The digital revolution has left no sector untouched, and the jewellery industry is no exception as it swiftly adapts to the changing landscape. The industry known for its exquisite craftsmanship and timelessness has been undergoing a profound digital transformation. With the digital transformation, there has been a two-fold paradigm shift. One that defines how the industry operates and two that defines the shift in consumer demands.
What transformed the sector truly is the adoption of pioneering technology of Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR). These technologies reshaped the entire customer experience and enhanced it with virtual try-ons. By offering these immersive experiences, jewellery sector is not only adapting to the digital age but thriving in it. These experiences are attracting millennials and Gen-Z to shop jewellery online.
Here are some numbers…
According to a report by Statista, the global jewellery market is projected to reach $292 billion by 2025. The India Brand Equity Foundation states that India’s gem and jewellery industry is expected to reach US$ 100 billion by 2027. Making it one of India’s fastest-growing sectors showing remarkable growth.
My Wisdom Lane, an e-commerce jewellery consulting firm shares via a report that ‘Currently, less than 2% of Jewellery is sold online in India compared to the global average of 7%. Leading Jewellers in the US such as Signet Jewellers and Tiffany & Co. currently derive 10.9% and 7% of their respective sales through online channels. This indicates online Jewellery retail is still at a nascent stage in India and has significant potential for growth in the future.’
When we look at Tanishq, Livemint reports that 10% of its sales come from its online platform. It also states that 1,000 chats are initiated daily on the Tanishq platform. A Tanishq team quote mentions on the Livemint report that – ‘While pure-play online sale accounts for 10% of all orders, 90% is leads generated online but concluded during in-store visits.’
Let’s talk about the technologies at the forefront of this digital revolution:
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
AR/VR are immersive technologies that bring ‘trying before buying’ in the digital world. With these technologies brands offer the customers the option to virtually try on jewellery like necklaces. Mimicking the experience of physically trying on the jewellery. Allowing consumers to make more informed decisions on their purchases. Indian brands like Candere by Kalyan Jewellers, Melorra and CaratLane are few fine examples of brands offering AR-powered try-before-you-buy feature.
It helps to build stronger customer relationships. The immersive and interactive nature of these experiences fosters a stronger emotional connection between customers and brands. Leading to significantly enhanced customer engagement and retention.
The introduction of chatbots has aided brands to transform the way they engage with customers and collect valuable insights. Chatbots:
-Offer customers personalized assistance and recommendations.
-Are available 24*7 to engage with global customers fostering a sense of convenience and accessibility.
-Are easy to integrate with e-commerce platforms and social media applications. This aids in making shopping and browsing for customers smoother and more engaging.
– Help customers navigate through product catalogues and the purchase process.
They are known for mining valuable customer data. For example, a chatbot may identify if a large number of users have been inquiring about a ‘Mens gold ring’ leading the brand to prioritize marketing efforts for this category.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Data Analytics
AI and ML are focused on bringing in data-driven decision-making in every sector. It offers the jewellery brands various tools to enhance their customer engagement and refine their product offering to drive business growth. Data Analytics delves deep into monitoring customer behavior, tracking online interactions, and what users search for. Collectively they offer the jewellery brands:
– Customer behaviour analysis from rich data that decodes insights on user preferences.
– Predictive analytics that helps brands to forecast trends and manage inventory effectively.
– Customer segmentation to create targeted marketing strategies and tailor its marketing messages for different types of customers.
– Inventory Optimization by identifying supply chain bottlenecks to build an effective stock management system that is centralized.
– Optimization in conversion via targeted and personalized marketing with real-time data.
Example: The global jewellery brand Pandora has been a market leader in using its digital marketing to engage with its audience. With the use of data analytics, the brand came up with a ‘Bracelet Designer’ campaign to allow customers to design their own bracelets. Leading to an increase in customer engagement on their platform.
Blockchain and IoT
Blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) are fostering a culture of transparency, enhanced security, and efficiency in the jewellery industry.
Blockchain helps with:
-Ethical sourcing and transparency. With a tamper-proof and decentralized ledger, customers can trace the entire journey of a jewellery item.
– Combating counterfeits with a unique digital identity on each piece. This is highly recommended and useful in diamonds, gold, and platinum purchases. It helps to verify the legitimacy of a purchase.
IoT helps jewelry brands with:
– Real-time inventory management with its unique devices like RFID tags and sensors. This helps to track the product throughout its supply chain. Enabling brands to monitor stock levels, detect theft or loss, and ensure popular items are in stock.
– Enhancing customer engagement. IoT sensors can interact with a customer’s smartphones, to offer real-time information about a gemstone or gold bracelet. Like its origins, weight, metal details etc. Enriching a customer’s connection with the jewelry.
Example: Global brand De Beers has introduced a blockchain platform called Tracr. It helps to trace the journey of diamonds from mine to the consumer. Offering full transparency and ethical sourcing. Resonating with the growing socially conscious consumer segment.
E-commerce platforms – Rise of online marketplaces
Voylla, Etsy, Shopify, Jaypore.com, and loom.in are a few examples of marketplaces that are offering digital showrooms to many independent designers in jewellery sector. Offering customers, a wide range of styles and designs. These e-commerce platforms are working with independent designers on different business models, one example is the consignment model. This allows the designers to offer their products on channels without heavy capital investment in digital retail. And aids the multi-designer e-commerce platforms to bring a wide range of choices to their users.
Example: Voylla is a leading Indian multichannel platform that showcases many independent jewellery designers. These designers utilize Voylla established market presence and reach.
Mobile applications: UX/UI and 3D designs
Apps are helping brands streamline shopping and customer engagement. Jewellery brands are investing heavily in building UX/UI on mobile applications enabling customers to browse, shop, and interact with the brand seamlessly. Mobile applications are coming with features like virtually inspecting jewellery through 360-degree videos.
Bluestone is an Indian jewelry giant that offers a 360-degree product view on their website.
We can understand from these technological advancements how online retail has been at the forefront of the digital transformation in the jewellery sector. This digital renaissance has placed customers at the center of it all. As the evolution continues to thrive, jewellery brands are innovating with digital technologies to bring something enchanting to the users.
Also read: Tips to scale your digital business
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