grt: a new sheen via a lustrous website

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In 1964, G. Rajendran decided Madras was his venue of choice to start a new jewellery store. Since its doors opened the store has become one of the biggest success stories in present day Chennai. GRT, as it is fondly referred to, offers its loyal patrons a huge collection of bejewelled and plain ornaments crafted in gold, platinum and silver.

The DZINE and GRT partnership started way back in 2002, when DZINE moulded a website that offered a jewellery shopping experience to GRT’s online customers via a robust ecommerce system. In fact GRT’s was the first ever website to sell jewellery online in India, a feature that turned out to be a huge success.

The need arose as the business grew to do a revamp of the site and GRT turned to trusted allies DZINE to revamp the site. The site went live in the first half of 2011 with a huge bouquet of features. We were looking to set the GRT site as a benchmark for the jewellery industry. This ambitious aim is, today,  a reality. The site is ranked number one in Google for eight competitive keywords and attracts more than 15,000 unique visitors daily.

As is normal, our process started with understanding our client's business. A dedicated showcase area was a must. Clear classifications were given and a simple yet powerful product gallery was featured here. Jewellery collections in gold, silver, platinum and diamonds shared the limelight. Fire and Earth, Antique, Ethnique, Silversmith and Thirumangalyam (traditional marriage ornaments) ranges have been featured in their individual sections. Every piece was meticulously shot and given a zoom feature. DZINE provided an offers section for quick look ups on discounted or special offer pieces.

We built in our extras; the gift finder module, a special screening section for new products and different display areas for temple jewellery and custom built ornaments. The gift finder module has been structured to allow customers to search for a specific product based on type, price range. It even points the user to related pieces of jewellery.

The website also has some special features built-in. The Auspicious Day calendar clearly lists out those times in the year where gold buying is considered propitious. It allows the GRT patrons to plan ahead for the periods of the year when they can buy with added benefits.

Bejewelled is another unique online feature, the virtual equivalent of the store mirror. Registered users can choose the jewellery piece, upload a photo of theirs and presto, see themselves adorned with the same piece. This image can also be shared with family and friends for feedback just as one would in while at a store.

Since prices of gold and precious metal jewellery fluctuate based on international prices, we devised a unique online commerce variation. Users are made to drop their jewellery of choice into the cart, and in return get a quote based on the day's metal prices. The prices would be inclusive of VAT and shipping charges where applicable. The potential buyer was given a 24-hour online purchase window, after which new prices would be dispatched.

The website was powered using DZINE’s BrewMaster CMS on the .NET platform. The CMS was customised to accommodate some very specific needs of the jewellery business. Our brief was a cohesive attempt on delivering the web strategy, the design and XHTML/CSS, the technology development and integration. We teamed this up with the CMS (BrewMaster) and Ecommerce (BrewCommerce) integration, the payment gateway integration and the final set up of a SSL certificate.

The technology that powers the side includes C# and .Net 3.5 for the server side, clients working on XHTML, CSS, AJAX and a database that runs on MS SQL Server.

To have a look around the resulting GRT site, move onwards here.
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