With $15 million in new funding led by Cantor Ventures, Ritani launches first-of-its-kind omnichannel retail approach offering customers the convenience and selection of online shopping combined with high-touch in-store services provided at premiere local jewelers nationwide.
New York, NY October 11, 2012 – Ritani (www.ritani.com), a leading designer of engagement rings and fine jewelry, today unveiled a new e-commerce website linked with a network of premium local jewelers to unify consumers' online and in-store engagement ring purchase experience. With $15 million in new funding led by Cantor Ventures, a newly formed Seattle-based e-commerce team, mine-to-finger diamond sourcing and jewelry manufacturing in New York, and partnerships with jewelers nationwide, Ritani is the first to offer consumers an all-encompassing clicks-and-bricks experience where diamonds and engagement rings can either be purchased online and delivered directly to the consumer, or can be reserved online and delivered to a local jewelry store to be seen in-person before purchase.
"First generation online engagement ring shopping focused on presenting vast selections at the lowest price. This missed the opportunity to fulfill a customer's natural desire for personal service during one of life's most important purchasing decisions," said Brian Watkins, the newly appointed president of Ritani, whose prior e-commerce and retail experience includes Blue Nile, Nordstrom, and Bain & Company. "The next generation jewelry retailer will not only deliver selection and value, but will go further. They'll seamlessly combine online and in-store shopping to create an experience that today's customer demands."
According to a recent report from Capgemini entitled "Digital Shopper Relevancy," 60 percent of shoppers declared they expect the convergence of retail channels to be the norm by 2014, when a unified shopping experience is expected to become commonplace. However, a study by L2 found that 71 percent of jewelry brands do not have e-commerce enabled on their web sites and only 3 percent have an option for in-store pickup.
Watkins continued, "By offering an exceptional e-commerce experience that's integrated with the country's premier local jewelers, Ritani puts the customer in complete control and inspires confidence in their purchase decision."
Ritani's new retail approach dramatically improves the way consumers purchase handcrafted and custom-made engagement rings, loose diamonds, and other fine jewelry. Customers can shop online at Ritani.com, visit their local Ritani jeweler to view multiple items before confirming a purchase decision, and even create a custom, one-of-a-kind ring designed online and delivered to their local jeweler with no obligation to purchase if it's not exactly to their liking. Additionally, for customers concerned about shipping their diamond jewelry, any Ritani online order can be picked up or returned to a local Ritani jeweler.
Jewelers partnering with Ritani to deliver this first-of-its-kind omnichannel purchase experience include London Jewelers in New York, Underwood Jewelers in Jacksonville, Fink's Jewelers in Virginia and North Carolina, Steve Padis Jewelry in San Francisco, Bachendorf's in Dallas, and Brown & Co. Jewelers in Atlanta. Ritani will continue to expand its integrated partner network of high-end local jewelers, all of whom earn revenue on every online Ritani transaction, to help customers everywhere experience the ideal way to shop for diamond jewelry.
"By partnering with Ritani, we significantly extend our customer base and have the opportunity to earn a customer for life with no upfront investments simply by doing what we do best, which is providing unmatched personal customer service in-store," said Marc Fink, president of Fink's Jewelers, which has 16 locations throughout Virginia and North Carolina and is owned and operated by the third generation of the founding family. "This new approach inspires customers to shop the way they want to shop in an all-encompassing, stress-free and no-risk environment."
With a range of high-touch services like complimentary, one-on-one Virtual GemologistTM consultations with diamond experts, Ritani's new website puts the consumer in a position to feel 100 percent comfortable, educated and informed prior to clicking the purchase button. This ultimate personal online shopping experience offers live advice to address customers' questions and provides visual demonstrations and analysis of the actual diamonds being considered for purchase. In addition, highly visual 360° HD photography and video for Ritani's most popular stones and settings showcase a carefully curated collection that gives customers a similar high-touch experience to that found at the counters of luxury jewelry stores. Every Ritani order offers free overnight shipping and a no-questions asked 30-day return policy.
"Ritani is leading a consumer driven transformation of the jewelry industry that recognizes the value of each sales channel, especially the vital role and knowledge of the trusted local jewelry retailer to make the shopping experience personal again," said Jed Kleckner, director at Cantor Ventures. "With a great brand and product offering, a new team of e-commerce experts with over 50 years of combined e- commerce experience, and partnerships with leading local jewelers, Ritani is in a great position to transform how diamond jewelry is purchased."
Watch the video to see how the new Ritani works.
Ritani (www.ritani.com) is a premium jewelry brand modernizing the way consumers purchase engagement rings and fine diamond jewelry. Founded in 1999, Ritani marries the online shopping experience for handcrafted and custom-made engagement rings, loose diamonds, and other fine jewelry with a network of trusted local luxury jewelers in one seamless transaction. Ritani is headquartered in New York with e-commerce operations in Seattle. Previously owned by the Julius Klein Group, Ritani is now controlled by an investment group that includes Cantor Ventures and other investors. Jewelers interested in becoming a Ritani retail partner can contact Ritani at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cantor Ventures is the venture capital and enterprise development arm of Cantor Fitzgerald, which has over 65 years of expertise in providing capital raising and advisory services to growth oriented companies. Cantor invests in companies where business models are focused on the development of innovative, technology-focused products, services and marketplaces. As an active partner, Cantor Ventures has guided and accelerated growth for numerous e-commerce businesses. Cantor Ventures is wholly owned by Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P. and headquartered in New York. For more information on Cantor Ventures, please visit www.cantor.com/portfolio/cantor_ventures.
Ritani and their respective logos are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Ritani. Other products and company names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.
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