Building a Mobile eCommerce app

Posh Pawn Prestige Pawnbrokers are an asset finance company with several shops in London and South East England. You may be familiar with the business which has appeared in Channel 4’s ground-breaking documentary TVs series Posh Pawn. The business is owned by businessman and Entrepreneur James Constantinou.

Prestige Pawnbrokers provide short term loans against luxury goods, access to second-hand luxury items for sale and offer to purchase high-end luxury goods.

The assets under ownership include jewellery, watches, cars/logbooks, handbags, cherished plates, diamonds, gold, art, antiques, wine, boats, coins, stamps, memorabilia and almost any asset of value.

As well as having several shops, the business has an online shopping experience through its website and the online store and wanted to explore adding a mobile app experience to help customers.

Mobile eCommerce app categories - app development project

The challenge

Pawnbroking business apps

As an Entrepreneur, James is always looking for ways to improve his business offering and customer service levels. James had an idea for a mobile app and approached Lightflows to see if we could help.

As you may be aware, a pawnbroking business is essentially a finance business. The business model is to loan money, and the loans are secured against an asset – in this case, a luxury good. In some cases the customer requires a loan, sometimes they just wish to just sell the asset.

If the customer decides to sell the item or does not repay the loan, the asset is made available to sell. So the pawnbroking business has both buying and selling functions.

In either case, the customer will need to bring the assets to the store for the pawnbroker to evaluate and make a judgment on the value of the items, and what can be loaned. This can take time. Enter financial technology.

app development project -luxury jewellery mobile eCommerce

Financial Technology (FinTech)

Financial technology, a.k.a. FinTech, is the use of technology applied to the financial sector to make financial services more convenient or easier to access. The Posh Pawn mobile app was designed with these goals in mind.

The key to James’s idea was to make it easier for customers to have their assets appraised, essentially saving them a trip to the shops. Lightflows app developers designed the app with many convenience features and the ability to loan or sell possessions via the app.

App branding and iconography design

The solution

UX: Creating a great user experience

To create a great user experience, our UX designers focussed on making the app easy to use.

By using their phone camera to take pictures of their possessions, we allow customers to quickly and easily upload items they would like appraised. Details such as materials, brand, paperwork can be added, then with the click of a button, sent to Prestige Pawnbrokers for evaluation. No need to pop out to the shops.

App development project - App design luxury watch mobile commerce

In-app messaging and push notifications

Once received, the business can quickly look at the customer’s requirements and responds quickly through the app. The valuation service sends a push notification directly to the user’s phone, where the valuation can be reviewed. If a customer is happy with the price offered, they can quickly and easily book and appointments all within the app.

iPhone app development project - in-app messaging showing the valuations process

Mobile phone eCommerce App

Prestige has some cool and prestigious luxurious goods ranging from Rolex watches, Chanel handbags, cars, artwork, artefacts and cherished number plates.

Online retailing is booming – and Prestige already sells online through their eCommerce website. To complement this we also offered an entirely mobile eCommerce experience through the app.

Secure online business integration

For selling items and inventory management the business is using the WooCommerce eCommerce Platform. To make managing the online and app sales easier, our web development team decided to integrate the app shopping cart into those systems so that the products, stock and payments could all be managed in one place. This included integrating the same payment gateways, including PayPal.

News, events, contact and social media

Prestige Pawnbrokers are always in the news, so the app has an updates section where customers can check in with everything prestige, from news, events and social media. Other features include the ability to book an appointment at any of the stores and gain quick access to the store locations through the use of maps.

App development project - App book an appointment feature

The results

The app was launched this Summer to both of the app stores for Apple iOS and Android platforms to great success. We’ll be posting more about this project in upcoming blog posts.

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