Chocolate.com is all about the fine chocolate! The company links the gift buyer with world-class chocolate chefs by providing a platform for shoppers to see and order from chocolate shops around the globe. Chocolate.com supports small businesses by only including small vendors from the US and Canada in its network. The logic is that great sweets come from small shops.
The products to order include:
The site targets gift givers with several ways to filter online searches:
Vendors to select from include:
- Sugar Plum Chocolates (Forty Fort, PA)
- Candy Blast (Knoxville, TN)
- Bake Me A Wish (Boyertown, PA)
- Bloomsberry & Co. (Salem, MA)
- Harbor Sweets (Salem, MA)
- Chocolats Noushka (Sainte, Adele, Quebec City, Canada)
- Gem Chocolates (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
- Many more!
Customers have the opportunity to add Gift Notes along with the item; the note is written during the checkout process.
Chocolate.com, LLC is an affiliate of Internet Real Estate Group, LLC. Internet Real Estate Group is well-known for developing online brands.
Chocolate.com, LLC is based in Newton, MA, USA, and the CEO is Mark McInnis. The business started in 2008 and is a sole proprietorship. The staff is composed of chocolate fans, software developers, and customer service specialists.
There are both positive and negative customer reviews online for Chocolate.com. At XOM Reviews, two consumers give the company five out of five stars, while the third reviewer gives only one out of five stars.
At the BBB company page, there are six customer reviews. Two are classed as positive, while four are under the "Negative Experience" category. Here is one positive and one negative comment:
- "It was a very nice surprise to come home from dinner on the evening of my birthday and find a package from CHOCOLATE.COM filled with wonderful cookies. I plan to use your company in the future and send gifts to my friends and family."
- Caryl A., BBB customer review
- "Good luck trying to contact chocolate.com via phone - they won't answer. will never use this site again once I get the ****** groupons redeemed, if that is possible."
- Melanie H., BBB customer review
As well, there are reviews of the products on the Chocolate.com website itself, including:
- "I looooove Black Forest for its original taste and light texture. The gentle sourness is complemented by a subtle sweetness. Black Forest is my favorite caramel- delicious and delightful!!!" (regarding the 9 Pieces Forest Caramels With Amarelle Cherries)
- "Looked just like it did on the picture. Came on-time and delivered exactly how I ordered it!" (regarding Red Velvet Cake)
The company has been BBB Accredited since 2008. The Better Business Bureau gives Chocolate.com a rating of A. On a scale of A+ to F, that is a good rating. There have been two complaints closed with the BBB in the last three years, and one complaint closed in the last 12 months.
Chocolate.com has received coverage from some large media outlets, including:
- CBS Television's "The Price is Right"
- Business Week
- Glenn Beck Radio
- The Wall Street Journal
For popularity, statistics at Alexa and Compete indicate that traffic to Chocolate.com is decreasing. Despite lower numbers than last year, the company still has a large share of its specialized market.
Alexa shows that chocolate.com's Global Traffic Rank is 219,309, as per a three-month period. The US Rank is 70,217. Over the three months, the estimated percentage of global internet users to the site has decreased by 52%.
The Compete profile for chocolate.com lists 13,645 unique visitors to the site in July 2012 (US Data Only). The number is down by 59.50% from the previous year. For Competitive Rank (UVS), the company website is second in rank and is behind godiva.com.
Google's PageRank Checker gives a rank of 4 out of 10 to the confectionary website.
The company has a social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, although none of these platforms are well-developed.
On Twitter, @choctweets has just over 3,700 followers. There have been no Tweets sent in the last five months. The Facebook profile has 3,554 Likes. The company has not posted in about a month; prior to that time, posts were sporadic yet received high numbers of comments from followers.
The Google+ page, which is not linked from the website, has not posted in over six months and only 48 people have circled the business.
The company does not have a blog, although they do offer writing opportunities to bloggers regarding its products.
The website does use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software, which encrypts customer information during the checkout process.
The Google Safe Browsing Diagnostic Page for chocolate.com explains that the site is not currently listed as suspicious. 14 pages on the site were tested over the last 90 days and no malicious software was downloaded or installed without consent upon viewing the pages. The site has not hosted malicious software over the 90 days.
Current prices at Chocolate.com include:
- 9 Pieces Black Forest Caramels With Amarelle Cherries - $15 USD
- Sugar Free Cherry Cordials 1 Lb. - $28.50 USD
- Award Winning English Toffee Classic Box 1/2 Lb. Gift Box - $15.50 USD
- Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Tray - $35 USD
- Vegan Fine Artisan French Chocolates Gift Box - $23 USD
- Ococoa Truffle And Caramel Bar Gift Collection Set Of 6 - $24 USD
While prices here may be higher than competitors, it is important to realize that the company specializes in gourmet chocolates. These are not chocolate bars shoppers would find at the local grocery store. As well, customers can add personalized notes and there are gift boxes to add specialty to the gift orders.
Chocolate.com ships worldwide. At the checkout screen, select the appropriate country from the drop-down box for the "Ship To" section. Countries that the business ships to include:
- And more!
Shipping and handling costs are shown beside specific items on the website, prior to adding the item to the shopping cart. During the order process, when the shipping destination is imputed, the shipping rate for the particular order is calculated. FREE shipping is available for orders over $75 USD within the United States (see webpage for complete details).
Payment options at the sweet specialty website are:
- Credit Cards
- Google Checkout
Accepted Credit Cards are VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover card.
Customers can reduce order prices by using gift certificates and coupon codes during the checkout process as well.
The website does not accept new payment methods such as EbillMe, BillMeLater, or EFT.
Chocolate.com offers the Guarantee that if customers are not satisfied with the product quality they can return it for a full refund. A full refund is also offered if the order ships late or arrives after the expected date.
There are special company rules for shipping during hot weather, as heat damage can occur. When there is "high risk" for damage to the items, Chocolate.com offers insurance during the checkout process. The shipment is not guaranteed if insurance is offered but not taken.
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