate of smartphone and tablet users.

Research has found that 34 percent of American cell phone owners access the Internet primarily from their mobile device. With such a drastic increase in mobile activity, having a responsive website can only provide benefits.

Cobb’s new platform is fully responsive and optimized for all of the latest and greatest devices. With mobile and tablet use at an all-time high, having a site that looks just as great and is just as easy to navigate on an iPad or iPhone as it is on a 17-inch screen has become a must. Cobb’s new platform gives consumers a shopping experience that is uniformly intuitive across all devices.

The platform’s long success is rooted in the unique jewelry builders and superb virtual inventory made available to retailers.

Along with the platform going responsive, Cobb has also made advancements in the builders’ functionality, added phenomenal 3D rotational product videos and high-resolution images that truly demonstrate an item’s beauty.

These improvements are sure to increase merchandise excitement and boost conversion rates. Now that the platform has gone responsive and enhanced the design aesthetic retailers will be able to remain relevant to today’s consumers.

WR Cobb Online will be in booth PC-830 in the Plumb Club at the upcoming JCK Show in Las Vegas and attendees are encouraged to stop by for a demo of the new platform.

For more information, see www.wrcobbonline.com.

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ASA/GIA to Offer Advanced Gemological Training

(Press Release) The American Society of Appraisers has announced its continued partnership with the Gemological Institute of America to offer advanced gemological training to gems and jewelry professionals.

Based on the success of the pilot seminar developed by GIA for ASA Diamond Grading Update returns for a third offering to be held Aug. 10–11 at GIA’s Carlsbad, CA, flagship campus with instruction provided by GIA personnel.

“Continuing education is of paramount importance to practicing jewelry appraisers”, says Teri Brossmer, a Glendora, CA, based gemological and valuation expert who holds ASA, MGA and G.G designations.

As education chair for the society’s gems and jewelry discipline, Brossmer adds “We strive to provide the jewelry industry with the best appraisal education available and since GIA is the preeminent laboratory for diamond grading, this collaboration is a perfect fit. The subject matter covered in this course is immediately applicable to our daily practice as professional jewelry appraisers.”

Topics to be covered include: cover clarity and color grading techniques employed in the GIA laboratories, followed by hands-on mounted diamond grading considerations and identification of diamond treatments and synthetics.

Course is expected to sell out quickly and space is limited. Register early to ensure your spot. Tuition is $995 for ASA members and $1,095 for non-members.

Immediately following the seminar, ASA’s newly updated Appraising Gems & Jewelry for Insurance Coverage course will be offered Wednesday, August 12–Saturday, August 15.

This course is required for those seeking ASA accreditation and will also appeal to practicing gems and jewelry appraisers. It offers the most current information regarding terminology and USPAP requirements, and the opportunity to network with top-level appraisers from across the country, in a small group of highly motivated learners, whose interaction will enhance one another’s understanding of the material.

Tuition is $795 for ASA members and $945 for non-members.

Tuition grants for students are available from the ASA Educational Foundation.

To register or for more information visit www.appraisers.org or call (800) 272-8258.

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Richline to Unveil Smart Jewelry Designs and Partnerships at JCK

(Press Release) "Understanding the impact that the emerging wearables space will have on the jewelry industry has been a core focus for Richline over the past two years," said Richline CEO Dennis Ulrich.

"A lot of hard work and collaboration has gone into this project, and we are thrilled to finally be able to show the industry our vision for the future of fine jewelry wearables."

"A lot of hard work and collaboration has gone into this project, and we are thrilled to finally be able to show the industry our vision for the future of fine jewelry wearables."

JCK will be the first opportunity for the jewelry industry to see designs that Richline has been hinting at since announcing distribution deals with Omate and Cuff earlier this year.

In addition to these celebrated firms and previously-announced partnerships, Richline will also introduce new products featuring differentiated technology from companies including Say and MightyCast.

In addition to proprietary innovations, Richline is introducing an assortment of "compatibles" which will offer millions of women a more stylish and luxury alternative for use with existing wearable products such as Fitbit® and Jawbone®.

According to Richline CMO, Mark Hanna, "We felt it was essential to balance entirely new innovations as well as elegant options for existing products. On the one hand, there are several popular fitness wearables that we can help make more stylish. On the other, recent advances in technology have made it possible for us to create jewelry, for the elegant lifestyle, that can do far more than fitness."

Richline is introducing two tiers of product offerings: Fine Jewelry, which primarily consists of designs made with precious metals, and Fashion Jewelry, which offers more affordable designs made with Bronze and base metals.

In addition to fitness tracking, many of Richline's proprietary designs will offer features centered around personalization, notifications and discrete personal security. Designs look to bring a combination of style and tech to an entirely untapped audience of fashion-forward fine jewelry shoppers.

"We are extremely proud of our initial offering of smart jewelry," said Ramona Genao-Archibald, Richline Brands' EVP of Merchandising, "and we feel like we are just getting started. We have an amazing team here at Richline that is dedicated to finding the best emerging technologies and finding new ways to make them look better than ever before."

Asked why such a major investment in the category, Richline VP Cindy Witting commented “Because, for today’s active woman Function needs Fashion.”

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RJO Next Generation of Independent Retailers Converge for New Experience

(Press Release) Next generation independent retail jewelers gathered from across the country for the second annual Retail Jewelers Organization’s Next Gen Experience.

Co-sponsored by RDI Diamonds, Stuller, Ostbye and Pancis Gems, the weekend brought together over 40 next-gen jewelers for focused, hands-on educational sessions.

Entitled “The RJO Next Generation Experience: Creating Ultimate Jewelers of the Future,” the program included topics about making choices, dealing with conflict, establishing a business vision, developing core values and the future of the industry.

RJO CEO Mary Peterson states, “Our vision for the experience was to create and engage. We created a curriculum of hands-on learning and interactive dialogue to aid the next generation of retail jewelers in preparing for the future of our industry and their business. We engaged participants to ensure continued learning and provided action items to implement when they return to their own stores.”

RJO member, Kelli Wirt, Wirt’s Jewelers, North Little Rock, AK, noted about her experience, “This event has been both fun and challenging. I walked away with tools to be a better leader in my business and my personal life. Not only did I come home with a binder full of tips and tricks, I also gained a whole new group of friends to call on for help. I can't stress enough how valuable this event was for me. I suggest all young people in RJO make it to the next one."

RJO’s Next Generation Advisory Board, developed in 2011, was also in attendance to help guide the participants and encourage networking.

Will Doland, an inaugural member of the Advisory Board states, “The Next Gen group is a fantastic resource for people new or getting into the business. The current owners have their own core set of friends and resources. We, as Next Gen, can get a network of peers much faster and more extensive than the previous generation.”

He continues, “This industry is so expansive. Having a group like this in which we can get advice quickly from trusted colleagues who have experienced the exact issues we deal with on a daily basis is so important. Knowing there is someone you can reach out to with issues provides so much peace of mind.”

For more information regarding the RJO Next Gen Experience, please contact RJO headquarters at (800) 247-1774 or rjo@rjomembers.com.

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