Spectacular technology at retailers’ fingertips
Star Gems’ new Custom Studio app is humming along with the introduction of a 42-inch touchscreen – a giant digital showcase – bringing the appeal of dazzling high technology to independent retail stores.
“It will revolutionize the jewelry industry,” says Anish Desai, President and CEO of Star Gems, an international jewelry manufacturer and loose diamond importer based in Norcross, Ga., near Atlanta. “It’s a cool experience. Everyone loves to browse an Apple store even though we already have five Apple products. The same will happen to the jewelry industry. The reviews and responses have been very good.”
Star Gems just started taking orders for its giant digital touchscreen showcase, which sells for $3,500 with financing of $124 per month available. The screens will start arriving in stores at the end of November.
“The 42-inch touchscreen is a phenomenal experience,” Anish says. “It will replace a retailer’s real inventory with virtual inventory. For a 5-foot showcase space with typically 40 pieces of jewelry, the wholesale value would be $50,000 to $70,000. Now the jeweler will have the power of thousands of designs without a large investment in what will become the world’s largest database of designs.
“The retailer puts the digital showcase in his store, and what’s new in the market will be uploaded immediately,” he adds. “We’re changing the market. We’re constantly hearing from retailers how they’re fighting the internet. Well, we’re saying, ‘Join the internet!’”
The company’s innovative Custom Studio design app, unveiled earlier this year, invites retailers to “discover, create, share.” It is being developed in a four-phase program to include thousands of the company’s custom designs. Phase 1 is under way; retailers who have signed on enjoy access to 300 designs already, with 50 to 60 designs added every month. By next summer, Star Gems plans to incorporate more than 1,500 designs as the 3D video directory and CAD images are developed. “In three or four years we’ll have thousands and thousands of designs,” Anish says.
The Custom Studio app is available to retailers for a $275 one-time fee plus $75 per month. It can be viewed from a cell phone, iPad, PC and other devices, from all platforms. Items may be ordered as shown or they may be customized.
The app is intuitive for retailer and consumer alike. The retailer signs on to his subscription-based program, then asks his customer to download the app with a nine-digit code assigned to the retailer. At that point, the consumer gets linked to the retailer. The retailer has the customer’s cell phone number, and they both have the ability to communicate within the app, viewing CAD specifics and customizing designs. Everything, including payments, takes place on the screen, large or small.
“It’s a highly advanced, revolutionary concept in the jewelry industry,” Anish says. “A customer who walks into a retail store once a year can still be in touch. For example, he can take a picture of his broken ring and send it through the app to the retailer he’s assigned to. The retailer gives him a price, the customer hits pay now and the money is in the retailer’s account in two days.
“A retailer traveling in Hong Kong could take pictures of pieces he likes at a show, send them to his customers via the app, and close the sale on the app before he returns to this country.”
Custom Studio allows retailers to rapidly expand their customer bases as customers share the app via the nine-digit number that links them directly with the retailer. “It’s a game changer,” Anish says. “In the jewelry business, apps have been a web extension showcasing designs on the web. Why even have the app? This is functional. It’s like iTunes technology where musicians could upload their music. Designers from all over the world can upload designs, and they’ll get royalties from those designs we sell.
“This is all completely new and fun, and it shows how technology will blend into everyday life. Apps are the future of how we’ll do things, and they have to serve the purpose for both the customer and the retailer. It’s mind-blowing technology.”
For more information about Star Gems’ Custom Studio app featuring the new giant digital showcase, you can call 800-474-5579, visit the website www.customstudiousa.com or send an e-mail to email@example.com. You can also find information about the app at www.stargems.com.