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Virtual Bling: Does Indian Jewellery Sell Online?
Virtual Bling: Does Indian Jewellery Sell Online?
03 rd Sep 2015

The online shopping portal Flipkart turned the tables of the Indian e-commerce market and drove home a point that Indians are open to online shopping. Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal from Flipkart paved the path for the Indian e-commerce industry promising immense potential.

One sector that is vying to get a slice of pie in the e-commerce market is the Indian Jewellery. The retail Indian jewellery market is estimated to have a worth of around $55 billion.

But does Indian jewellery sell online? Let us explore the Indian Jewellery market online and the various sub-segments in this sector

Imitation Jewellery

Imitation jewellery, especially trinkets, sell in a big way online. The financial implication is not of a great extent when it comes to imitation jewellery as compared to gold and precious stone jewellery.

With lower risks involved and a vast collection available online, the prospect of buying imitation jewellery online is attractive to the Indian consumer. Ebay claims to sell a piece of imitation jewellery every four minutes. The access to high fashion, trendy and contemporary imitation jewellery online lures more consumers from tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India.

The fluctuating gold bullion market which affects the jewellery price in turn is also steering people towards imitation jewellery which has a steady pricing. The imitation jewellery market in India has a market share of Rs 8000 cr of which 2% is sold online. The imitation jewellery segment is growing at a steady rate due to easy acceptance and increasing sales through all major online portals like Amazon, Flipkart and Jabong. The imitation jewellery online specialists like Voylla and Juvalia and you are also affirmative to the upward trend in this jewellery sector.

Precious Jewellery

India is a gold crazy country, and no matter how steep the gold prices get the gold rush never fails to attract us. However the online precious jewellery market accounts for only 1% business of the overall retail Indian jewellery sector. The trade pundits have a positive outlook for the online precious jewellery market but the players have to work on overcoming the hindrances.

Hindrances in Buying Expensive Jewellery Online

Touch and feel

Jewelleries made form gold, silver and platinum studded with precious or semi-precious stones are big ticket purchases. When an Indian customer spends Rs. 10000 and upwards, the deal is never finalised without careful analysis in terms of touch and feel of the quality of gold, stones and craftsmanship involved.

Tradition and Superstition

In India traditionally people go to the age old family trusted jeweller. So naturally over generations this jeweller has an authority over wedding jewelleries. There are also superstitions associated with blemished diamonds and certain stones, so without approval from a trusted source, people have inhibitions buying Indian jewellery online.

Customer Service

Due to lack of high customer service standards in the country people are vary of buying Indian jewellery online. The fear of loss in transit and not being acknowledged appropriately in case of any dissatisfaction, keeps customers from venturing into buying expensive jewellery online.

However to turn these hindrances into opportunity the online Indian jewellery players have to take certain steps to build customer trust

Offering Touch and Feel

To address the touch and feel constraint the leading online jewellery player, CaratLane, has launched its first retail outlet in Delhi which will be followed by outlets in Hyderabad and Mumbai. This outlet does not carry any inventory but displays imitation version of the real jewellery, and touch-screens in the store give a glimpse of the entire collection.

The interaction with sales people in the display lounge adds to the comfort factor of the customers.

Overcoming Tradition

While the etailers cannot control tradition and beliefs, they suggest customers to go for highly priced diamonds or stones to eliminate any minor blemishes or cut flaws and ensure quality. The gold jewellery sold through the site is also certified under the national agencies for quality assurance.

Customer Service

The online portals like CaratLane offer try at home before you buy facility. Even 30 days no questions asked return policy from the e-sellers help the customers in making the shift to buying Indian jewellery online.

Furthermore, the online jewellery houses have a higher average sales price on each product and have to deal with lower sales volume, so they can focus more on the customer service by offering excellent pre-sales discussions alleviating all concerns related to purity and quality.

Acceptance in Buying Precious Jewellery Online

The online Indian jewellery business is looking up through buyers testing the waters through following ways:

  • Gold Coins: Gold coins and pendants with a deity’s image or religious images have an easy acceptance with the consumers of online businesses, especially for auspicious occasions.
  • Professional Jewellery: Online jewellery businesses like CaratLane, Bluestone and JewelsKart focus on the modern working woman’s discretionary spends offering her a vast collection of jewellery that she can display with her professional outfit.

The above buyers have the potential of becoming more ambitious with their online Indian jewellery spend once they start trusting the online service. People are still wary of purchasing wedding jewellery online as it involves heavy expenditure. Also it is generally a family affair and may face resistance from the older generations.

The online jewellery outlets also have the advantage of offering an immense collection to the consumer and the absence of the need to have a plush store in a high end locale helps the portals save cost and this benefit is transferred to the customer. Experts have estimated the online Indian jewellery market to grow at a rate of 30%.

The online Indian jewellery portals still have a long way to go in winning the trust of the people but the burgeoning e-commerce market holds lot of promise in improving the sales of Indian jewellery online.

Source: www.economist.com, www.nextbigwhat.com, articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com

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