Blue Nile CEO: More Shoppers Saying 'I Do'

Blue Nile CEO Diane Irvine said the online jewelry retailer had a "record" Thanksgiving and Black Friday, both in terms of sales and traffic.


"While we're cautious about the season—certainly we know consumers are discerning with their money—we're very excited about the upcoming weeks," Irvine said, in an interview with CNBC.

While many retailers log a good chunk of their sales during the holiday season, as consumers rush to buy gifts for friends and family, this season is even more important for jewelry retailers because the bulk of engagements—and diamond purchases—occur between November and February.

Blue Nile is the largest online retailer of diamond engagement rings.

Heading into Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday-shopping period, Irvine said, the company has a "good chance" to have a "record" season, and "that's what we want to push for."

"We haven't quite seen consumers come back there, but if you look at the weekend's results, it's encouraging," she said.

One factor that has helped Blue Nile is an acceleration in traffic to their mobile Web site. Traffic to its mobile site rose more than 1,000 percent through the first two weeks of November compared with the same period last year.

While a least part of the increase can be owed to consumers becoming more comfortable with accessing mobile sites, the company also has helped to drive traffic through the launch of it Blue Nile smartphone app. About 25 percent of the traffic coming to Blue Nile now comes through smartphones.

And it's worth wooing those mobile customers. According to Blue Nile, their average shopper spends about 10 percent more than a traditional Web shopper and their iPad shoppers spend about 62 percent more than a traditional Web shopper.

In addition to promoting its products through its smartphone app, the company also is using social media to market itself. The company ran a contest on Facebook recently, and the winner proposed to his fiance before Blue Nile rang the opening bell on Nasdaq this morning.

Irvine said it was the first live proposal at the Nasdaq.

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