Companies

Covid-19 impact: Online jewellery sales gain traction in smaller towns

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on December 28, 2020

Sales growth from Tier-II cities has been in the 70-80 per cent range, says CaratLane’s business head

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, an increasing number of customers from smaller towns are getting comfortable in buying jewellery online.

This is a big change in the buying pattern, with customers in cities like Ranchi, Visakhapatnam, Nagpur and Agra using technology to buy jewellery online, said Avnish Anand, co-founder & Business Head, CaratLane, a Chennai-based omni-channel jeweller and a Tanishq ‘partnership’ brand.

While Tier-1 cities are the major contributors for jewellery sales, growth from Tier-II cities has been in the 70-80 per cent range. With hospitality and other travel-based businesses coming to a halt during the lockdown, it opened up a larger wallet share for jewellery as people did not have other avenues to ‘splurge’ or invest in, he told BusinessLine.

During the initial phase of the pandemic, business was largely driven by repeat customers but towards the second half, new customers started buying online. “Our core audience buying online has always been females in the age group of 28-45, and this has not changed much,” he added.

CaratLane’s omni-channel-enabled system allows people to browse online and choose to buy at the store, if need be. They can even opt for other services such as ‘Try At Home’; ‘LIVE’; WhatsApp channels and pay through UPI, he said.

New trends

The jewellery business has always had slow digital adoption, but due to the pandemic, more jewellery brands have started turning to technology. Jewellery, being a cash-driven industry, has seen a rise in digital payments; and other categories like fashion and cosmetics have also benefited from this phenomenon, he said.

To stimulate demand during the lockdown, CaratLane launched new collections and designs through innovation in technique. In the last six months it launched two significant collections — ‘Lotus’ and ‘Sholapith’ — that brought forward the dying art of enamelling and 3D printing techniques, he said.

Post Covid, there will be some migration back to retail, but the online business will see new trends. The pandemic forced a lot of customers to go online and trained them in new ways of buying across categories. And this new behaviour is here to stay, he pointed out.

“There was stiff competition between digital and traditional players earlier. However, now the entire industry is focussed on educating the customer and helping them transition online, so that it benefits the entire category,” he added.

The new love for online buying creates exciting opportunities. The company’s focus will be to deliver ‘gorgeous’ designs at affordable price points and to continue expanding its presence in the smaller cities to change the way consumers are currently buying jewellery.

“We would love to see even a grandmother sitting in Muzaffarpur finding it convenient to buy jewellery from CaratLane through the various channels like CaratLane Live, TAH or through messaging services,” he said.

Published on December 28, 2020

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