Customers are generally giving preference to gold coins or biscuits rather than jewellery while online shopping.
India has a large and robust jewellery industry. However, if there’s one sub-sector that has stayed flexible for a long period, it is the diamond and gems sector. The Government of India has designated the Gems and Jewellery industry as a target area for export promotion based on its potential for future growth and value addition. The government has recently implemented a number of initiatives to encourage investment and advanced technology. With a vast array of brands and offerings, this business has continually maintained a favorable attitude. Customers have consistently shown a clear inclination for jewellery. This industry has its own allure. In an exclusive conversation with Financial Express Online Pawan Gupta, Founder of P.P. Jewellers talked about the shift in consumer behaviour due to Covid-19 pandemic, online shopping of gems and jewels and more. Excerpts:
In what ways has the pre and post-covid era impacted consumer behaviour?
Consumer behaviour has definitely changed. Comparing both eras, the buying power has unquestionably been influenced with this Covid-19. Because of the slowdown in the economy at large with lesser profits and reduced incomes, customers are not making a lot of hefty buys. With the shift / postponing of big celebrations such as weddings that typically are our industry’s most profitable times, consumers too have temporarily shifted/postponed their interest in jewellery buying currently.
What’s the agenda you have in mind while approaching customers, and what ways do you adopt to convince them?
The agenda is to build trust while approaching customers. To establish any brand and to run it over generations, building trust becomes inevitable. Ensuring to provide superior quality, fine craftsmanship and variety to suit each taste, it is only then the customer comes back for more purchases and becomes your patron. Convincing doesn’t come in the picture with long term relations of providing the best product at competitive pricing.
Have customers developed the habit of online shopping?
Indeed. Amidst the pandemic we have seen a great deal of footfall coming through online entryways. Clients have shown an astonishing reaction over the promising event on Akshaya Tritiya. They believe in not passing up on any more brilliant possibility in making an auspicious event a good one. Even customers have been investing more time indoors since lockdown and scrolling the internet making purchases. Also we are engaging with customers through social media platforms like Facebook & Instagram where a lot of the TG is active these days. So a lot of traction and voluntary queries flow in from there as well.
What are customers’ preferences while online shopping?
Customers are generally giving preference to gold coins or biscuits rather than jewellery while online shopping. Since, it is easier to purchase one without too much thought and can also be converted into liquid cash. However, a faster rollout of minimal jewels too has been experienced during these times via online.
How’s the past year’s business graph, with the onset of Covid?
The business graph has faced a lot of ups and downs since the onset of covid. Lockdowns, followed by limited access with restrictions or transition to online and then again complete lockdown. Needless to say it has been a very eventful year & a very designer one for the graph too.
How do you think the footfall has been affected due to the current lockdown?
Footfall has unquestionably been influenced because of the current circumstance. The fear of the rapidly spreading virus and contracting it in situations with serious gaps in availability of medical facilities, naturally restricted the movement to a great extent. Irrespective of all the assurances guaranteed by us wrt the safety measures taken, many people avoid stepping out for safety sake unless absolutely essential. Especially in times of lockdown, as per government imposed laws, we are facing shutter downs at the moment, hence there is no question of footfall in offline outlets. While we do have the online platform operational however for big ticket purchases customers typically like to experience the product with a touch-&-feel practice before making the decision.
Amidst the prevailing situations, are you able to clearly plan the foreseeable future? If yes, is covid an influencing factor?
Owing to the unpredictability of the future, we can’t say that we have an exact PoA in place but yes, the broad plan for future in operational times is to comply with the new-normal norms and focus on sales as well as offering a matchless experience to our patrons. Some of whom are excited to come back to us and explore the world of jewels with us.