I-frames are awful for your website.
"Why?", you ask -
How does this i-frame integrate their products with my other products on my website? (it doesn't)
What happens when someone searches for one of their engagement ring sor any engagement ring from my home page? (They won't find those products anymore)
What if someone wants to add a ring to their wishlist on my website? (they can't)
What kind of SEO value can I expect to get from having their brand on my site going forward (absolutely none)
What will a customer see when they look under a general jewelry category on my site, like "Engagement Rings" (They won't see anything from that brand anymore)
What happens if someone wants to purchase one of their products online on my site? (They can't)
Why would a customer come to my site and search through the EXACT same Verragio i-frame that he has seen on every other retailer in the country that carries Verragio (They probably won't)
Why did I pay thousands and thousands of dollars to build an inventory-centric website just so I can go in and create individual I-frames for all my best brands? (good question)
Do I really want my website to just be a collection of all my vendors i-frames, all with different navigations structures?
Believe me, it would be a lot easier for me to just put in an i-frame code and be done with it. Managing 200,000 inventory items for 400 vendors is a nightmare. But we do it, because it's the right thing for our clients. Sure, there are some brands that we just have no choice, it's their way or the highway. But those are consumer brands, with lots of pulling power. ___ is not a consumer brand, as great as they are, and I do love them, they are still just a trade brand. They need you, more than you need them. You don't have to go this route with them.
Alright, go have a look at it. It's fine, it's nice, it's just like going to verragio.com. But it is a slippery slope. Who is next? Simon G.? HOF? They all have them now. And if you don't fight to keep the inventory on your site and under your brand, then eventually your website will just be a collection of i-frames from all of your best brands.
I read a ton of online marketing and industry blogs. Overwhelmingly, online marketers agree, that you should NEVER send traffic away from your website. The only possible exceptions are when that traffic is guaranteed to be coming back. Like doing a PayPal transaction for instance. When PayPal is done with you, you go right back to the page you left. And the reason is, they know, for a fact, that traffic that leaves your website does not come back almost half the time.
I notice that in their i-frame, you have to register to the Verragio site to create a wish list. Have they said anything about getting those leads back to you?
Let's see what happens.
I registered to their site. Yes, its just plain old "verragio.com" running in an i-frame, so they got all the SEO credit for that interaction, not you. When I clicked on the email verification link, poof, guess what, I'm in a brand new window that is Verragio.com, all by itself. No more "X" Jewelers now. No mention of "X" in the confirmation email either. You just gave them this potential client basically. What they DO SAY in their registration process is that they will NEVER share my email or any info with anyone else. So they can't win at this point. If they tell you about me, then I am mad because they just promised me they wouldn't. And if they don't tell you about me, well, then that sucks for you. They could argue that they knew I was inside your site, but they don't know that, I can tell. I put in their code remember, and there was nothing unique to your account in that code. They could potentially get it from a referral link from google, but it would take some advanced tricks, and I'm betting hard that they are not doing that.
So I picked out two nice rings, personalized them, saved them to my wishlist, shared them on Facebook and Pinterest:
Yeah, no mention of "X" in either of those. I knew there would not be. We are basically out of the picture at this point.
I understand that they want to promote their brand "Experience", and if there were a way to do that, and link back to the actual item on YOUR site, so we could sell it, or get the client in the store, then it would not be so bad.
But right now, all these i-frames are doing is stealing your hard earned traffic, and building their brands standing in the Google Rankings at the same time
See, that's the part they don't tell you. What you retailers are really doing when you use that i-frame is giving them tons of traffic from every retail website in the country that they can get to convert to this "Better" experience. That's why the big shops won't do it. They will never send someone off their site, for any reason. You are fighting hard to get each and every visitor to your website. And then get those visitors to take that next step, and engage with you.
I wouldn't do it in an i-frame like this, where that engagement is never going to come back to you.
So, look, don't go sending my research on this back to Verragio at this point. I need to keep getting their data and images, for you and others. If you want to bring it up with them and keep me out of it, that is up to you.
This solution does not serve your best interests, in my opinion. The fact that it is pretty cool, is almost worse in this case, since there is a high likelihood that an engagement could actually happen through their i-frame, and you are not going to benefit from that marketing wise.
The Ritani solution is better, it's constantly driving them back to your store, where the sale is most likely to occur. They even have a "See it in the store" option.
This is a generic i-frame. it does not honor that you are the source of the traffic, by either branding it only to you, or by getting them back to you if the client interacts. (Maybe - I did put in your zip code, so you could get a lead in theory, let's see what happens)
Talk to you later,
So in this particular case, I don't think it is a good solution. Yeah, it's a pretty i-frame, and there are some cool tools to build and look at very beautiful rings. But they are not doing enough in my opinion to keep you and your brand IN the equation. They get enormous SEO benefits if they can get your traffic and a lot of other retailers to send their traffic over to them, even if only briefly.
I am against i-frames period because I think the devalue your own website experience and confuse clients. The only ones I would even remotely consider would have to be co-branded inside the i-frame and constantly be driving that client back to your store.
As always, we are here to serve you, so whatever you decide, we will do.