For Love and Money

By Amanda Mastrull

For many, Valentine’s Day means romantic time spent with a significant other. For an online jewelry store like Ice.com, it means about 15% of their yearly revenue.

Pinny Gniwisch, Chief Motivational Officer for Ice.com, is optimistic about the company’s Valentine’s Day sales this year. He cites hearts as the company’s best-selling item, along with lockets and tennis bracelets. Keys have been especially popular, due in large part to Tiffany’s line.

Ice.com was formed in 1999 as a joint venture with business incubators Idealab. When the dot-com bubble burst, Gniwisch and family bought out Idealab’s shares for $1.  The company, now run out of Montreal with an official base in Delaware, had a projected revenue of $54 million in 2009.

To increase site exposure, Ice.com makes regular use of social media websites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. For Valentine’s Day this year they are running a Facebook competition. To enter users must post a Valentine’s Day story on Ice.com’s page, the most popular of which will win a heart pendant and chain valued at $3750.

“We’ve always tried to stay innovative,” Gniwisch said about social media. “It’s a small initial cost but a very high return.”

Social media also aids in customer relations, which the company is committed to. It’s a practice that is guided by the Gniwisch family’s religious beliefs.  Gniwisch is an ordained rabbi who sees parallels between marketing a company and a religion. One recent update to the Ice.com is the introduction of a payment plan that allows customers to pay for items in monthly installments.

“When you’re in business and selling product, you want to treat people the way you’d want to be treated,” Gniwisch concluded.

Visit Ice.com to learn more about the company and its products.

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