by Taivara, Technology Innovation
The Beauty of Insight
The beauty store industry is built upon strong customer relationships. Products like makeup, jewelry, and clothing are tailored toward specific skin-tones, body-shapes, personal preferences, almost all things that vary from person to person. Knowing what works and what doesn’t for your customers is crucial for a great in-store experience and potential upsells.
The Problem with Paper
Traditionally, beauty store clerks would learn about their customers and write down important pieces of information into booklets. The next time the customer would come in, the clerk would reference the book and use the info to guide their conversations.
Clerks became overwhelmed by the number of entries which were tough to find and difficult to share from clerk to clerk, store to store.
Driving Toward Digitization
A client of ours, which worked with many retail stores around the country, saw an opportunity. They asked us to design and build a mobile app that would digitize this process.
Our client had a basic idea of what the product should do, but they left it up to us to figure out the overall information architecture and design.
To design a great product, we had to get to know our users and design to their needs. We found our users would need to quickly look up information and navigate from customer to customer. Additionally, our users weren’t used to working with technology.
Built for Speed
We designed a platform that could be built for speed
The product would allow users to look up customers and view/edit their information all within one view so that users wouldn’t get lost navigating through multiple pages.
For the UI, we borrowed as much as we could from standard iOS interface themes. We wanted the product to feel as familiar to the user. We didn’t want to make something unique for the sake of being unique. Users just needed to get in and move on quickly.
The client greenlighted the designs and we moved onto the build.
We built the application to run on store-owned iPads. The platform was a multi-tenant application, meaning that each store brand had its own unique set of data with its unique set of users.
We built the API in Ruby on Rails with an iOS front-end. We chose Rails for its speed and flexibility and because it was the most efficient for the problems we were solving.
We launched the product with great success.
The application launched to many major retailers all over the nation is still onboarding new ones.
We are continuously working with our client to add updates and improvements to the product.
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