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RJ Dialogues

Reaching out to maximum online customers in a short time and other issues in retail




Experts weigh in on various problems brought to them by retailers and provide solutions:

Question: We are a 163-year-old firm. What will be the future of the jewellery retail business after 25 years, and as a retailer, what are the things to be kept in mind to become future-ready?

Sandeep Bhura, owner, bhura jewels Akshay nidhi, Jabalpur

Answer: Foreseeing the jewellery retail environment after 25 years is complex, and change is the only constant. At the same time, it’s also important to realize it isn’t the scale but efficiency to adopt and adapt to the changes with the willingness to evolve with the times.

We need to create a framework of policies, systems and technology that makes business efficient and easy. It will also attract the next-gen into the industry. Like a cricket Test match, 25 years is like the end of the 5th day. Break it into sessions, a series of 4 or 5-year plans, set milestones, and build a progressive road map.

– Saravana Raj Aravindan, Primary Consultant, Gyaan Max business Solution


Question: How can we automate our sales and shop with the help of employees? How can we train and retain employees?

Devansh Nema, owner, shankarlal manoj kumar nema, kareli, mp

Answer: There are multiple steps through which sales automation is achieved, such as building an innovative team, delegating but not abdicating, keeping ears and eyes open for new trends and finally, getting a coach or a mentor who can brainstorm, design, and implement strategies for your esteemed organisation. There are many ways to achieve the autopilot goal; it’s all about how inclined you are to achieve it. Regarding training, in-person retail sales training can work two ways; a dedicated on-role trainer who goes around to stores or an industry expert who specializes in training and consultancy business. There are various other methods as well. Shadow or “buddy system” training – give responsibility to senior team members to do on-the-job training. The technique comes with challenges, and the senior staff often feels threatened by the juniors learning from him or her.

The management needs to build confidence in the team about each member moving up the ladder if collective performance is good. The other is self-paced retail sales training. Study materials are available on product and selling skills, and one can introduce regular practice sessions to enhance the staff’s skills. Employee retention involves many aspects, such as respecting and treating our staff well, giving them growth opportunities, incentives, staff-friendly policies, a strong vision binding them to a larger goal, recognition and appreciation, etc.

– Pritesh D Desai, Growing Quest Inc.

Question: In today’s time, staff training is essential. However, I cannot decide between in-house training and training through external agencies. If I go for in-house training, how can I do it efficiently? Or should I opt for professionals to train my staff? Kindly suggest?

Sanjay Agarwal, owner, ram kumar agarwal jewellers, bareilly

Answer: If you have an excellent professional trainer or a training team, then in-house training can be conducted. However, there are a few essential things for training to be practical. Ideally, a comprehensive training programme (not just sessions) spread across a time is recommended. Conducting impromptu sessions on random topics may be ineffective. An effective training programme includes activity-based learning, classroom sessions, counselling, hand-holding and review mechanisms.

The programme needs to be designed based on the needs of the employees to be trained. It is generally observed that training imparted by a colleague or an immediate reporting authority is not taken seriously and tends to become monotonous. Also, a good sales performer may not necessarily be a good trainer, especially in jewellery retail. Hence, a mix of a comprehensive training programme by an external agency and subsequent on-the-job monitoring and guidance by an in-house managerial person with efficient review mechanisms in place shall be the most effective training.

– Amit Mehta, Founder and Principal Consultant, Retail Catalyst

Question: What are the factors to be kept in mind for online platforms so that we can effectively reach out to maximum customers in a short time?

Manbir khurana, director, khurana jewellers & sons pvt. ltd., new delhi

Answer: The three keywords in this question are effective, maximum customers and short time. To achieve the three, time-bound offer-based campaigns will provide the most rewarding results.

Again the factors to be kept in mind are products on offer, price, and attractiveness of the offer (like the Big Bazaar Big Day / Flipkart big sale), geographical reach (for logistics/consumer appeal/brand recall) and time-bound.

It will take much work if you desire greater brand reach and customer acquisition through online platforms. In cricket analogy, it’s a Test match, while the first part of the answer is a T20 cricket match.

– Saravana Raj Aravindan, Primary Consultant, Gyaan Max business Solution

The Retail jeweller India

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