Jewellers hope to strike gold with comeback promotions

retail
By retail July 2, 2020 21:15 Updated

Jewellers hope to strike gold with comeback promotions

Written by Praveer Sinha

Lockdown or no lockdown, brands across industries have shown that there no dearth in creativity when it comes to reaching out to their target audience. Now, as the lockdown is coming to an end and the markets are reopening, jewellery brands are once again ready with new collections and campaigns to maintain a strong relationship with the buyers. 

Even though jewellery brands have lost sales opportunities during the lockdown, footfalls at showrooms have dwindled, revenues have taken a beating and many new challenges have sprung up, the spirit to make a comeback and win buyers’ attention is still intact.

But how are jewellers winning people’s hearts when the world is under lockdown and people are worried about their health? The answer is creativity and conviction. But first here’s the good news – “The jewellery sales will take lots of time to reach the pre-COVID level but the good part is that we are getting close to 70 per cent footfalls on weekends as compared to before the lockdown period,” shares Saurabh Gadgil, MD and CEO, PNG Jewellers.

However, now people are more selective and are making very need-based purchases. This changed outlook of customers prompted jewellers to make efforts in gaining deeper insight into customers’ buying behaviour.

Reading Consumer Behaviour

Though selectively, jewellery sales are happening and Bengaluru-based Abaran Timeless Jewellery (P) Ltd. makes a convincing case for it and Director Pratap Kamath, reveals that of all the segments, the all-gold jewellery range has found most takers. Another striking observation, he has made that the brides-to-be are not compromising on the amount of jewellery they were buying previously. “It is only the jewellery buying of the relatives and the purchases made for occasions other than wedding, have gone down,” he points out.

However, Gadgil points out that the rise in gold prices has put a cap on buyers’ jewellery budget and that now they seek value for money. “The customer’s focus has now shifted towards light-weight jewellery and today, more than design variety, they look for three basic aspects before buying – brand, safety and after-sales service (warranty and buyback policy),” he shares. But if his observation is something to go by, young customers are the ones who have kept the registers ringing. “As their vacation plans stand cancelled, they are diverting that unspent money to jewellery purchases and are mainly buying gifts for anniversaries or birthdays, etc.,” he adds.

On customers’ buying behaviour, Satyam Kapoor, Owner, Malliram Designer Jewellery, Amritsar, explains that a lot of them have faced a financial crisis during the lockdown and thus, they do not want to overspend. “Earlier most of the customers used to come to the store without any budget but now, they come with a pre-decided budget in their mind and they shop according to that budget,” he adds.

However, the effects of ‘travel restrictions during Unlock 1’ cannot be ruled out as one of the reasons for low conversions, states Arpit Goyal, Owner, Ambrus Jewels. “Even if customers want to buy jewellery, they are not able to come to the store and this is why, jewellery buying has become more need-based rather than indulgence,” he rues.

Light in Weight, Big on Creativity

So while customers are slowly warming up to jewellery shopping, jewellers too are on top of it. Even in the grim times, they have rolled out some of the unique collections that echo the current sentiment.

Going by the belief that in north India, generally during the summer season, people don’t like to wear heavy jewellery and also, that after the global pandemic, customers are preferring light-weight jewellery, Satyam Kapoor has bejewelled his store with a stylish range of light-weight jewellery. “It’s a colourful collection of daily-wear jewellery and consists of over 200 pieces such as tennis bracelets, kada bracelets, rings, earrings, etc. in the price range of Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 1,50,000,” he informs.

Even Amritsar-based jeweller Aayush Khurana, the Director of Khurana Jewellery House, Amritsar, harps on ‘affordability’ when talking of jewellery collection ‘Crystal Candy’. Adorned with precious colour stones like tanzanites, pink sapphires, etc., the sleek pieces look like edible candies and hence, named thus. It too boasts of tennis bracelets, rings, earrings, hooks, etc. “Post the lockdown, we have launched a lightweight collection ‘Candy Crystal’ as we knew that people won’t be spending large sums of money on jewellery. The idea was to make a positive statement through the usage of different colours in our designs,” he adds.

