From virtual try-ons to video calling are some of the ways jewellery brands have been selling goods online
Industry estimates suggest that bulk of the jewellery purchase online is restricted to low ticket purchases upto Rs 30,000
Jewellery purchase in India has traditionally been driven by touch-and-feel factor. The pandemic forced jewellery firms to adapt new marketing strategies. This included a clutch of digital initiatives such as video calls, live chats, appointment-based bookings, virtual try-ons, WhatsApp chats, stories and lives on Instagram/Facebook among others. “Our state of the small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) survey with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and World Bank revealed that more than a third of SMBs on Facebook India reported in October that the proportion of sales they made digitally has increased compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic,” Archana Vohra, director, small and medium businesses, Facebook India, told BrandWagon Online. According to a Facebook-YouGov study, nearly half the festive shoppers said they like to see videos to get them into the holiday mood.
Brands such as Tanishq, the jewellery arm of the Titan Company, launched the ‘endless aisle’ concept which shows its entire range of products online — this includes virtual try ons, live chats and video calling. The company claims to have witnessed a three-times growth in online sales and serviced more than 20,000 customers through video calls and 50,000 customers through live chats. Omnichannel jeweller and Tanishq partnership brand CaratLane too launched ‘Live Services’ enabling customers to buy jewellery over video calls, besides serving customers through WhatsApp with a dedicated sales force. As per the company, at the end of Q2FY21, online sales grew by 90% while sales in brick-and-mortar stores grew by 14%. “As digital adoption increased across categories and segments it became increasingly clear that people who earlier walked into our stores have now started to browse online first,” Avnish Anand, co-founder and online business head, CaratLane, said. The company claims to have reached pre-Covid levels in terms of sales with brick-and-mortar outlets generating 55% of the business and online contributing to the remaining 45%. Meanwhile, online jewellery store BlueStone, too claims to have seen a 2x surge in social engagements through Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
With the spurt in online jewellery sales/queries, brands have allocated a substantial share of marketing dollars on the digital platform with a plan to continue to invest in the same. For instance, CaratLane claims that by the end of FY21 it would have spent 70-80% of its marketing dollars on digital. When compared to the same period last, online accounted for 50-60% of the ad spend. For jewellery brand Melorra, 40-50% of the marketing budgets has gone to digital. “Close to 35-40% of the customer enquiries on the platform are through WhatsApp. As a young brand that’s growing considerably, we expect our marketing budgets to go up by 2x-3x in the year ahead,” Sharat Krishnan, head of marketing, Melorra, added. The company recently opened its first brick and mortar store and plans to launch 350 such centres in the next six years.
Industry estimates suggest that bulk of the jewellery purchase online is restricted to low ticket purchases upto Rs 30,000. Moreover, consumers still tend to buy precious jewellery on special occasions. “In a very interesting way, e-commerce is not just about activating another sales channel for precious jewellery, it is about breaking free of some of its biggest and oldest limitations,” Amit Sharma, business head and managing partner, Open Strategy and Design– an independent brand consultancy, explained.