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NetFlorist adds new portal

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Online flower and gifting service NetFlorist has solidified its online presence with the introduction of a new sister site, NetJewel.

The launch of www.netjewel.co.za follows the introduction of NetGifts, less than a year ago, and will be the third for the e-business, which was established in 1999.

According to Ryan Bacher, MD and founder of the NetFlorist group, NetGifts has attracted over 16 500 customers, with the number of orders placed on the site exceeding 35 000 since its inception.

NetJewel has been established in partnership with franchise company NWJ Jewellers and will make the retailer's range of jewellery available online for the first time. Bacher says NWJ has entered into a two-year exclusive relationship with NetFlorist.

Outlining the reasons for the choice of NWJ as the sole supplier to NetJewel, he says: “NWJ has one of the country's widest ranges of jewellery, as well as a national footprint of over 80 NWJ stores, which simplifies the exchange and resizing of online orders.

“Jewellery is also a very popular gifting choice, giving this product line many synergies with NetGifts,”

While NetGifts has had a limited offering of jewellery for a while, says Bacher, the partnership with NWJ means the range will be more significant, as well as backed by the physical infrastructure of the group of stores.

He says that, internationally, jewellery is a profitable product category to sell online. “International online jewellery giant, www.bluenile.com, for example, has grown to become the world's largest online jewellery retailer by far since its establishment in 1999, and recently recorded a 40.7% growth in sales, to $2.8 million, in its second financial quarter results.”

NetFlorist this year saw a sales growth of 25%.

Bacher says he is confident NetJewel will attract clientele, who are increasingly taking to online shopping as opposed to the less convenient and time-consuming traditional alternative.

NWJ marketing manager Bernie Madden says the brand is keen to make its presence felt online.

The introduction of NetJewel was a tactical move on the part of the NetFlorist group in that it coincides with the festive season and its associated spending swell.

Bacher says there are two more developments on the horizon, which will see further expansion of NetFlorist in both the e-commerce and retail market.

“We are bringing out a perfume offering, NetPerfume, in the next two months, as well as taking our brand into the physical space with NetFlorist flower markets opening up in major retail centres around the country in the next six months.”

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