Back when Nivoda was in the early stages of bringing its idea for a global B2B diamond trading platform to life, the company kept returning to one simple question that remains just as pertinent today: how could it help businesses, regardless of their size, strengthen their profits while buying from hundreds of different suppliers from around the world?
The answer to that can be found in the various benefits that its online marketplace serves up, from a direct line into £1.2 billion worth of diamonds from across the world to the elimination of prohibitive shipping and banking fees that have frustrated margin-conscious retail buyers for many a year.
But while it’s all well and good for the company to espouse the virtues of its system, the real evidence of how capable the concept actually is comes from the experiences of the retailers that use its app on a daily basis and have watched the platform evolve. Fortunately, there is no shortage of retailers willing to detail how Nivoda has become an intrinsic part of their business.
Purely Diamonds, a family-run diamond jewellers in London with 40 years heritage in the industry, could instantly see how the system would benefit its operations the moment it met with Nivoda founder David Sutton to gain an understanding of how it works.
Managing director, Emelie Tyler, says: “At the time I was having to make individual purchases from many different diamond suppliers all over the world, which was difficult to manage logistically and also meant we were receiving far too many Fedex bills.
“So for me it was a way to consolidate my diamond purchases very easily without having to deal with suppliers individually.”
Purely Diamonds specialises in the design and manufacture of fine diamond jewellery, particularly diamond and gemstone engagement, eternity and wedding rings. All its jewellery is created in-house at the company’s workshop in Farringdon.
Being able to get hold of the right stones is vital to its success, but what was once an exhausting process has been dramatically simplified.
“In the past, I might have needed just one diamond from one particular supplier at any given time, but it would still mean spending time discussing the order/diamond with the supplier, spending time arranging the international payment transfer, and then paying $150 shipping each time,” explains Tyler.
“Using Nivoda, I can choose any diamond from any supplier and they deal with the payment side, they liaise with the suppliers and I can save on my shipping costs too.”
“We were instantly intrigued by the idea that we could consolidate our buying into one platform”
Diamond Heaven is the flagship brand of Apex Jewellers, which has 10 locations across the UK and an elaborate range of diamond jewellery stock.
With five separate brand websites to its name, the company has always been digitally savvy, so the prospect of adopting new technology was never something that gave it any fear.
Director, Hiten Shah, says: “We were instantly intrigued by the idea that we could consolidate our buying into one platform, handled by a professional team with a reach to suppliers across the globe.
“Earlier we avoided getting diamonds from international suppliers because of the hassle of getting a confirmation, doing international payment, waiting for confirmation of payment, getting shipment arranged and paying costly shipment charges.”
The team at Diamond Heaven can view the availability of diamonds across the globe and calculate the final selling price quickly because they can see a set cost price.
“There is no ambiguity of what the shipment charges will be or whether we can get it from certain countries or suppliers,” explains Shah. ”There is a certainty when we are quoting and pitching international diamonds to our customers.
“Also, having access to their API means we can import the diamonds in our internal system and also display it on our website. That is a huge benefit as customers are now buying diamonds directly on the website without any intervention,” he adds.
All in all, it means the business can purchase, track and pay for all its diamond sourcing needs through a single platform, paying a set commission per stone rather than paying a shipment fee for every supplier.
“The online platform makes it very easy to search, compare and buy the best stones for our requirements,” insists Shah.
Another Nivoda user is Flawless Fine Jewellery. Its customers hail from all over the UK, although a high concentration of its client base is located around the London M25 region.
Company director, Rupa Liechti, says the platform has proved to be of massive benefit to the business and made the process of sourcing diamonds significantly easier.
“The biggest benefit that we get from working with Nivoda is the help and support we receive from them, in regards to buying and fulfilment of our diamonds,” explains Liechti.
“They are very helpful in finding the right diamond quickly with a video to show customers, which ultimately improves the sales outcome.”
“the online platform makes it very easy to search, compare and buy the best stones for our requirements”
In Liechti’s case, Flawless Jewellery has reclaimed valuable time spent looking for the right products and it can now channel these extra hours towards other areas of the business instead.
“We used to buy directly from suppliers all over the world and this took hours of back and forth communication that Nivoda has relieved for us, helping us focus on our customers.”
Tyler at Purely Diamonds echoes that sentiment, insisting the platform removes the ardour of dealing with multiple suppliers from different time zones.
“I used RapNet in the past, which is a good tool for searching for diamonds, but Nivoda took that concept and created a platform where you can just click and order the stone online straight away.
“It’s so simple to use and took away the need for me to contact suppliers and all the back and forth that goes with it!
“I used to buy diamonds on appro so I could quality-check them myself, but now the team at Nivoda do that for me so I always know that what I’ll receive has met my quality requirements.”
Diamond Heaven, meanwhile, describes its buying strategy as “fragmented” prior to working with Nivoda. “We bought diamonds from individual suppliers who did individual shipments,” says Hiten Shah.
“That meant we had to pay multiple shipment charges and it was difficult to track all the individual invoices. After we started working with Nivoda, our cost and admin time decreased significantly because they now ship all the goods to us and it’s done together.”
Nivoda continues to evolve the features and functionality of its platform. This year already it has added a melee search facility, Shopify plugin and customer-facing mode that allows retailers to add their own mark-ups and branding.
Customers can now buy star and melee diamonds for pave setting directly from the platform, selecting either by carat weight (0.003ct to 0.25ct) sieve sizes (0000-000 to 1/4) or diameter (0.08mm to 4.2mm).
Retailers agree that the user experience and search functionality has improved significantly, making it simple to access the diamonds required.
Tyler at Purely Diamonds is in no doubt as to what she finds most valuable about the platform: “The ability to request further information about a diamond such as whether the stone is eye clean, whether it is no BGM, or requesting a photo or video from the supplier, with just one click.
“I was having to make individual purchases from many different diamond suppliers all over the world, which was difficult to manage logistically and also meant we were receiving far too many Fedex bills”
“Nivoda often asks me for feedback and they always look to make any changes or suggestions I have put forward, which is something I really appreciate,” she says.
At Diamond Heaven, Hiten Shah loves the fact that Nivoda is a fast-evolving technology platform and continuously invests in upgrading its features.
“Since they launched the website, multiple features have been added, with the lab-grown diamonds addition being the most useful tool. There is no other significant tool on the market that consolidates various lab-grown diamond suppliers’ inventory together.”
Perhaps the biggest endorsement of the technology comes from the fact that Diamond Heaven has now shifted all its diamond purchase business to Nivoda, spending many millions of pounds with the platform in the process.
“Our message would be to take the plunge,” says Shah. “Once you get used to it, you will appreciate the ease of buying any diamond from a professional website and team, with no hassle and delivered quickly in a cost-efficient way.”