When I can buy a Rs 40,000 Dior bag or a Rs 28,000 smartphone online,why cant I get a pair of earrings from Tanishq.com for Rs 40,000? argued 32-year-old Delhi-based interior designer,Risha Kapoor,with her mother. The senior Mrs Kapoor didnt buy that argument. Do you think a leather bag or a cellphone mean the same as precious jewellery? she shot back. How can you buy earrings without trying them on,without seeing the cut and clarity of diamonds with your own eyes and without feeling the smoothness of its surface? she asked.
That may exactly be the argument most Indian women would get into when it comes to buying jewellery online. But in spite of the pervasive sentiment,the past few months have seen a spate of online jewellery stores and marts such as Johareez.com,Ansjewelry.com,Jewelskart.com and Caratlane.com,with even popular jewellers such as Tanishq and Mehrasons following suit. So whos their target consumer if not the typical Indian auntyji who buys jewellery for weddings,festivals,special occasions and even as an investment?
Gaurav S Issar,CEO of Jewelsnext.com,an online jewellery mart that started six months ago,with names such as Mehrasons,Jetha Bhai Zaveri,Cygnus,Thia,Brijwasi Diamonds and Talwar Jewellers on board,explains the strategy. We are targetting the young,working woman with disposable income,and also men,who otherwise find it confusing to walk into the neighbourhood goldsmiths shop to buy gifts for their wives,mothers and daughters, he says.
Seconds Vidya Nataraj,co-founder of Bangalore-based Bluestones.com,a two-month-old jewellery brand that exclusively sells online. Our customer base mostly comprises the working population who wants funky jewellery,not those who are looking to buy chunky jewellery for weddings and festivals, she says.
So what are the items that sell the most online? Our sales are mostly centred around rings,pendants and small bracelets,with an average spend of around Rs 20,000, says Issar,adding,We are getting around 15-20 customers a day.
Are there any special incentives to make the purchase more attractive? After all,it may not appeal to many to buy precious stuff by simply logging in and clicking a few buttons. Nataraj says,To give customers a fair idea of what we are selling,we offer hi-resolution images and pictures of models wearing the jewellery. Plus,theres a drop-down menu for selecting your size,and the order can even be customised a bit in terms of gold and gems colours.
However,she admits that its not enough. An online jewellery store doesnt work without an unconditional return policy in place, she says. If online sold at market price,no one would buy. So,discounts,promotions and money-back options make a jewellery website work, says Issar.
However,for the jewellers who have a brick and mortar store,going online may not exactly mean the same thing. As Karamdeep S Kapany,Area Manager North India,Tanishq,says,Online,for us,is a supplementary presence where we showcase our new range to the customers. But mostly,our sales happen offline. At the moment,we are not depending on online sales.