With Indians spending a fortune on buying gold and diamond, especially during Dhanteras, Dusshera, and Diwali, which is then followed by the wedding season in November, online jewellers are upbeat about festive sales. This despite rising gold prices this year as compared to the year before.
In order to make most of the consumer sentiment and lure them into making high-ticket jewellery purchases online, jewellery e-tailers are reducing making charges, increasing the number of SKUs, coming up with unique designs and even offering great deals and freebies.
For instance, Bengaluru-based e-tailer Bluestone – who earlier this year raised Rs.200 crore in a Series D funding round – is introducing over 250 new designs across categories. The company is also aggressively spending towards marketing and advertising to encourage consumers towards online shopping.
“Our aim is to expand our footprint in the second largest jewellery market in the world by building a strong brand and offering a world class designs. For this festive season, we are introducing over 250 new designs across categories and will also be launching new collections. We also have offers on over 2000 diamond jewellery designs with up to 25 per cent off and 0 per cent making charges,” CMO, BlueStone.com, Pushkar Jain told Indiaretailing Bureau.
The company has also recently launched its new brand campaign, that happens to coincide with the festive season, to promote the brand as the go-to- jewellery destination for today’s aspirational women.
Similarly Mumbai-based marketplace for precious jewellery, Orsuq.com is waving off the ‘making charges’ by 100 per cent so as to transfer the benefits to the price-conscious Indian consumers.
“India is a gold jewellery driven economy where everybody from the middle class to high class buys precious jewellery, especially during the festive season. We are targeting this middle to high-class consumers who today looks for style and design along with an investment purpose,” Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Orsuq Solution Pvt. Ltd, Mahendra N. Raju said.
“We have come up with the light-weight diamond and gold jewellery range to suit everyone’s desire to buy something special. We are offering up to 25 per cent off on our diamond pieces and a waive-off of 100 per cent on the making charges. This will make the cost of jewelry piece on our platform about 25 to 37 per cent lesser than the retail shops,” he added.
Making charges are typically the labor cost that all jewellers pass on to the buyers. They are usually a percentage of the current gold price. Hence, depending on the gold cost, the amount a customer pay as making charge can vary.
They are also bringing in region specific traditional designs that suits consumer tastes and sensibilities.
Not a Great Start But a Great Revival
While India has been among the two biggest consumers of gold in the world along with China – with imports in the past going even up to 1,000 tonnes per annum – the inflows this year have been quite low on a combination of factors including a prolonged strike by jewellers who vehemently protested imposition of excise duty on jewellery in the Budget and continuation of 10 per cent customs duty on imports despite expectations of reduction.
Infact gold imports between January and September aggregated 270 tonnes this year against 658 tonnes in the corresponding period last year, according to a recent report by the industry body ASSOCHAM.
However, with a recent drop in rates of the yellow metal, gold sales are likely to take a northward turn this festive season. The price of gold – pegged at Rs 32,000 per 10 grams (24 carat) until recently – dropped to Rs 30,000 over the last one week bringing much cheer to the community.
“It is true that Akshaya Tritiya in May this year, which is considered an auspicious day to buy gold, was not upto the mark and demand was slow as the price of the gold was at its peak three months ago. However, the recent slump in gold prices is driving demand and we are buoyant of a positive growth,” said N. Raju.
The company which was established in January this month and launched its online portal last month is growing at the rate of 20-30 per cent m-o-m and expects a growth of “approximately 200 per cent in the FY 16-17”.
“We are confident of the revival in the market and expects a jump of four times on our platform during the season,” Jain said.
Offline retailers too agree.
“While in the first quarter jewelry sales were tepid, we have seen an upward sales trajectory in September and expect festival sales to be robust with 10 per cent growth over last year,” Chairman and Managing Director of Kalyan Jewelers, T S Kalyanaraman, was quoted as saying.
Pulling Customers Online
Along with variety of designs and lucrative offers, jewellery e-tailers are also offering various freebies, gift vouchers and easy return schemes that will add to the overall festivity and will ultimately help increase sales.
“We are gifting free silver coins, free lunches at luxury hotels and movie tickets to our customers. Also at our exclusive stores we are giving free services like henna designs on the hand and nail art,” Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Voylla, Jagrati Shringi said.
The fashion jewellery retailer has also launched a premium line, Studio Voylla, which features celebrity designers like Roopa Vora and Aastha Jain, who have created exclusive collections for the line.
Similarly, Caratlane.com is allowing a product returns even after 30 days of purchase with 100 per cent money back guarantee. And VelvetCase, a multi-brand jewellery destination is offering an interest-free EMI on jewellery and zero making charges on custom jewellery during its month-long Big Festive Bonanza.
Bluestone, on other hand, has launched a first-of-its-kind exchange offer under which the company representatives would visit customers’ houses with a caratage machine (used to measure the purity of gold) and exchange jewellery at their convenience. The service has already become a hit amongst the consumers.
“Launched last week in Delhi and Bangalore, the service is gaining traction and receiving about 40 calls for home visits every day for on-the-spot valuations,” Jain said.