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. Businessman and Entrepreneur James Constantinou owns the company.

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 valuable asset.

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 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 wish to merely sell the asset.

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

In either case, the customer needs to bring the assets to the store for the pawnbroker to evaluate, which can take time. Enter financial technology.

app development project -luxury jewellery mobile eCommerce

Financial Technology (FinTech)

Financial technology, a.k.a. FinTech, uses 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.

Using their phone camera to take pictures of their possessions allows customers to quickly and easily upload items they would like appraised. Details such as materials, brand, and paperwork can be added, then sent to Prestige Pawnbrokers for evaluation with the click of a button. 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. For example, the valuation service sends a push notification directly to the user’s phone to review the valuation. If a customer is happy with the price offered, they can quickly and easily book appointments within the app.

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

Mobile phone eCommerce App

Prestige has some fantastic 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. We also offered an entirely mobile eCommerce experience through the app to complement this.

Secure online business integration

For selling items and inventory management, the business uses 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 maps.

App development project - App book an appointment feature

The results

A successful launch

This summer, the app was launched to both of the app stores for Apple iOS and Android platforms to great success.

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