AUrate, the venture-backed jewelry brand armed with the mission of “democratizing gold,” is making it easier for consumers to test-drive its gold and vermeil designs.
The company debuted a program today that lets shoppers curious about the collection request a box of baubles curated personally for them by the brand.
It works like this: You fill out a short questionnaire on the Curate page of the brand’s website that covers topics including the kinds of jewelry you wear (rings, bracelets, necklaces) and what you’re looking to add to your jewelry collection.
AUrate then takes those responses (and considers any and all algorithmic data it’s collected on you) and has someone hand-select pieces of jewelry that meet your needs and wants. Those are packed into a chic little millennial-pink box, wrapped with a black ribbon, and mailed to you free of charge. You can keep the box for a week before mailing it back, using the brand’s prepaid packaging.
The site does require that you punch in your credit card details—and charges you $1 to make sure the card is valid. But you get that dollar back when you return the box. If you keep any of the pieces in the box, which you’re under no obligation to do, the company will simply charge your credit card for them.
AUrate cofounders Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn say they created the program to get their designs into (and onto) the hands of more shoppers. The company had solid success with their urban pop-up shops—so much so, in fact, the ephemeral shops in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Boston became permanent locations—because “people want to touch and feel the jewelry,” explains Ezzahraoui. “We see from the data we collect that conversion is much higher when people can hold and try on the product.”
That touchy-feely experience presumably becomes even more intimate when shoppers can live with the jewelry at home for a few days.
“Yes we have e-commerce, and we have several pop-up stores,” notes Kahn. “But we can’t have 100 stores across the U.S. This is another way to bring gold to the customer.”
The service is unique in that someone from the brand is styling a selection of jewels for you— you’re not picking out things yourself, as you would do with glasses you want to try on at Warby Parker. And it’s not recurring (or subscription), like a Rocksbox or Birchbox. You order up a “styled” box only when you need or want it.
“We [liken] the program to dating without commitment to go on a second date,” says Ezzahraoui.
Kahn adds, “It’s really a continuation of what we do, which is democratize gold. You never know until you try—that’s always been our strategy. We had our pop-up stores and they really worked. If for whatever reason people don’t like this program, we will stop it. We’re wiling to take the risk to try to innovate. We love to be at the forefront and revolutionize how things are being done.”
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