Jewelry in India is a traditional family business where two to three generations work together. The business is driven by a set of values and rules forged decades ago. It is this legacy that instills the feeling of trust in buyers and physical interaction completes the circle of trust. However, the equation has changed in the Post Covid world where people have opened up to online buying by compulsion. A marriage of technology and business is thus the only way for forward.
Advantages of going digital
Enhancing the Reach
When jewelers make their offerings available on the online platform, they become accessible to the whole world. In the Post COVID world, consumers have become more tech-savvy and online shopping, even for high ticket items have become the norm.
Meeting customer demands
In the “New Normal” consumers are scared to visit physical stores and touch things that don’t belong to them. Offering virtual trials, help customers to get a near real experience of trying out the jewelry in front of the mirror without any health implications.
Manufacture what is already sold
To make an online sale, jewelers don’t need to actually create a piece of jewelry. A CAD image is all that is required, and jewelers can manufacture the products after the sale is made. It also allows jewelry customization at zero cost. Further, jewelers can offer a larger variety of jewelry for the customers to choose from.
Setting up an online platform is a one-time expenditure. Although periodic upgradation is required but the overall cost implication is much lower than setting up and maintaining a physical store.
Augmented Reality – Need of the Hour
For a digital jewelry platform to be successful customer experience is the key. Augmented Reality or AR offers mirror-like virtual trials to consumers in real time. This helps in customer engagement and increases probability of a sale by 70%. When customers see the jewelry on themselves, it adds a sensory element, compelling them to make the purchase. Finally, customers love to see themselves wearing the jewelry in a click and every wise businessman complies with customer demand.
Overcoming the primary challenges
Taught to toe the path of traditional rules from an early age, jewelers are reluctant to embrace change They are hesitant to come out of their comfort zones and try new things. The industry needs to trust the new generation and give more importance to their ideas because that is where innovation will come from.
Misconception about Technology
Jewelers perceive technology as a threat to their traditional values. They are afraid that technology will change the business. This is a myth. Imbibing technology enables jewelers to expand their reach without changing the core values of the business. It takes the business from offline to online platform, and ushers an array of added advantages.
Creating and Trusting a Team
In a traditional family owned jewelry store 80% of the work is done by the owners. This needs to change. Jewelers must invest in building teams and empower them with proper training and knowledge so that they can serve the end customers effectively; while the proprietors can concentrate on driving the business.
Majority of the sector has overcome these challenges in the aftermath of Covid. Technology support providers have seen over 100% raise in enquiries and some firms have even slashed their rates drastically. Overall it appears jewelry sector is finally geared up to go online, and the only question that remains unanswered is how soon it will happen.
Views expresses above have been taken from the ET BJwelled panel discussion, “Candid Chat: Creating Platforms & Putting User Experience First” participated by Meghna Saraogi, Co-Founder & CEO, MirrAR by StyleDotMe Amrutha Valli, Founder & CEO, Purple Apple Infosystems Rupesh Jain, Founder & CEO, Candere.com. Session Chair: Navin Sadarangani, Founder – Owner, NYUZ.