Tool allows businesses to create secure retail sites "in minutes".

The Edinburgh Assay Office (EAO) has launched a new e-commerce tool for independent retailers and designers, allowing them to create their own secure retail sites with ease “to capitalise on the booming online retail market”.

The tool has been created in collaboration with Powa, a supplier of online trading solutions. The program has been designed specifically to meet the needs of small to medium sized enterprises, enabling them to create stylish, functional, transactional sites.


EAO’s Assay Master and chief executive Scott Walter said: “Growth in online jewellery sales now out performs traditional retail sales growth by a considerable margin. Consumers in the UK spent £7.9bn online in the last five weeks of 2011.

“Unfortunately, the significant upfront costs of creating a secure e-commerce enabled website means that smaller, independent jewellers captured only a fraction of those sales.”

The collaborative Assay Powa platform will provides “all of the tools necessary to create your own retail website quickly and easily”, with no expert technical knowledge required and minimal upfront costs.

The package includes domain name registration and email addresses, a website wizard to help create a fully customisable website in minutes and a website hosting service.

In addition, the Assay Powa template includes in-built Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tools and the ability to integrate with existing sites, blogs, social media feeds, direct mailing solutions and stock inventory systems.

The platform also has the capability to handle international expansion for companies operating existing e-commerce sites.

Chloe Flint of Powa says: “Our partnership with Edinburgh Assay Office means that jewellery businesses can quickly, simply, and securely receive payments through numerous payment methods including all major debit and credit cards, bank transfers and PayPal balance.

“Powa is the world’s only PCI DSS level 1 compliant e-commerce and content platform and been through rigorous independent audits to ensure that all customer data is safe and secure when purchasing from any jewellery merchant via our technology.”

All of those who sign up to the Assay Powa platform will receive marketing and merchandising tools, including the EAO’s Assay Assured mark.

A number of webinars introducing the platform will be hosted during July, with more details on the website.

Powa has worked with global brands including Tesco, JVC, BBC, Laura Ashley, HMV and jewellery brand Kit Heath.