Technology powering ‘Contactless’ shopping key to post-pandemic future of jewellery retail

retail
By retail May 27, 2020 10:28 Updated

Technology powering ‘Contactless’ shopping key to post-pandemic future of jewellery retail

When life gives you lemons, making lemonade is the only great idea. This is precisely what jewellery retailers seem to doing as they embrace technology to manage sales amidst the Corona crisis. Here’s a round-up of how jewellers are beginning to get more technologically sound to deal with buyers post lockdown. 

As social-distancing becomes the new normal, contactless shopping becomes the order of the day for retail businesses. In the pursuit of making it a reality, jewellers are fervently exploring technology tools.

From developing try-at-home services to rolling out new digital platforms backed with technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), jewellers are responding to the crisis in variety of ways.

Jewellers are now making technology an integral part of their retail business to enable customers to choose and buy jewellery in a swift, secure and safe manner.

The Retail from Home Approach

The pandemic has emboldened jewellers to think out-of-the-box and look for ways to ensure seamless shopping by integrating online and virtual platforms, along with the offline to make shopping a breeze, shared Chaitanya V Cotha, Executive Director, C. Krishniah Chetty Group of Jewellers. “Buyers can get an in-store experience through video calls on CKCLIVE, allowing customers a video-call-based buying experience. Once a potential buyer has chosen the pieces of jewellery, the selected products are taken to the buyer’s house where she tries them on and decides,” he highlighted.

Corona crisis has been an eye-opener wherein businesses, including, jewellery retailers have understood that they need to pace up the use of technology in retail or else they would be left behind in the race.

Sachin Jain, President, Forevermark India, rightly points out, “The industry has seen the power of e-commerce during this Akshaya Tritiya when everything was under lockdown and not a single jewellery store was open.”

Senco, an early adapter of e-commerce, reaped a huge windfall from online buying during this Akshaya Tritiya.  The brand is further promoting the platform by offering customers, “On-call assistance by the customer support team while shopping online,” added Suvankar Sen.

Online buying of jewellery in India will be led by millennials and tech adopters who are in large numbers. Also, women always like to try various designs and consult friends and family. This is where virtual try-on will come into play,” says Chaitanya V Cotha.

With this belief he is going a step further and planning to set up a virtual try-on with 3D images so that the customers can have a close feel. ‘Buyers will slowly adapt to virtualised experience.’

“The outbreak driven digital transformation by businesses will give a strong nudge to those retailers who may have been until now reluctant to embrace digital technology,” believes Jain.

Not surprisingly, for Ahmedabad-based Abhishek Zaveri Jewellers, the crisis turned out to be a trigger to take his business online. The jeweller is of the view that buyers would like to limit their store visits and therefore, taking the help of technology is the only recourse. “We are working on an online platform which will be ready by the mid of June so that customers can browse and buy the jewellery of their choice without visiting the store. We have also recently installed a Virtual Reality (VR) platform at our store,” updated Zaveri.

Contactless shopping in less time

Taking cognisance of the buyers’ need to touch and feel the piece, jewellers are automating their stores for safe purchasing.  “We have introduced virtual trial rooms at selected stores where the selected jewellery pieces will be overlaid on the customers with the help of Artificial Intelligence,” pointed out Suvankar Sen, Executive Director, Kolkata-based Senco Gold & Diamonds’.

In addition to this, the company is also encouraging its customers to make digital payments or make payments through online bank transfers and suggesting customers do the first round of selection with the help of e-catalogue before visiting the store.

Pratap Kamath, Director, Abaran Timeless Jewellery Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru, has equipped all the sales executives with palmtops, which have all the jewellery designs present in their inventory. “Currently, around 70 palmtops have been given to the staff. Apart from showing designs, the palmtops can also be used to generate bills. We have also installed two touchscreen kiosks for consumers to browse and use ‘try-me’ feature where the product will be superimposed on the customer,” revealed Kamath.

To overcome the physical touch problem, Om Jewellers in Mumbai is planning to put digital screens at the showrooms for the walk-in customers. “The customers can select the jewellery from the screen so that our sales executives can pull out only those collections which have been shortlisted. In this way, we can minimise the jewellery which has to be sanitised,” updated Bhavin Jakhia, Director.

Technology in Retail Jewellery: A long time coming

Highlighting the change in approach with which the technology has been adopted before and now Jain, says, “Earlier retail technology was adopted to design experiences and create engaging experiences within the store. But now, the focus is on developing consumer interface and solutions that would engage with buyers away from stores as well,” he added.

Moreover, since various businesses have turned to technology in light of the Corona crisis, the companies that would build solutions in line with post-COVID challenges will pick up momentum,” opines Jain.

“Technology allows retailers to gauge the market reach more effectively. So the importance of technology in the retail space is more palpable in today’s situation,” he further explains.

Clearly, businesses need technology intervention not only to get by the lockdown period but also to sustain growth in future.

 

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News Service

retail
By retail May 27, 2020 10:28 Updated
Write a comment

No Comments

No Comments Yet!

Let me tell You a sad story ! There are no comments yet, but You can be first one to comment this article.

Write a comment
View comments

Write a comment

<

Subscribe to Our Mailing List



Advertisement