In line with this trend, Ambrus Jewels has unveiled an all-new range of chic designs. Going by various names – ‘Jewellery on the Go’, ‘Enchante Le Jardin’ or ‘Jewellery Quickies’, this summer prêt collection is inspired by modern women who multi-task whether as working professionals or homemakers. “Built-in gold-settings, clubbed with minimal and delicate gem-work, this collection boasts of simple yet elegant designs,” describes Arpit Goyal.

Focus on Digital Promotions

If you ask what good has come out of this crisis, we say digitisation of that the business. For years, jewellers have ignored this medium but now, they have woken up to its power. Interestingly, while jewellers are exploring their options to reach out to customers, even customers are warming up to this safe platform in the times of Corona.

As one of the strategic moves, Satyam Kapoor created enough buzz on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc., about the new collection that he was to launch as soon as stores open, during the lockdown itself. The collection was also promoted on various sites such as India Mart.com. “Under the current circumstances, online is the best medium to promote jewellery because the Gen Z buyers step into the store only after checking what collections are trending on Instagram,” he points out. But in terms of sales, even though the collection got a good response, he laments it was nothing like the pre-COVID times.

Even Arpit Goyal had a similar experience. While his light-weight range enabled conversions through social media platforms like Instagram, the high-end collections could only generate enquiries. “Jewellery is not something which you see online and buy it. Unless and until the customer wears it upon themselves, they don’t feel comfortable about buying jewellery,” he points out. This is why, for now, they are only promoting light-weight jewellery on social media.

Saurabh Gadgil, whose company has recently launched a light-weight collection ‘Light Style’, too has been making the most of online platforms for promotions but is not going all out. “This is because those who wanted to buy jewellery are buying anyways. Also that many people went through both financial and personal losses during the lockdown, we are doing more targeted marketing than general marketing,” he expresses.

While everyone is batting for light-weight collections online, Pratap Kamath launched a new Kundan-Jadau jewellery collection called ‘Parampara’ through a 360-degree digital campaign. “Everyone is looking at the jewellery from pocket-friendly angle to value for money but if we go the same way, then it will only shrink the market and make it smaller. In fact, when the market is negative, there is a need to promote a different style of jewellery,” he opines. Even amidst the crisis, the campaign talks of the collection as a reason to celebrate and about that, he says that it may not be the best pitch for sales but surely can entice the consumer.

No wonder, hiring of several digital agencies and the enabling of e-commerce services at most jewellery companies happened during the lockdown.

Heavy-weight Jewellery is in the Offing 

No matter the world is going through unprecedented times, no matter people have seen financial-crunch but there cannot be a wedding in India without the glitter of jewels. Counting on this very leaning of Indians toward jewellery, jewellers are prepping up for the upcoming wedding season as always. The expectations are high also because the weddings scheduled from March to June, will not be held between October and December.

Since gold has fared really well even during the lockdown, the buyer is keen on all-gold jewellery and identifying this unique demand, jewellers too are presenting designs accordingly. “As we are witnessing an increase in our gold sales, we have also worked on pure gold wedding sets without stones in the weight range of 80 to 150 grams,” shares Aayush Khurana of Khurana Jewellery House.

As 60 per cent of the jewellery which is normally bought is for engagement or weddings, Pratap Kamath has reopened his store campaigning about a brand new wedding collection. Made of about 60 per cent bridal range, with truncated pieces such as rings, panjas, nath, pendants, etc. and ranging from Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 30 lakhs, the collection intends to bring pride in the bride. “Despite COVID, marriage is a momentous occasion and the pride and celebrations should continue,” he concludes.

With Inputs from Manoj Chakraborthy

 

retail
By retail July 2, 2020 21:15 Updated
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