New Luxury Diamond Online Retailer Introduces First Home Try-On Service To Transform Engagement Ring Shopping

Ocappi Announces $10 million in Initial Funding

Unveils Research Showing Two-Thirds of Couples Feel the Ring Buying Experience "Does Not Have Their Needs in Mind"

Apr 03, 2013, 16:12 ET from Ocappi

NEW YORK, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ocappi, the new e-commerce brand for luxury diamond engagement rings sold exclusively online, announced today its official launch with an industry first, "Home Try On." Online shoppers can now select, touch, and fit up to six quality replica rings at a time in the comfort of their own homes, introducing an unprecedented level of tangible choice for online consumers. The replica rings are made of sterling silver and high quality cubic zirconia that is almost indistinguishable from real diamonds, with the actual ring made with the top quality diamonds in the market, delivered once a ring is selected. Replica rings are shipped free via UPS and can be held for up to five days while a decision is made. Prices of finished diamond rings range from 5k-45k.

According to research commissioned by Ocappi and conducted by New York University sociologist Dr. Anna Akbari, more than two thirds of Americans believe the engagement ring buying experience does not have their needs in mind, and more than half found the experience stressful. The "One&Only Home Try On" was designed to radically change the engagement ring shopping experience by offering the convenience of e-commerce, superb, GIA-certified diamonds, and expert customer service.

"Ocappi is doing something no-one else has done," said Akbari, an expert in lifestyle trends and luxury brands.  "They are selling top quality hand crafted, branded diamond rings, and they are doing it over the web in an ingenious two-step process that meets people's needs for convenience and comfort. It's a new model, and the research suggests that it addresses just the sort of disappointments and dissatisfactions people currently feel very strongly about with regard to the engagement ring buying experience."

Ocappi's CEO and Founder, Isaac Gurary, is part of the third generation in his family to work in all major areas of the jewelry industry, said that his company aimed to change the industry's way of doing business.

"It's time to bring new technology and an appreciation for convenience, like Warby Parker is doing for eyewear, to what is too often an intimidating experience," Gurary said. "We believe more and more people are going to say no to both retail and overwhelming and impersonal websites selling thousands of diamonds and hundreds of rings, and instead want to choose from a handful of options at home in a stress-free environment."

Like Gurary, Ocappi's executive team and investors all hail from New York City's leading family diamond businesses. The initial private investment is in excess of $10 million, and will be used for product development, marketing, and technology infrastructure. The company's first advertising campaign will be launched on the popular bridal and marriage website The Knot on April 11 and will coincide with the start of 2013's bridal season.

"The diamond engagement ring industry has yet to fully embrace the possibilities offered by new technologies, and the 1.7 million U.S. consumers buying diamond engagement rings annually are paying a price," continued Gurary. "Many people find the sprawling selection on sites like Blue Nile too confusing, and consider high-end brands like Tiffany's to be intimidating. We see ourselves as Davids in an industry of Goliaths. Our only goal is to meet the changing needs of today's consumer, who is well-informed, but expects quality and convenience and doesn't care for high-pressure retail tactics."

The research surveyed 704 adults nationwide during March of 2013, all of whom had gone through the engagement ring shopping experience. More than 91 percent of respondents said they'd love to have a few rings at home to show to family and friends, and more than 70 percent strongly disagreed that the ring buying experience, as it functions currently, is effortless. Also, while only eleven percent of respondents said they had bought, or seriously considered buying, an engagement ring online, 36 percent who had not purchased online considered doing so, confirming that the luxury goods sector as a major growth market in e-commerce.  

Other findings from the survey offer insight into consumer perceptions of the ring-buying process, including the surprising consensus between men and women on the experience:

  • 85 percent of respondents disagreed with a statement describing the ring buying experience as "guy-friendly"
  • 71 percent of respondents who had bought an engagement ring online described the experience as rewarding or highly rewarding
  • A clear majority of respondents said the ring buying experience made them feel as if "the groom was an afterthought "

A copy of the complete survey is available on request.

"In the Diamond industry, for e-commerce to truly catch on, it's got to have a personal touch," said Shaya Tenenbaum, Ocappi's Chief Marketing Officer. "Ocappi is a deliberate matching of old world sensibility and trust, with new world convenience and speed.  We are intent on bringing the diamond industry out of the stone-age and in creating the kind e-commerce experience that customers are clamoring for."

Ocappi sources its diamonds from Kimberley Process approved providers and manufactures all of its rings in its Manhattan production facilities. The company also announced today a philanthropic partnership with Bead For Life, a non-profit dedicated to fostering female entrepreneurship in Africa.

Ocappi (pronounced oak-uh-pea) is an online retailer of luxury engagement rings, offering consumers the opportunity to try replicas of their selected models in the comfort of their home before buying.  It was born from a three generation long family commitment to the highest quality diamonds and high-end jewelry started in 1956 by Nathan Gurary, an immigrant from Russia. Ocappi: Changing The Terms of Engagement ™

Lauren Basler
Lauren at thunder11 dot com