Jewellers encouraged to convert to Apple Store-style service centres.
Pursuit Software has taken the wraps off a contemporary sales assistance application package that it claims will revolutionise jewellery retailing on the high street.
The modular suite of software, collectively known Lifestyle, comprises mobile apps that an in-store salesperson can use to guide customers through every element of a purchase.
The software is expected to be used mainly on iPads, but Pursuit has ensured it will run on any mobile computer including Windows-, Blackberry- or Android-based tablets.
At an unveiling to existing users of Pursuit Software, prospective clients and jewellery brands, the company demonstrated how salespeople can pull and present information and images from back end databases of jewellery and watch stock, at the same time as gathering customer data.
Returning customers’ shopping history can be used to recommend products they might like, such as Pandora beads to somebody who previously bought a Pandora bracelet.
On top of products from within a jeweller’s cabinets, a far greater range of products can be presented using pictures and product information drawn from the server. The salesperson can then complete the sale, taking the customer right through the check out process, including linking to wireless chip and pin card readers.
“Imagine being in the store, sitting with a customer. You have your shop at your fingertips. You can take them through the products on your iPad and limit what you show them to the items they actually want to see. For a salesperson, it is a perfect tool,” said Richard Fish, managing director for Charles Fish Jewellers, which has been piloting the system.
Anybody who has bought a product from an Apple Store will be familiar with the Lifestyle concept. Instead of salespeople serving from behind a check out desk, they serve customers using iPads while roving around the shop.
For a jeweller, a similar system not only improves the range and quality of products and services they can give to customers, they also save precious store space by removing or reducing the footprint of a traditional check out. Charles Fish believes this could allow one or two more shop-in-shop displays in a single outlet.
Detailed pricing for the Lifestyle system has not been fully disclosed, but Mike Burns, Pursuit Software’s managing director did reveal that existing Pursuit customers could get started with the new suite for as little as £600. This would allow jewellers to perform sales, deposits, exchanges and customer information capture from their tablets.
Another 28 modules – Pursuit calls them ‘choices’ – are available from launch; adding functions such as gold buying and repairs. Prices start at £25 for a single user version of the simplest choices, but others will be more expensive, Burns explained.
Pursuit’s back end systems remain unchanged, so all the data provided by brands including Ti Sento, Pandora, Thomas Sabo and Swarovski, will be accessible to the Lifestyle apps.
Retailers that witnessed the launch were broadly supportive, although the filofax-inspired design of the software on screen was questioned by one of the more style-conscious executives in the room. Burns suggested that because the presentation layer of the software is independent of the application and data layers, the design could be changed in future versions.
“For jewellery retailers, Lifestyle is a business tool that, over and above its functional benefits, in terms of consumer perceptions is absolutely on-trend,” Burns concluded.