After Buzzfeed posted an online video it produced with James Allen on engagement ring shopping, the online jewelry retailer’s traffic soared.

Online jewelry retailer James Allen’s latest marketing video delivered more than the usual sparkle.

The retailer developed the video with Buzzfeed. And the video, which Buzzfeed published on YouTube on Aug. 23, brought the e-retailers’ traffic to 76,300 site visits that day, a 270% increase from its average of 20,600 visits per day during the previous 28-day period,  (July 25-Aug. 22), according to data from digital analytics firm SimilarWeb Ltd.

James Allen, No. 248 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, and Buzzfeed created a four-minute video promoting the retailer’s “design your own engagement ring feature,” which shows couples using the e-retailer’s online tool to design their ideal ring, or the ideal ring for their partner, and then revealing the choice to their significant other.

The shoppers who clicked from the James Allen video to the retailer’s site were more engaged than the site’s typical shopper. A consumer on Aug. 23 spent an average of 10 minutes and 2 seconds, compared with the 28-day average visit of 5 minutes and 24 seconds, according to SimilarWeb. In addition, consumers visited an average of 19.57 pages per session the day the video published, compared with the 28-day average of 8.67 visits per session. Shoppers also were  less likely to leave the site after only viewing one page—the Aug 23 bounce rate was 11.28% compared with the 28-day average of 42.17%, according to SimilarWeb.

James Allen is pleased with the traffic the video garnered, as the video-generated visitors are in the retailer’s target demographic, says Johanna Tzur, chief marketing officer at James Allen. “The on-site behavior of the visitors coming from our Buzzfeed video maps very closely with that of visitors who ultimately make a purchase,” she says.


It is too soon to measure if the consumers who visited from the video will make a purchase, however, because engagement rings have a long research and sales cycle, Tzur says.

The light-hearted video succeeded in driving traffic because it hit all the right emotions, says Mark Fidelman, managing partner at digital marketing firm Evolve Inc. “The emotions [James Allen] evoked in this video were off the chart,” he says. “Sweet, kind, funny and awe-inspiring hit most of the major emotions organizations should focus on, and they hit all of them.”

Working with Buzzfeed proved to be a smart move because of the company’s ability to create engaging content and distribute it to a large and targeted audience, according to Fidelman and Tzur. As of Monday, the video has more than 1 million views on YouTube.

“[Buzzfeed has] a built-in content distribution platform rivaling almost any influencer or media organization,” Fidelman says. “It can virtually assure that any quality content can go viral if it is involved.”



James Allen and Buzzfeed worked together for several months to develop the video’s concept, and production took less than two months, Tzur says. This is the retailer’s first co-branded video and the first time it featured non-actor couples speaking about buying an engagement ring and interacting with the website during the process, she says.

“We have accelerated our moving-image efforts this past year,” Tzur says. “We continue to test and refine the right messaging mix and video formats for our target segments at each stage in the funnel and as appropriate for our highest-ROI channels.”