Diwali is knocking on our doors. For many communities, Diwali and Dhanteras are associated with the purchase of gold. Buying precious metals online is growing at a fast pace. Online jewellery sale is an interesting part of  online retail. The items in this category are high-value luxury items. And despite the perils of buying jewellery through ecommerce, the demand for these products increases continuously. Here’s a look at what fuels the Indian online jewellery scene.

The story so far

Indians have traditionally favoured non-branded family jewellers that they have been associated with for a long time. 96% of the industry is dominated by family jewellers. This trend is slowly changing with the entry of online players.

When the Central Bank relaxed the rules on gold imports, it led to a spurt in the growth of online jewellery transactions. The RBI permitted banks and merchants to store gold as stock till purchase without paying for it.

The jewellery market presently has a share of less than 0.1% of the total pie. However, in the next few years its worth could go up to $3.6 billion, according to Adish Shah, CEO of Jewelemart.

Shah said, “Currently, the world online jewellery market is around USD 10 billion, which will grow to USD 18 billion in next three years and India can capture a market share of 20 per cent.”

Things are going well for the Indian online jewellery market. Leading players in the sector are successfully raising capital. One of the chart toppers in the online jewellery market, Bluestone recently raised 200 crores in a funding exercise.

Titan recently bought a majority stake in jewellery store CaratLane. Mithun Sacheti, co-founder of Caratlane confirmed this, “Titan is getting into a partnership for long term stability. They will buy out our investors.”

Ratan Tata, former chairman of the Tata group has invested in Bluestone in his personal capacity.

What they are doing differently

Online jewellery retailers understand that patrons would hesitate to buy precious jewellery without the touch and feel. Mehul Choksi, chairman of Gitanjali Gems Ltd says, “Indian consumers prefer to touch and feel the jewellery before buying, but the change in consumer behaviour will happen quite fast.” Therefore, they are adopting measures to overcome these hurdles. Some of the steps include:

1. Joining hands with marketplaces

Most jewellery etailers have a store in all leading marketplaces. Choksi says, “We have tied up with all the major online platforms and we are always looking for more tie-ups.”

Family enterprise PC Jeweller has tied up with American online jeweller BlueNile. PC Jeweller said, “As a part of exclusive collaboration agreement, PC Jeweller and Blue Nile will initially launch joint branded products that will be retailed through our showrooms and our e-commerce portal.”

2. Providing detailed information to educate buyers

Bluestone and CaratLane have pages with details on precious metals and how to buy them. There are dedicated pages for gold, diamonds, how to decide a purchase, jewellery care, storage, latest trends, and wedding jewellery purchase tips.

3. Curating diverse designs

Curating designs and trends from different parts of the world. Cult Curators boast of bringing together contemporary jewellery from designers across the globe. Some of their designers use recycled material to create jewellery.

4. Promoting the try and buy approach

Many jewellers who sell online let customers try on the jewellery for size. CaratLane has an app that allows the customer to virtually try on the jewellery. Customers get a 3D view of how the piece will look on them before they decide to buy it. Customers can also book a free try-at-home session. Currently available in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, CaratLane brings the products to the customer’s doorstep with a no obligation trial. This feature helps tide over the inconvenience of not being able to see the product. Bluestone also has a free try-at-home feature.

5. Maintaining a physical presence

These online sellers also have physical stores wary customers can visit. CaratLane has stores at Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad and Thane for the customers who want to feel the jewellery before buying it.

6. Providing free global shipping

Bluestone offers free shipping across the world, apart from transit insurance. The company also offers other attractive features including a 30-day money back policy and a lifetime exchange as shown above.

7. Targeting the youth

The key draws that online jewellery retailers are looking at is the pocket friendliness of their products. They target young men and women with reasonable disposable income with contemporary designs and affordable prices.

Selling jewellery online comes with its own challenges including competition with offline retailers. However, it is a lucrative and growing field. The capital is pouring and the industry is set to go upwards over the coming years. Go right ahead if you are contemplating on starting an online jewellery store. If you need help with the ecommerce specifics, contact Browntape here!

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