Shopping for the Holiday Sparkle

Image from: Graça Victoria / Shutterstock

There are so many reasons to be cheerful around the holiday season. Among them are the excitement of getting that new video game, the thrill of receiving that “it” bag, and possibly the pleasure of smelling that distinctive new car smell. But what can be more exciting and nerve wrecking than having that special someone light up as you propose your eternal love? Maybe getting a cute little puppy—but I digress.

Before the arrival of that special moment, there’s so much to do (e.g. possibly getting the parents’ approval and planning how to propose). At the top of the list of course is finding that perfect ring. So where do these fiancés-to-be go to find that special ring?

Having been on the receiving end, I decided to put myself in the shoes of those guys who are about to pour out their hearts to the love of their life and become about $5,200 poorer, according to the 2011 Engagement & Jewelry Study from The Knot Market Intelligence, a research division of XO Group Inc. After performing a keyword search for “engagement ring” on Compete Pro, I can’t say I was surprised that the top four sites were jewelry retailers, with leading the pack.

Traffic to these sites was the highest during the holiday season. Since the survey stated 3 months as the average amount of time spent shopping for the engagement ring, I focused in on October to see how these sites did in capturing the interest of future grooms.

According to Compete’s data, over one quarter of visitors browsed through the engagement ring pages. This number of visitors was 7 percentage points higher than the aggregate figure. was not far behind with 22% of their visitors browsing for engagement rings.

Among the four sites, actually attracted the highest number of engagement ring shoppers, capturing over 50% of these people with slipping to second place. Upon close inspection of the sites, I noticed that shoppers are unable to order engagement rings online at unlike at the other three sites. is mainly a place for shoppers to research and browse for styles before heading to a store. A possible reason for not selling engagement rings online: the opportunity to pounce on the chance to up sell to in-store visitors. And if I were a customer planning to fork over a boat load of money on a shiny rock, I would definitely want personal, attentive service and an up-close inspection of what I’m getting.

I was also curious to see how much these future grooms are shopping around. It turns out that is also leading here. Only about one out of five engagement ring shoppers visited competitive sites. However, is not doing a very good job at capturing the interest of their visitors, with more than 50% of their shoppers visiting other sites.

I visited to find out why. First off, the selection was very limited. There were only three types of metals offered vs. at least five at and Also, I found the design feature harder to use compared to It is no wonder that 33% of Kay shoppers visited

So for all those who are planning to propose this coming holiday season, check out the different sites and take advantage of the early holiday sales. As for those who are eyeing that Tiffany & Co ring, you better continue making those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and save up for that special sparkle.