Ice.com in the NY Times & Business Week

July 6, 2005 | Post by

Ice. com has recently received some great press about its forward-thinking efforts to better communicate with its clientele by making innovative use of blogs.

Ice.com has created three blogs in the last six months: a celebrity jewelry site (SparkleLikeTheStars.com), a question-and-answer site (JustAskLeslie.com) and a company news site (blog.ice.com).

Shmuel Gniwisch, Ice.com’s chief executive, said the company was “having an internal struggle” about whether to put links to its blogs on Ice.com itself. Currently, people reach them through search engines and links from other blogs.

“Our blog people want the links on our site, but our brand people say it’ll take people off the site,” Mr. Gniwisch said. “We’ll probably test it and see what it does.”

Within the blogs, of course, Ice.com could merely delete links that lead anywhere but the store. “But then it’s not a blog,” Mr. Gniwisch said. “This is about community, and giving people enough information to make a better decision.”

Mr. Gniwisch said the blogs attracted “thousands of visitors” a week, but the effect on sales was unclear. “Technically, this is a very soft sell,” he said. “We’re intending to build awareness of our product, so if sales come, great. If not, it’s also good.”

Read the full NY Times article here

In Business Week they show that Ice.com is once again at the forefront of a great idea that could become a new trend for businesses.

Blogs’ key value may be indirect, providing satisfaction on their own terms or leading to other opportunities.

Just heard about an interesting example of the latter: Ice.com, the online jewelry merchant, now has three blogs (here, here, and here) that are driving an amazing amount of traffic and sales to its main site. “We get thousands of leads a week from our blogs,” CEO Shmuel Gniwisch told me today. Clearly marketing vehicles, these blogs stretch the definition. But given that its customers on average spend about $200 an order, that’s a pretty good business model.

Full story here

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