Lockdown cannot take away an individual’s will to buy gold and even if life has come down to bare necessities, Indian families are rooted in tradition, and gold is considered auspicious. “We promoted our products on social media website. Our consistent efforts received good responses. Selling products online was the only option we had as the country was under a total lockdown. We had promoted schemes for Akshay Tritiya ‘book now and choose later’ which allowed customers to lock rates and we also gave a good discount on making charges,” explains Anand Prakash of Abhushan Diamonds & Gold, Agra. Many banks offered cashbacks on online purchase of jewellery and some also offered free gold coins as prizes for online purchases of jewellery. “Customers showed interest in lightweight jewellery worth Rs 35,000 - Rs 50,000. Inventory had to be managed effectively as overstocking and understocking both can cause problems. We have enough experience to gauge the market and stock the right amount of goods,” explains Rupesh Jain, Candere.
We had promoted special schemes for Akshay Tritiya ‘book now and choose later’ which allowed customers to lock rates and we also gave a good discount on making charges. Anand Prakash, Abhushan Diamonds & Gold, Agra
Online is the way to go
As most jewellery stores were under total lockdown, selling jewellery online was the only way out. “This year the response was tepid, as buying jewellery is not on the priority list of most buyers. All the same families which have weddings planned in the near future or some such occasion bought gold. Akshay Tritiya sales were visible and better off than last year’s,” informs Prakash.
On Akshay Tritiya day we promoted more lightweight and wearable jewellery and were aggressive in our online / digital marketing strategy to push online sales. Ishu Datwani, Anmol Jewellers
Jewellery manufacturers can use digital media as a platform for conveying information, shaping brand identity, and building customer relationships. Many luxury shoppers engage in online research prior to an in-store purchase; others say that they frequently turn to social media for information and advice. During lockdown, customers have nowhere to go and therefore buy jewellery and gold or silver coins online. “We have received online enquiries and there have been conversions taking place over video consultation, phone calls and through social media. Buying jewellery is now more need-based rather than indulgence. Only people who have weddings in the family or who want to buy for gifting and other genuine needs bought jewellery. The categories that have been stable are the bridal category and gold jewellery. In the current scenario, gold is the safest bet because it is both an appreciating as well as easy to liquidate asset. We would promote more light-weight and wearable jewellery and become more aggressive in our online/digital marketing strategy to push online sales,” explains Ishu Datwani. The pandemic has taught many lessons -- it has changed how jewellers think and act. This time jewellery retailers were better prepared than last year. “Although times are difficult, we had come up with a strategy where we were attracting our customers with our price protection programme. We have our customers’ support team who were taking booking from customers and the mode of payment was online. Promotions were done on all our social media platforms. We had also listed our signature designs on our website where a customer could try our jewellery virtually through Augmented Reality from the comfort of their homes,” informs Saket Keshri of Ratnalaya Jewellers, Patna. That apart, their customer support teams called around 250 customers everyday to enquire about customers’ well-being while conveying their Akshay Tritiya offer to potential clients. “There was need-based buying only. Therefore those families which have weddings planned were buying bridal sets and some occasion-centric buying also took place. For Akshay Tritiya many buyers were going in for gold and silver artifacts or coins,” Keshri adds.
Customers were showing interest in lightweight jewellery worth Rs 35,000 - Rs 50,000. This Akshay Tritiya sales increased by 25 per cent as compared to sales for the same occasion last year. Inventory had to be managed effectively as overstocking and under stocking both could cause problems. Rupesh Jain, Candere by Kalyan Jewellers
Earlier in anticipation of sales on Akshay Tritiya many jewellery retailers used to stock up light weight jewellery – gold and silver coins and gold bars. But this time because of the lockdown – jewellers did not have to buy as much inventory – because number of customers were less. “In terms of volume and value the sales definitely increased but in actual number of customers there was potential for improvement,” explains Keshri. Says Piyush Gupta of P P Jewellers By Pawan Gupta, Delhi, “Most customers were showing an interest in buying gold and silver coins and gold bars – as compared to last year’s Akshay Tritiya this time sales increased by 20 per cent. A lot of customers were calling us and we were delivering products of their preference at their doorstep. The prices were stable this year and therefore we saw an elevated demand. Both clients and retailers were more prepared this year as compared to last year and therefore buying was good. For Akshay Tritiya we had announced 25 per cent discount on all products and a 25 per cent off on making charges as well.”
This is the second year of the pandemic and lockdown, we didn’t have any high expectations since the stores were shut down. The safety and security of our customers and employees is the utmost priority right now. Meanwhile, we were also exploring options to stay connected with our customers. Vaibhav Saraf, Aisshpra Gems and Jewels