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Online & offline set-ups can leverage each other: Sr VP CaratLane

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CaratLane started its journey as India’s first online jeweller but today, with multiple stores and Try@Home, they have emerged as an Omnichannel jeweller that stays abreast with the evolving tastes and preferences of consumers. Talking in detail about the expansion strategy of the brand, Senior Vice President, Offline Marketing, CaratLane, Atul Sinha divulges the brand’s roadmap for future.
How do you see the present jewellery market in India in terms of size and growth potential? Where do you see it heading in the next five years?
The jewellery market is huge in India, but with problems that are ripe for disruption. And I am proud to say CaratLane has been a mega disruptor – we are changing the way jewellery is manufactured, sold and bought in India. We are innovating across all dimensions with boldness; solving problems like manufacturer-retailer connect, personalisation, shopping experience, lack of transparency etc.
Give us insights about the brand’s approach towards Omnichannel retailing?
We follow an Omnichannel strategy for all our functions – marketing, merchandising, supply chain and customer service. We make sure that our customers feel part of the same ecosystem regardless of the medium they are interacting with us. Our products, prices, promotions, language, tonality, identity remains constant across channels.
Are there any unique initiatives that you have taken online (regarding social media, e-commerce, etc.)? How are you leveraging the online space to boost your revenues and customer connect?
CaratLane believes in experiencing jewellery in innovative and convenient ways. Technology and innovation have better equipped online jewellers in their battle against physical retail players. Our brand is now associated with various design innovations around social and cultural motifs and contemporary style. We take a 360-degree approach in our marketing plans as we see ourselves as an Omnichannel jewellery brand. We have four sales channels that we continuously improve upon: Online, Mobile, Retail Stores and Try-@-Home. Apart from this, we are constantly exploring other new-age channels.
One of our app – Perfect look app / ‘Magic Mirror’, gives customers another innovative way to virtually trying on earrings in three dimension (3D). All a customer needs is to pose in three different angles and our customised software will stitch the customer’s photograph with the earring and provide a 180-degree display of the earring with actual size on real time basis.
We have just started on our mission to democratise jewellery by offering chic and contemporary jewellery that is beautiful, accessible and forever wearable. You can look forward to more innovative designs from us in the future. We strongly believe that technology can be leveraged to provide a better shopping experience to our customers and you can expect some breakthrough innovations from us on this front.
Why are you shifting focus offline and opening physical stores?
There is an opportunity for online and brick-and-mortar set-up to leverage each other’s strengths. We already have 21 retail stores in 8 cities across India and are planning to open more stores in the coming months. Our stores are very different from the typical Indian jewellery store, which tend to be very large, with a guard and an usher who walks you in. Our stores are designed for the customer who walks into a mall or a duty-free shop. There is no glass and you can walk right up to the products. You can touch, feel and experience the jewellery without any pressure. It’s more inviting than what the retail store environment currently is in India. Our stores allow our customers to touch, feel and experience the brand and with such format, it only helps our business. Our brick-and-mortar presence complements our online presence rather than compete with it.
What is your USP? Do you intend on having a pan India presence soon?
There are few things signature to CaratLane. Few but very effective in bringing together a jewellery buying revolution. It begins with our innate quest to combine art and technology which we brought together through our StreamLaneTM system. It eliminates inefficiencies from the supply chain. It keeps our overheads low, enables us to get our items delivered efficiently, and results in savings of up to 20 per cent over traditional retail stores. Our jewellery is designed to minimise unnecessary gold weight and instead focus on the aesthetic appeal of the jewellery. It is designed to suit modern lifestyle needs so that women can wear it every day. We already have 21 retail stores across India and are planning to open more stores in the coming months.
Please tell us about your tie-up with Tanishq? Do you retail Tanishq or any associated Tanishq brands in your stores or on your online portal?
With Titan’s majority acquisition into CaratLane, the best of India’s jewellery brands now belong together. Jewellery lovers can look forward to more choice and more designs as a result of the partnership and India’s jewellery buying experience continues to evolve, only faster. Through this partnership, we have been able to make greater progress in making beautiful and affordable jewellery even more accessible. We now manufacture some of our jewellery at Titan’s state-of-the-art facility at Hosur and this helps us get access to better designs at unmatched quality. We are strategically aligned, but operationally independent. Together, we share a common mission – to offer beautiful jewellery and a distinctive shopping experience that fits today’s values and lifestyles.
The investment by Titan and the partnership with Tanishq, India’s leading jewellery brand, has certainly infused a greater degree of trust among potential buyers at CaratLane. We have recently made Nebula by Titan watches available at CaratLane.
What are the latest trends you are noticing in today’s consumers in general? What kind of products are in vogue?
Consumers are becoming more and more comfortable shopping online, which will only add to the growth of this segment of jewellery sales. As CaratLane, we want to help customers experience jewellery in innovative and convenient ways, by coming up with innovative ways, from personalization to curation to home trial options, to address consumers’ concerns.
How has this fiscal year shaped up so far and what kind of growth rate do you expect over the next couple of years?
It has been a healthy growth month-on-month.
What are the challenges for Caratlane presently?
Given that we are a relatively new brand in the jewellery industry, one of our biggest challenges is to build awareness of our brand and give potential customers a better idea about the kind of jewellery we sell. We are doing this by building our communication not just through traditional media routes such as print and hoardings, but also through digital media like Facebook and Google. Word of mouth also plays a crucial role in building a clientele for our stores. This is why we are obsessed with delivering a positive customer experience at our stores.

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