A jeweller has claimed that customers like its virtual appointment service so much that some may choose to continue using it long after lockdown measures are lifted and stores reopen.

Robinson Pelham, based in a flagship store in Chelsea in London, has set up a back-office space for virtual appointments, and claims it is proving a success.

Co-founder Vanessa Chilton believes investing in the dedicated video call space to have been a wise move, as she claims that clients may continue to shop via virtual appointment long after the entire country has been vaccinated.

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She said: “Customers feel comfortable in their own home, and coming to a jeweller at the best of times can be intimidating.

“This means that the customer is at the virtual appointment on their own terms [and has] no nerves about locked shop doors or dropping something.”

Robinson Pelham also published a list of its top tips for hosting fruitful and fun virtual appointments:

Take advantage of styling

“It’s always funny how often customers come for necklace fittings wearing roll-necks,” Chilton said. During virtual appointments, “they have their entire wardrobe to hand at home.” The shop suggests using that to your advantage by suggesting chic fashion-jewellery pairings.

Have a person on hand for try-ons

“We have an assistant on hand to try looks on so that the client sees scale,” Chilton said. She also discusses the weight of a piece by asking clients to bring out a kitchen scale if they have one: “The client can find something of a corresponding weight and feel what that’s like to hold.”

Share your screen

“A useful tool during meetings is to be able to share the screen with the client so that they can see the piece on a larger scale [and really see] the detail and colour.”

Chilton also uses screen-sharing to show related and complementary items on the brand’s website, and to pull up images of previous commissions and archival designs.

Button up the appointment with images

Chilton arranges delivery of pieces with the customers, then caps off the exchange by emailing images and videos of collections they’re interested in, which gives clients the time and tools to mull over current and future purchases.