Online jewellers get boost as e-tools click with shoppers

(This story originally appeared in on Nov 16, 2020)

CHENNAI: Be it due to the revenge shopping factor, festive fervour or pent-up demand, consumers are back to buying jewellery and this time, the buzz is in the digital space. Online jewellers are witnessing a standout year as first-time buyers from urban and semi-urban areas log on to buy jewellery this festive season to avoid stepping out.

Titan owned-CaratLane, one of the earliest movers in the space, has seen a 40% growth in traffic and 60% growth in online revenue as compared to last year’s festive period. “During the initial phase of Covid, business was largely driven by our repeat customers, but towards the second half, we started to see new customers browsing and buying online,” Avnish Anand, co-founder & business head, CaratLane, said.

“What’s impressive is the growth – of 70-80% – from the small-towns as increasing number of customers get comfortable buying online,” he added.

In addition to offering BIS Hallmark ornaments and providing return & exchange options, jewellery sites are also investing in digital tools to replicate the offline buying experience using virtual try-ons, chatbot assistance and live video services. Tech startup StyleDotMe, which has built an augmented reality (AR) product mirrAR for customers to virtually try on jewellery before buying, says inquiries have surged over 300% for their tool in the past few months. The startup works with both online sites and traditional stores and mirrAR is being used by over 250 brands including Forevermark and Tanishq.

Jewellery shopping is a traditional affair around Diwali and Dhanteras, but business was a muted affair due to sharp rise in gold prices and economic hardships due to the pandemic. This made lightweight jewellery a favourite this year, pushing up demand for online stores like Melorra, known for lightweight ornaments.

Melorra founder and CEO Saroja Yeramilli said they have seen a 50% growth in business this year’s festive season compared to last year. “Our revenue till date this year is almost 10% better than last year,” she said. This growth comes when offline jewellers are witnessing falling sales.

In a sign of increasing comfort among online shoppers, the average transaction values on Melorra’s site is nearly 40% higher than the previous festive season, Yeramilli said. Melorra launched its own app last month to capitalise on this digitisation. “We are seeing a lot of traction – almost 30% of all our orders in the past month were from the app,” Yeramilli said.

Launched in 2017, mirrAR also helps brick-and-mortar jewellers digitise inventory to help customers buy online, and over 20 traditional jewellers have signed up with them post-Covid with around 20 more in pipeline, Meghna Saraogi, co-founder & CEO, mirrAR, said. Jewellers from tier-2 and -3 cities like Kota, Akola, Ratlam are among those going digital, she says.

As for traditional stores, Anantha Padmanabhan, MD, NAC Jewellers says the past 10 days have been encouraging for business in stores as well. He expects momentum to continue in the run up to the upcoming wedding season.

Online jewellers get boost as e-tools click with shoppers Online jewellers get boost as e-tools click with shoppers Reviewed by TechCO on 11/16/2020 Rating: 5

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