The tremendous growth of Indian e-commerce has indisputably aided several industries, with jewellery retail benefitting likewise and its market size estimated to reach $3.2 billion in 2019. The proliferation of smartphones (560.01 million internet users), affordable data (120 million online shoppers), personal disposable incomes (29.8 million credit card holders), consolidation of industry players, and government initiatives such as Digital India, Start Up India, and Digital Udaan have cohesively contributed towards this growth.
With the turn of events in the last few years, the modern Indian woman doesn’t want to buy her jewellery and keep it in the locker anymore. She demands wearability and carries the will to express herself. Improved purchasing power and the fact that women are becoming more confident and experimental with their fashion statements, means that jewellery is no longer just for special occasions. The preferences clearly indicate a shift to more frequent purchase of lightweight options instead of just bulky traditional designs.
According to McKinsey and Company, the share of the online jewellery market in Asia is set to double, from 6% to 12% by 2020. About 18% of the sales are expected to be made online by 2025 taking its worth to about $79 billion annually. Estimates indicate that this would make “e-commerce the world’s third-largest luxury market, after China and the United States.” This tremendous growth opportunity has led jewellery retailers scrambling to establish a presence online; and several newcomers flooding the space as well.
The industry is thus as dynamic as it is fast growing and therefore, several changes are underway – both with respect to consumer behaviour and the industry as a whole. With business-as-usual no longer the norm, agility and responsiveness to new trends and developments are new buzzwords to be followed. Emerging online jewellery players have further enabled people in Tier II and Tier III cities to shop for gold and diamond jewellery at the click of a button. This ease of availability and delivery is further backed by a variety of payment options including cash on delivery and other advantages such as easy instalments and discounts. Online retailers are also enabling a more comprehensive buying experience with the goal of integrating an in-store purchase experience to a digital platform with high-quality images, excellent navigation, and easy-to-use product configuration settings.
As more retailers in the jewellery segment realize the huge opportunity in the e-commerce sector, the market is set to become increasingly competitive. Consumer expectations are rising, and they are not just looking for the best options but also a great shopping experience. Retailers who wish to stay competitive in this dynamic market will need to step up their game. Estimates indicate a bright future for online jewellery sales what with the industry implementing innovative technology to meet consumer demands. The growth will however be commensurate with consumer preferences as they become more comfortable in buying emotionally charged products online; jewellery being a major category.