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How technology is reshaping the future of jewellery retail industry

AI-based design tools have a superior ability to recreate as well as integrate natural elements in jewellery patterns.

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Gold jewellery has been integral to the Indian culture and is seen as a symbol of wealth, financial security and celebration. With economic advancement, the love for gold jewellery has only increased. At the same time, gold jewellery manufacturing and retailing processes are undergoing a complete transformation courtesy of advanced technologies and changing lifestyles. Millennial buyers perceive jewellery as an integral part of their fashion and style and are increasingly buying it to flaunt it. Thus, it is natural that their aspirations and desires are given precedence by modern jewellery retailers. Let’s look at some of the main ways in which technology is reshaping the jewellery industry globally as well as in India.

Design

Computers and other software have been in use in the design for quite some time now. However, recent advancements such as the integration of AI have taken design to new levels. AI-based design tools have a superior ability to recreate as well as integrate natural elements in jewellery patterns. Intricate shapes in fine jewellery which are too complex for manual craftsmen can be designed by AI design tools. Further, the analytical abilities offered by AI can be instrumental in identifying low appeal designs and create more variations of the elements that show greater customer acceptance. Through the power of AI-aided digital designing, it is also possible to eliminate the monotony without completely automating the creative processes.

AI-based designing has also created the immense potential for bespoke jewellery. Technology now allows buyers to choose their gems, designs and get unique pieces created as per their personal specifications.

Manufacturing

The possibilities created by AI design tools can be turned into reality through 3-D printing-based production processes. The process is called additive manufacturing where different layers of metal are laid one over the other as per the design, thereby enabling the creation of a finely crafted piece of jewellery within a day. Integration of AI into the additive manufacturing process can not only improve speed and accuracy but also reduce material wastage in the 3D printing process.

On the other hand, the conventional mould-based manufacturing process might require over a week for the same. Online jewellers that cater to a large audience are increasingly adopting the additive manufacturing process to boost their manufacturing. With trends changing almost every few months, new designs are being created with the same frequency as fashion designers on the runway. Additive manufacturing also helps reduce the production duration.

Ethics and sustainability

One of the major ethical concerns for jewellery retailers has been transparency related to the sourcing of gold and diamonds. The customers are wary of purchasing jewellery containing blood diamonds sourced illegally from Africa. Similarly, the transparency related to the actual value of diamonds and gold used is another concern in today’s cost-conscious markets. Digital monitoring and information sharing is crucial in overcoming these concerns. In fact, modern jewellery makers are also increasingly adopting sustainable production by opting for recycled raw materials.

Sales and Marketing

Major social media platforms such as Instagram have for long been playing a key role in business promotions and now jewellery makers are further integrating tech in sales. Virtual catalogues are in vogue among online jewellery platforms now. This opens an immense business opportunity for the sellers alongside reducing the inventory expenditure. The designers create new designs every week or so and using 3D/Augmented Reality (AR) technology, they can put the products for display on virtual shelves such as websites and apps. Customers can try on jewellery virtually and once a design is finalized, they can virtually shop through diverse channels.

Pandemic protocols

The COVID-19 pandemic has further expedited the technology adoption in jewellery retail. The orders placed online are being processed digitally. Customers pay through various contactless methods such as online banking, wallets and UPI based payment channels. Through the usage of technology such as 3-D printing, the manufacturers are now ensuring a completely touchless production. The raw materials are sanitized using UV devices and remote monitoring is carried out throughout the production, packaging and delivery processes to ensure that hygiene and sanitization are not compromised at any point.

The future of jewellery retail lies in technology and enterprising e-jewellery startups are driving the change with emphasis on customer satisfaction!

Courtesy: Economic Times

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