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Akshaya Tritiya 2021: Jewellers better prepared for technology enabled sales amid second wave, foresee no panic buying unlike last year

The unforeseen troubles in 2020 have cemented Indian jewellery retailers far stronger than the plummeting jewellery demand with robust technology and logistics measures that can help people look up to buying gold even at such a trying time.


Akshaya Tritiya is on 14th May. This piece of information holds varying levels of interest for those who consider it to be an auspicious occasion for buying gold for the obvious reason of the Covid-19 pandemic. But this is not the first year of havoc. The unforeseen troubles in 2020 have cemented Indian jewellery retailers far stronger than the plummeting jewellery demand with robust technology and logistics measures that can help people look up to buying gold even at such a trying time.

Take CKC’s new initiative for instance.  The brand has introduced  “CKCLive” and “Virtual Try-On” feature for Akshaya Tritiya. The feature is introduced amidst the total lockdown announced by government officials.” said Chaitanya V Cotha, Executive Director, C Krishniah Chetty Group of Jewellers.  

Lucknow-based Badri Prasad Arun Kumar Jewellers is better prepared than last year to service customers at home. “We are extending the facility of GPS-enabled card swiping machines to help staff receive payment through home deliveries. I think last year’s lockdown was stricter as no one was allowed to go outside but this year there is some leniency.”

Similarly, JKJ & Sons Jewellers from Jaipur is utilizing the well-oiled logistics in the city to deliver jewellery purchased online. “We are expecting at least a 5-10% increase in online sales this year, as compared to last year,” said Sunil Mosun, owner, JKJ & Sons Jewellers.

However, in cities such as Delhi, delivery of non-essential commodities are prohibited due to lockdown, for which Kanak Jewellers owner Deepak Chauhan is of the view that having an e-commerce platform is of no use now. “Even if we take bookings for Akshaya Tritiya, it is not possible to deliver them to the customers,” said Chauhan.

Santosh Ranka, owner, Gulabchand Chattringji and Sons Jewellers from Pune echoes the sentiment as his brand is mostly getting enquiries for bullions and coins. “The touch and feel factor is still important in jewellery buying, which is impossible now. Be it gold or jewellery, we are asking customers to purchase via direct account payment so that we can deliver items after lockdown is lifted in Pune,” said Ranka.

Traditionally, customers prefer bullion over jewellery during Akshaya Tritiya. But over the last few years prior to the pandemic, there has been an upswing in the demand for jewellery. However, due to the unforeseen circumstances, the entire market sentiment is 2021 is playing a crucial role to resist any hike in the jewellery demand curve and bullion and gold coins seem to be a popular item of choice.

Although majority of the sale in on account of bullions, Ranka opines that majority of such customers eventually return for jewellery purchase. “80% of them return after the occasion to convert bullion to jewellery.”

It is this silver lining that is motivating the brands to introduce offers that facilitate bookings even at the peak of the pandemic. It is the only way they can keep the inventory rolling, even if it means that the delivery can’t be completed now.

 Akash Kamath, MD, Abharan Jewellers, said that his team is promoting vouchers with a gold rate benefit in Karnataka post-lockdown. “Customers can book their gold now and redeem it after the end of the lockdown. The voucher also gives a double gold rate protection plan safeguarding against any fall or rise in rate,” said Kamath.  The jeweller is also better prepared to give a superior online buying experience to customers. “Although we had an e-commerce website last year also but it had multiple payment and navigation related issues. However, looking at the importance of e-commerce, we have made improvements in those areas.”

Contrary to the rush in any pre-pandemic year, or even the rush the industry witnessed last year due to the fear of price increase, the community feels that there will be less panic buying this year. “People have come to terms with lockdown and are not rushing into buying gold like 2020 since the gold rates are more stable this year,’ says Kamath.

Even in this bleak scenario, there is hope that the investment-centric sentiment of India will help the industry fight the pandemic which is playing havoc with lives and livelihood alike. Either way, Akshaya Tritiya might turn out to be a game-changer for brands that are able to utilize logistics support and leverage e-commerce facilities to move inventory.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News Service

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