Online as a strategic call will pay rich dividends: ORRA CEO

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The online jewellery market in India is expected to hit $3.6 billion in the next three years, that is roughly 20 per cent of the global market size estimated at $18 billion, mainly on the back of the e-commerce boom.
Making the most of the situation, many online jewellery players have started planning their strategies and making elaborate future plans. ORRA, one of India’s premier jewellery brand with a diversified retail chain of 34 boutiques across 25 cities, also falls in the same category.
The brand has already carved a niche for itself by winning many prestigious awards like the DeBeers International award, Best Retail Jewellery Chain of the Year, Most Innovative Jewellery of the Year, and Best Retail Transformation of the Year.
Apart from this, ORRA has recently been voted among the Top 3 Most Trusted Jewellery brands in India by the Brand Trust Report. It has recently won the prestigious award for the Best Earring Jewellery Design of the year at the National Jewellery Awards 2016.
Indiaretailing in a candid chat with CEO and Founder Director of ORRA, Vijay Jain discusses their future plans, challenges and competition ahead.
How does ORRA work towards giving its audience a luxury experience online as compared to a ‘mass’ feel in the over cluttered space of e-tail?
The consumer of today can express their likes and dislikes more than ever before. What is true of the offline space is true in the online space as well and therefore the consumer cannot be taken for granted. This nature of the consumer therefore puts more impetus on the brand to ensure a seamless experience of products across platforms. With the consumer already present across different mediums as well as social media channels Omnichannel marketing has become a very important aspect for growing and improving one’s business.
One in three consumers are simultaneously on their cell phones while watching television whereas one in four Indians are online and accessing multiple channels. Even when customers walk into stores, they are checking their phones for price comparisons, details of products as well as variety and other options. In a category like ours, where word-of-mouth is critical, social media is playing an increasingly important role. Our focus therefore has been on making one view of the customer, one view of stock and one similar experience unified across different channels.
When it comes to a creating a luxury experience online, one needs to understand the difference between a transactional vs. an experiential website. While a transactional website is more functional an experiential website allows consumers to focus on the visual aspect and other softer aspects including display and how jewellery is organized. The softer aspects and visuals therefore are key drivers here.
How has e-commerce helped push the purchase of ORRA products in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns, beyond occasion based sales?
E-commerce has helped us push the purchase of ORRA products as the ‘process of discovery’ has moved from the physical store to the online space. E-commerce has worked for us in both ways, where we have been able to attract new customers in regions where we already have stores, as well as reach out to customers in regions where we do not have physical stores.
ORRA to scale both online and offline presenceJewellery being a high ticket purchase are consumers equally at ease like buying fashion online?
Different products have different cycles and jewellery is still at a nascent stage in the online space. Existing ORRA customers who have built trust in the brand are more comfortable with higher value purchases. On the other hand, the first ten times buyer in the online space will show a preference for lower value goods.
ORRA hasn’t opened a store in the past few years. Any specific reasons?
We recently opened our third store at Bangalore in the Kormangala area. This was in November 2015. In addition to new store roll outs, ORRA has put a huge focus on same store growth.
Online or offline stores – which have the better share in the company’s total revenue?
At the moment, offline stores for sure, but online as a strategic call will pay rich dividends in the near future.
Custom jewellery or precious jewellery – who rules the roost online and why?
In a world of instant gratification, having readymade jewellery ensures a two-three day delivery time and therefore provides one with instant gratification. However, we believe that made-to-order jewellery will play an important role going forward not only because it allows personalization of designs from a consumer perspective but also helps brands and jewellers minimize inventory levels.
Direct sales vs. support of e-commerce channels – which is better and why? 
Both play an important role. While a market place like Amazon has a certain reach and a price point at which consumers buy and therefore we are able to broad base ourselves and offer products to that segment. On the other hand, on the ORRA website we focus on an enhanced consumer experience and at a larger depth, especially at different price points and a lot more company and product knowledge and data such as blogs, process and policies, certification, buying guides and much more.
What are the initial hurdles faced by luxury brands when they opt for the online channel?
Building traction would be one of the initial hurdles faced by luxury brands when they opt for online channels.
With old players like Titan and Tanishq foraying online do you see competition intensifying in the online jewellery retail? How are you planning to thwart that?
Competition is healthy both in the online as well as offline space. Traditional parameters of largeness/relevance of brand, sometimes defined by number of stores, size of store, huge physical inventory in store are parameters not necessarily relevant on the online space.
Brands which are aware of the ‘new reality’ are in a position to better leverage themselves online.  Towards this, ORRA has made significant progress and has recently been featured as a case study by Google.
What are your future plans?
I think that the market offers a huge potential specifically for people with strong brand presence and distribution. ORRA is looking to scale both offline and its online presence.

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