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RJIF: ‘2021-2030 A Decade of Home: How will jewellery consumption trends transform in the future’



RJIF: ‘2021-2030 A Decade of Home: How will jewellery consumption trends transform in the future’

Crystal-gazing the performance of fine jewellery is a tall task, possible only when industry veterans combine varied opinions to achieve the goal. That is what was achieved with the first panel session of RJIF 2021.

Setting the context was Samit Bhatta, Publisher, The Retail Jeweller India magazine who said that according to MasterCard’s survey of jewellery market performance among The US, India, China and other countries in 2021 with June-July 2009’s performance as base level, the US market is up by 58%, India is up by 22% and China is up by about 40%.

When asked about the innovation Thangamayil had done to make the best use of pandemic blues, Prasanna B, Director, Thangamayil Jewellery Ltd., said the listed company took two months to prepare a surprisingly offensive strategy. “We slashed operational and stock values by 30%, increased mass media campaigns in Tamil Nadu with 37 satellite channels, and gave team-based bonuses for boosting sales. This helped sales triple between Oct 2020 and September 2021,” said Prasanna. This was supported by increased engagement of the brand’s management brass with weekly performance review of employees to track every minute improvement and work on that. 

Prasanna also talked about a successful digital sales strategy on WhatsApp that broke the notion that it is difficult to sell high-value jewellery without the experience of touch and feel. “It’s a trend in our company to promote jewellery through WhatsApp status. “We have around 1,200 employees, each of whom put our jewellery on WhatsApp and even big-ticket sales continued to happen organically,” he said, adding that the brand has launched nine sub-brands during the pandemic. Through supply chain automation, the brand has increased their new customer acquisition from 1% before pandemic to 6% now.

For Prabhat Shekhar, Director, Manoharlal Saraf & Sons, the brand aced in the objective to bring customers back to the store. The first task on that direction was increasing awareness of sales and back office teams, and the brand did it commendably with their cursory call routine to each existing customer. “We had our sales team call each customer and know how s/he is doing amid pandemic. That gesture has worked superbly with a 57% in-store footfall increase in Delhi,” he said. In terms of qualitative improvement, Shekhar said that the brand narrowed its diamond jewellery inventory from D, E and F VVS clarity initially to only D and F for diamonds of 30 cents and above. “We increased our diamond jewellery sale purely because of promoting D and F clarities. This is because during the pandemic, the target audience has started valuing quality and education about diamond jewellery  With increased sales awareness about products, there is an increase in coversion rate. Therefore, we empowered the management to train the staff adequately. Through increased sales awareness, we have increased in-store conversion from 74% to 84% before and after pandemic,” he maintained, adding that the strategy has instilled a sense of festivity among the brand’s clientele who now consider an instance of jewellery purchase to be festive, as it gives a chance to step out of home. 

Talking about the post-Covid consumption patterns in Maharashtra and the signs of improvement ahead, Vastupal Ranka, Director, Ranka Jewellers, observed that travel lost out to investment amid pandemic in terms of necessary expenditure. The brand also noticed a shift from high-ticket jewellery to lightweight classic urban jewellery and accordingly revamped stocks to suit class and mass alike. This, Ranka said, was evident from a stable, recent shift in the fashion industry. “We revamped social media strategies and impressed customers with our WhatsApp sales campaign that pushed at-home jewellery buying,” said Ranka. The initiative began last year wherein the brand pushed WhatsApp statuses mentioning name and contact number of key sales staff. With curious customers calling up on those numbers, sales staff educated potential customers on online platform navigation and converted them successfully enough for the brand to achieve tenfold sales in Akshay Tritiya and Gudi Padwa in 2021. Keeping the class ‘a class apart,’ the brand also started Rare Jewels, a boutique store with statement conceptualized ranges. 

Discussing how jewellery sale needs to improve manifold, Gaurav Anand, MD, Anand Jewels, stated that launching the most ambitious showroom by the brand during pandemic has lessened cost and increased customer demand, which is a surprising revelation considering business dip at pandemic in every other sector. “Soon after the first lockdown ended, we collaborated with our manufacturers to bring out several exclusive designs for a new showroom. We opened the biggest store by Anand Jewels and leveraged the low -cost media (post-pandemic) to generate pulsating consumer demand,” he said.

Talking about the opulent and luxurious retail environment of the new store he said, “With a new customer psyche of millennials and Gen Z, it’s high time for every retailer to adapt to modern retail practices and innovate ways of selling jewellery as progressively as apparel designer brands have done.

The session ended with an agreement on meteoric rise of the Indian jewellery industry, provided the stakeholders focus equally on online, in-store trade and build aspiration while assuring dynamic usability to the highly demanding customer base now.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News

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