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Wallace Bishop Jewellers has undergone digital renovations to stay ahead of its game.
Wallace Bishop Jewellers has undergone digital renovations to stay ahead of its game.
 










Jeweller invites customers into digital age

Jewellery chain Wallace Bishop has narrowed a gap that some retailers believe exists between traditional bricks and mortar stores and the digital age.
Traditional retailers are constantly being told they need to keep up with the times so it comes as no surprise that many jewellers are starting to review their store layouts and presentation as competition increases from online retailers. 

Wallace Bishop, the 95-year-old Queensland–based jewellery retailer, has just opened its first digitally-integrated concept store in Westfield Carindale, Queensland.

This new store is fitted with an interactive web kiosk where customers are invited to use computer tablets to browse the company website, check stock levels in other stores, forward items of interest to their email addresses and even buy jewellery online.

Store windows feature six large flat panel LCD display screens that show off the company’s current jewellery collections, campaign offers, advertising and also tie with the promotional activities Wallace Bishop drives through TV and Facebook.

Another six screens are joined to form a giant display behind the counter. While physically browsing in-store, customers are encouraged to explore the company’s “digital store”.

In-store kiosks
“The web browsing kiosk lets customers browse our website, in effect our catalogue, or sit with a sales consultant to discuss product. They can see the entire website, which is great because it’s only a relatively small store,” said company CFO Ian Winterburn.

He added that customers could buy items from the online site while in-store, or send item details to their personal email addresses and log on later to review further or purchase.

Wallace Bishop
Wallace Bishop's Carindale store has a large digital screen behind its main counter.
“We’ve melded two retailing methods together, like a lot of retailers are wanting to do, to address demands coming from e-commerce.

“We thought it might be overwhelming but the design has enabled us to blend them into the store,” Winterburn said. He believed the main drawcard for the introduction of the technology was the long-term cost saving benefits as opposed to previously wasted static printed material. 

He explained that the traditional method of POS and promotional material incurred a lot of waste and staff involvement. 

“All the digital content is easily changed and uploaded overnight, making the visual signage of the store much more interactive than through traditional paper, vinyl and cardboard,” he said.

The company can combat any offer from its competitors with the push of a button, rather than having to wait on the lag of print materials. 

Winterburn explained that an in-house graphic designer and photographer prepare the files and images so that the level of professionalism is kept to a very high standard.

“Quality is paramount,” he said. “We have a department with a macro photographer, visual display person and designer with their own equipment.

“We are leveraging our website, integrating it into physical store and social media. It’s a different way of marketing – using different media.

“We spent a lot of time researching our tablets and decided to stay with our Windows platform using Windows 8. We chose very powerful touch screen Sony models and have fitted them on telescopic arms for flexibility.”

So far, Winterburn said the store has received many positive comments from customers. “Even older customers will come in a sit down with a staff member who can help them browse our site. 

“It’s designed to be user-friendly, even for people unfamiliar with the web.

“Facebook statistics show that the largest growing demographic is women 40 years old and above so we are definitely catering to that demographic [without excluding men and other age groups].”

Wallace Bishop operates 57 jewellery stores between Cairns and Newcastle and Winterburn believes the new store “offers the best of both worlds.” He added that another store would soon be upgraded to a digitally-integrated concept store.

MORE IMAGES

An interactive tablet sits on the counter where customers are encouraged to browse through the website.
An interactive tablet sits on the counter where customers are encouraged to browse through the website.
Large digital screens illuminate the front windows to draw attraction from passing customers.
Large digital screens illuminate the front windows to draw attraction from passing customers.
Campaigns and brands feature in the windows.
Campaigns and brands feature in the windows.

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Friday, 19 October, 2018 02:27am
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