While most jewelers pride themselves on their gift wrapping, Scott Slobotkin, owner of David Jay Jewelers, is known for his unwrapping. Earlier this year the Warrington, PA-based store owner launched “Unwrapped,” a website feature allowing viewers to disrobe models to see jewelry items covering certain parts of a model’s anatomy.
In the interest of gender equity, viewers of Slobotkin’s website can remove clothing from a virtual female model named Maya or a virtual male model named Bobby (not their real names). Since the launch of the website feature in May this year, nearly 10,000 hits to the “Unwrapped” page have tipped the scales in Bobby’s favor. “It’s almost an even split, but there have been slightly more hits on the male model over the female model,” says Slobotkin.
Of the 10,000 hits to the ‘Unwrapped’ feature, more viewers have looked at the male model.
The idea for “Unwrapped” was hatched last fall during a brainstorming session between Slobotkin and his PR consultancy firm. The goal of the risqué website feature is to increase hits to Slobotkin’s website and maximizing his Search Engine Optimization (SEO) while capturing names for his store’s database. The end game: to enhance his targeted marketing campaigns to young bridal customers.
“Going into the recession we noticed that the bridal segment continued to grow,” says Slobotkin. “We need to continue to tap in to that market and this website feature has allowed us to do that. It had 1,000 hits the first day.”
“Unwrapped” is suitable for viewers 18 or older, comfortably in the 25- to 40-year-old bridal demographic. As viewers click from the homepage links to the “Unwrapped” feature there are several notices letting users know the soon-to-be-seen content is for mature audiences only. (The direct URL of DavidJayUnwrapped.com has the same notices regarding the feature’s mature content.)
As viewers click through, eventually they arrive at an online registration form before seeing the fully-clothed models. The electronic form has a dual purpose of scaring off curious young eyes and capturing customer data for those near or in the bridal market age group spread.
When the online form is completed an email is sent to the account listed in the form. The email notification is a combination of a call-to-action and a thank-you note with a coupon for 20 percent off on the recipient’s next jewelry purchase. “To date about 50 people have actually printed out the email coupon and redeemed it,” says Slobotkin. “But whoever mentions the Unwrapped feature on our website gets the discount.”
Thanks to a local media blitz, website hits spiked earlier this summer. Meanwhile, customers comment about the website feature during store visits. “People comment on it all the time,” says Slobotkin. “We haven’t had any real bad comments from people who are offended – some older customers have said something. For those who are truly offended, I think perhaps even voicing their dissatisfaction with the website feature brings up a level of discomfort, so it’s just blown off.”
Given the suggestive content of the Unwrapped website feature, Slobotkin knows a certain segment of people in his market will be offended. But for those who don’t understand the difficulty in making an impact on members of the mobile device generation, he considers this collateral damage.
It’s no wonder Slobotkin has such a cavalier attitude. In the four-plus months since the Unwrapped feature’s upload, he’s added 4,500 new email addresses to his customer database.
Other benefits include the website feature going viral, increased hits to Slobotkin’s website and a surge of interest in the store’s Facebook page. Outtakes from the models’ photo shoot were posted on the social media website. “The response to the [Facebook] photo album was very good,” says Slobotkin. “The images were uploaded piecemeal to get people coming back. Facebook was our number-one promotional vehicle for Unwrapped and it has worked very well.”
At this point, Slobotkin is looking to keep the Unwrapped feature up on his website indefinitely. And why not? Average time spent on his website is now up to two minutes. Products that cover up the “naughty bits” (a little Monty Python lingo there) of the model are being asked for by jewelry type as product details are part of a mouse-over feature. “There’s been an increased interest in these products,” says Slobotkin. “The jewelry used was selected to best represent the inventory offerings at the store.”
Slobotkin is currently giving some thought to an “Unwrapped II.” “A follow-up to the original might be different model types, hair color, ethnicity or even very strong personalities,” says Slobotkin. “We’ve even considered older models to appeal to a different age bracket.”