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RJIF 2021: Decoding The Great Indian Bridal Market: Understanding the changing nuances of bridal market in the post covid era



RJIF 2021: Decoding The Great Indian Bridal Market: Understanding the changing nuances of bridal market in the post covid era

The Indian wedding market is mountainous, with a $50 billion reach as per KPMG 2017 statistics. With 10 million weddings annually, India stands second to the $70 bn market of The US. This affirms the notion that bridal is the most popular category in jewellery. The session commenced with the motive to understand and navigate the bearings of Indian bridal market better.

Pratap Kamath, MD, Abaran Timeless Jewellery, discussed on the less-traversed topic of awareness about digital marketing. During the first lockdown, the MD enrolled himself into an Udemy digital marketing course to be on par with tips and tricks of digital promotion today. This helped in post-lockdown marketing tactics of Abaran, which collaborated with a marketing agency and roped in influencers for strong impact. “A major concern was plagiarism of our design-rich bridal jewellery on social media. But over the last 17 months, we realized that those concerns are unfounded, there are more advantages than disadvantages. We received a lot of enquires by showcasing unique designs online,” said Kamath.  Talking about collaboration with celebrity influencers and the response to such initiatives he mentioned how social media promotion increased the brand’s recall value and has also brought about a drastic change in the retailer’s mindset post-covid.

Kailash Kabra, Director, KK Jewels, Ahmedabad, discussed how keeping a sizeable physical stock has helped showcase varied inventory to customers walking in after the first lockdown ended. Not budging before the desperation to keep lightweight stock, KK Jewels stood firm to a no discount policy at his showroom despite the pandemic hitting households financially. This risky step helped reaffirm the brand’s focus on premium bridal jewellery towards its clientele and saved it from predictably transitioning into a mass jewellery brand.

Another important step by which KK Jewels remained attractive to its customers was the brilliant conception of a structured method to understand each customer’s fashion choices and other factors influencing the choice of jewellery. The brand deploys its best executives to indulge in an pre-sale interaction first through a Google form and then through a stylist who helps clients with better decision making. It helps the brand showcase designs that are most relevant to individual customer.

Highlighting the need to personalize the brand experience, KK Jewels initiated an auspicious bridal Pagla ceremony to uplift the mood of the bride-to-be. With a banquet and a professional filmography crew, the brand recorded the occasion with the presence of both the bride and the groom’s family. “KK Jewels created the Pagla ceremony for brides-to-be post-lockdown, which involved all family members and left an impact on the client. It helps us earn goodwill among the groom’s family who is not necessarily our customer, ” said Kabra. This, Kabra said, helped the brand earn popularity among the groom’s family who took note of the grand celebration the jeweller was providing, unlike any other brand. The brand also gained recognition as the bride’s social media activity accredited a jeweller in a wedding, for a welcoming change.  

The two key takeaways for bridal jewellery demand post-Covid, according to Ketan Choksi, co-owner, Narayan Jewellers (Baroda), were the increase in the inheritance value of jewellery and decision-making power of brides today. “There were initially talks for minimalism but the trend has germinated to out and loud again, with pastel palettes and craftsmanship hogging the limelight,” said Choksi. Breaking the glass ceiling of design appeal cross borders, Narayan Jewellers has made quite a few red carpet collaborations and achieved goodwill with their jewellery auctioned at Sotheby’s and Christie’s. “Getting the right designs on red carpet and auctions, we built the goodwill of a global, modernist brand. This helped witness the change in the way the brand appeals to young women,” said Choksi. Talking about Narayan’s recent collaboration with a fashion brand, he mentioned how it’s important for jewellers to add creative value to the collaboration for maximizing the opportunity for both partners. Jewellery design has to be attuned to the personalities of women and enhance the overall look, explains Choksi, and staying true to this trend is making the brand of Narayan Jewellers more popular as a bridal jewellery destination with a global appeal.

On the post-Covid dynamics, Priyesh Nagar, partner, Madanlal Chhaganlal Jewellers (Indore), pitched an important idea of jewellery brands diversifying as complete wedding jewellery planners. Identifying the trend of brides getting involved in every detail of their wedding planning (including the color of the flowers), there is opportunity for jewellers to position themselves as wedding jewellery planners who co-create designs and give a one stop solution to brides.

With wedding budgets remaining roughly intact and discretionary spends decreasing, it gives a great chance to jewellery brands to double up, capture the market as planners such that brides feel reassured about meeting their needs under one-roof without having to visit other stores.

Based on this insight, “We trained our staff adequately to assist the brides for jewellery planning and collaborated with select manufacturers on creating a large repertoire of trending styles. This boosted our sales three times,” said Nagar. This approach alone has lead to a 37% more footfall than pre-Covid times.

Bridal has become one vast category, the jewellery choice is no longer restricted to community specific designs. Every regional specialty needs to be catered to under one roof to truly appease the bride seeking variety today. The panelists agreed that achieving that goal is possible through strong retail awareness of current fashion trends so that bridal jewellery consumption becomes more exciting for end-consumers.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News

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