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Shaking things up for the millennial customer by Shobhit Verma, Director, Goverdhan Verma Punjab Jewellers

In the short time since, he has adopted newer business strategies to make the brand appealing to millennial clients.

For Shobhit Verma, joining the family business was an obvious choice. A fourth-generation jeweller, Verma, now director of Goverdhan Verma Punjab Jewellers in New Delhi, took full control of the company in 2013-14. In the short time since, he has adopted newer business strategies to make the brand appealing to millennial clients while continuing to focus on keeping their older clientele satisfied.

Trigger

After I joined the business, I realised that millennials do not want to spend too much time or money on buying jewellery. I also noticed that youngsters were not visiting jewellery stores as much as older people, perhaps because they saw the stores as boring spaces with traditional, old-fashioned jewellery, and nothing that suited their tastes.

This is one of the biggest factors to explain why the industry is losing touch with new-generation buyers. And this is why we wanted to create a strong proposition and a comfortable environment targeting young people.

Execution

To cater to millennials, Punjab Jewellers put a new business model into action. About nine months ago, we allocated 50% of our 2200 sq.ft store space to a new range of designs at varied price points.

We stepped away from the traditional purchasing process of displaying jewellery, trying it out and then buying. Instead, this space is planned in such a manner that 90% of the jewellery is on display. We have reduced the seating space, cut down on the number of staff around, and made the communication on and about the jewellery so simple and clear that customers do not require any assistance. This saves time and makes things quicker for customers.

We maintain 160 SKUs at any given point of time and introduce new designs every week, which we market through our social media channels. Earlier, we used to launch five collections a year, including a bridal collection at the start of the wedding season. Now, under our new model, we have 52 launches in a year. We carry a wide range of items, from jewellery for newborn babies to something simple and stylish for a woman in her 30s.

While we continue to follow the traditional retail approach in the other section of the store where we sell heavier jewellery pieces, we have made this section so customer-friendly that within 15 minutes of entering the store, customers can confidently make a decision on what to buy.

We have added a lot of new segments that the younger generation wanted to buy. On average, these collections are priced below Rs.1 lac for regular wear. Although we have designs that cost around Rs5 lakh, most of the designs available in this section are less than Rs1 lakh.

Result

Our flagship store is located is in the heart of the capital, in South Extension. We have had a lot of customers walk in to check out what’s new. Customers have reacted well to our new section, and we have seen a drastic rise in the number of first-time buyers visiting our store. In fact, we’ve even had 18-year-olds visiting the store to buy jewellery.

Our repeat sales have gone up tremendously; we sold 39 pieces of a single design that cost Rs.3.75 lakh.  In contrast to the sale of bridal jewellery, which occurs occasionally and after plenty of consideration,  we have seen higher conversion rates and regular sales in this section.

Eventually, we intend to do more pop-up shows and have our own e-commerce channel, while leveraging market place models. We have big plans for this range of designs and are steadily working on it to make it a key part of our business.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News Service

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