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Google Glass could provide a new way for retailers and suppliers to sell to their customers
Google Glass could provide a new way for retailers and suppliers to sell to their customers

Google Glass could revolutionise diamond industry

A diamond sourcing business has demonstrated how Google Glass could be used by jewellery stores to engage with diamond suppliers and consumers; also claiming it could assist in fighting back against online competitors.
Ron Khordi, founder of New York-based Diamond Concierge Service (DCS), is promoting the new Google Glass wearable technology as an innovative way to sell jewellery.

Wearable technology is the new buzz term in the IT industry, with Google Glass arguably being the most high profile. It’s a hands-free, voice-operated computer that can be worn as a pair of glasses and performs various functions including phone calls and sending SMS, providing navigation advice, playing music, and sharing photos and videos through social media.

The technology is still under development, but Google allows US residents over the age of 18 to apply for its “Glass Explorer Program” to become a “beta” tester and provide feedback on the prototype model.

Ron Khordi, Diamond Concierge Service founder
Ron Khordi, Diamond Concierge Service founder
Khordi told Jeweller that DCS acquired Google Glass from an existing owner in January 2014, after which he claimed DCS became the first jewellery company to be a “Glass explorer”.

Khordi has integrated the technology’s video capabilities into his business – which identifies, verifies and sources diamonds for jewellery retailers – with the aim of selling diamonds and jewellery via a mobile-to-mobile platform.

By having its salespeople wear Google Glass while visiting a diamond supplier, DCS customers are able to view a live, streaming video feed on their mobile device. The video feed shows the diamond from the staff members’ perspective – a diamond loupe is clipped onto the Google Glass frame, enabling 10x magnification.

Khordi said, “The retail diamond industry evolved quickly in the internet age. The jewellery store was a meeting point between a customer, company, and product. The desktop computer allowed the customer to remain at home, while connecting to a company and product. The mobile device allowed the customer to connect from anywhere.

“Google Glass enables the next step in the evolution of the diamond industry by connecting the product, wherever it is, using a salesperson’s wearable device and customers, wherever they are, using their mobile device.”

He added he was not surprised by the positive feedback from customers.

“The transparency that a video chat provides, enabling clients to physically see that they are purchasing at the bottom of the supply chain, is unparalleled in the diamond industry and very novel for our clients,” Khordi explained. “The process has the aura of a ‘behind the scenes tour’ previously unavailable to the retail buyer.

“It has allowed clients to reject diamonds they do not like, without the hassle of return…and by rejecting our initial search results, clients have said they can better teach us what they really want, enabling the second search to nearly guarantee we will find their dream diamond.”

Industry members that attended the JCK Las Vegas Jewellery Show also showed enthusiasm for the concept after Khordi debuted the functionality in a live demonstration on 30 May.

“Since turnover rates are a crucial aspect to the industry in order to free up capital for new inventory purchase, Glass can dramatically reduce the time for a sale,” he said. “In fact, it may be the only way to instantly sell to a retailer at a trade show, via live video chat with the retailer's client, without requiring the retailer to purchase for inventory.”

Endless business opportunities
According to a report by Huffington Post, Khordi uses the technology to provide fast customer service as well. As soon as an email is received through his website, Khordi said “that text is Bluetoothed to Glass up to my face”, enabling him to respond to the enquiry immediately.

Khordi also recently made a presentation at Internet Week, a technology festival held in New York, about Google Glass’s potential for retailers.

Interestingly, he pointed out that the new technology might allow bricks-and-mortar stores to regain some of the market share that had been lost to online competitors.

The presentation’s abstract outlined that: “The primary advantage to stores – and handicap to websites – is the salesperson’s ability to close sales through face-to-face communication.

“For websites, their advantage is obviating the need that a customer be physically present, and thus expanding market reach globally. Video chats between a store salesperson wearing Google Glass eliminates a website’s primary advantage.”

This is not the first time that Google’s wearable technology efforts have impacted – or at least have the potential to change – the jewellery and watch industry, with the company announcing in March this year that it would be entering the watch market.

As previously reported by Jeweller, Google has partnered with a number of companies, including fashion watchmaker Fossil Group, to develop smartwatches powered by its Android Wear technology. 

More reading: Google changes watch industry?

While Android Wear is still in development phase, it’s expected to be released later this year and Motorola and LG are already poised to launch Android-integrated watches when it does.

Watch video

More reading
Google confirms entry into watch market
Google watch a game changer?

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