Macro Economy

Despite the 2nd Covid wave, gold still glitters for online retailers

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on May 14, 2021

Gold sales have witnessed a spike in the run up to Akshaya Tritiya

The second Covid wave does not seem to have dampened consumer sentiment as omnichannel jewellery retailers and digital gold sellers are expecting more than double sales this Akshaya Tritiya.

“Last year Akshaya Tritiya fell on 26 April and sales were weak due to several factors - gold prices were almost 50 per cent higher than the year before, the national lockdown, logistical constraints for delivery and concerns over personal income, all led to poor sales and we sold 10 kgs of gold. We expect to sell 20 kgs this year as demand has been robust in the run up to Akshaya Tritiya. This is because, people have become very comfortable with digital transactions, most stores are shut down due to local lockdowns and gold prices are currently trading 20 per cent lower than the record high of ₹58,000 for 10 gms in August 2020,” said Sachin Kothari, Director, Augmont, an integrated precious metals management company with operations in trading gold/silver coins and bars through its online platform.

Contactless shopping

BlueStone.com which has seen a strong surge in pre-bookings leading upto Akshaya Tritiya expects a 200 per cent increase in sales this year. “Only two of our 40 stores are open in Chennai and Kolkata. However, the surge in online sales will make up for the loss in offline sales. Thankfully this time we have been permitted to manufacture and ship to certain cities,” said Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, Founder CEO, BlueStone.com. Saroja Yeramilli, Founder CEO of Melorra, which has launched a new lightweight gold jewellery collection for Akshaya Tritiya says they are witnessing massive demand from across India despite telling customers to expect delayed deliveries due to lockdowns in some States. “This year, this month will be the best ever sales in our five-year history, as we expect 60X growth in sales,” she said.

With all its six stores shut down, 150-year old C Krishniah Chetty Group of Jewellers is offering CKCLive – contactless shopping from 6am to 5pm with prior online booking and promotion that offers three per cent on silver, six per cent on gold, nine per cent on diamonds and 18.69 per cent off on purchases over ₹10 lakh till May 31. Customers can virtually view before buying. “We have witnessed a 5X increase in online traffic, and a significant number of our special edition Akshaya Patra silver bowls (₹69,900, ₹99,900) with gold plated rice grains have sold very quickly as they are limited edition of 150 pieces only,” said Chaitanya V Cotha, Executive Director, C Krishniah Chetty Group of Jewellers.

Digital investment opportunities

Digital Swiss Gold, a company that offers customers upto 10 per cent savings compared to published Indian gold prices, has seen over a 100 per cent spike in gold sales over the last ten days in the run up to Akshaya Tritiya. The company which offers digital, usable physical gold ownership that is held in Switzerland for long-term savings, offers 1gm gold for ₹4,700 vs ₹5,000 – ₹5400/per gm in India.

“Since our launch in October 2020, we have garnered over 150,000 downloads of our app in India. We have seen over a 100 per cent increase in sales in the last 10 days as customers take to digital gold as the safest option this Akshaya Tritiya. Gold has always been an insurance against uncertainties and millennials who prefer digital investment options can buy digital gold for small investments,” said Ashraf Rizvi, founder and CEO, Digital Swiss Gold.

CaratLane, which has 118 stores of which only a handful are open, has seen a significant increase in demand for kids’ jewellery, engagement rings and other gifting options. “The signs are positive and we are equipped to serve the demand through our digital channels. As current guidelines do allow for e-commerce delivery in certain parts of India, unlike last year when deliveries were completely restricted, we anticipate that Akshaya Tritiya sales will be better this year,” said Avnish Anand, COO, CaratLane.

Published on May 14, 2021

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