Festive jewelry shopping! Demand for solitaire, engagement rings, children’s jewelry still high: Avnish Anand, CaratLane

Wondering how to shop smart jewelry this holiday season! Notably, there is a method of shopping for jewelry smartly and the holiday season is a good place to start when you want to consider gift options as well. Keep in mind that there is a huge change in the jewelry industry with the rise of digital payments, as opposed to the conservative approach of forking out cash to buy jewelry.

The questions arise even as we assess the gift options available during the holiday season.

Wondering how jewelers make a profit? Is buying solitaire a good investment?

As it turns out, the festive months provide the perfect setting for a thriving jewelry segment in India.

However, this is not as straightforward as it sounds, given that buying or offering jewelry is considered a significant purchase by Indian consumers.

It’s no secret that Indians are known to go for trusted brands when it comes to buying jewelry. Making beautiful jewelry accessible is an ambitious goal for most jewelry brands. To better understand, Financial Express Online reached out to CaratLane, a well-known jewelry brand that has positioned itself as the largest online jewelry destination in India since its inception in 2008.

Certainly, there is a lot of ideation that supports its strategy of rolling out its signature jewelry buying experience across all platforms. CaratLane’s Try at Home feature, for example, allows customers to make an appointment to have the jewelry of their choice delivered to their doorstep and try it on at their convenience. And there is no obligation to purchase!

A logical question arises: will the purchase of jewelry in stores now experience a sharp decline?

“Due to the pandemic, people have become more comfortable with the digital world. While stores will always continue to play an important role in the purchase of jewelry, what is changing now is the adaptation of online discovery first, engaging with the brand on different digital media, then making the decision to buy from a nearby store or online. Our live video calling services CaratLane, WhatsApp, etc. allow customers to browse online, get a better view of the jewelry, and then make a choice, ”said Avnish Anand, co-founder of CaratLane and COO at Financial Express Online.

He adds. “We have expanded our catalog of tube bracelets and mesh rings which is emblematic in this segment. The flexi ring continues to be a winner. We have also launched adjustable bracelets and rings that solve sizing issues and increase a customer’s confidence when shopping.

Industry veteran with over 18 years of experience, CaratLane Co-Founder and COO Avnish Anand shares with Financial Express Online how CaratLane prepared to meet customer expectations during the pandemic of COVID-19.

With the festive shopping season already in full swing, Avnish Anand observes that customers are looking to spend on products and experiences that make sense, bring joy, and create lasting memories.

CaratLane Co-Founder and CEO adds, “Jewelry in India has special meaning and is considered one of the best gift options in India. The wallet share for jewelry in the wedding segment has definitely increased as people cannot spend on elaborate setups and guest lists. Our solitaire segment has boomed, wedding gifts for the bride and groom, for bridesmaids have seen an increase. Jewelry will always be a valuable asset and with our everyday wear designs it is even more appealing to offer something that can be worn everyday and not just kept in lockers.

Online shopping is on the rise – what are the main trends you have seen during the pandemic and how are they different from the pre-pandemic period?

From a consumer perspective, we have had three major changes.

Larger portfolio share

With the hospitality and travel industry shutting down amid the lockdown, it opened up a larger share of the wallet for jewelry as people had no other means to spend.

First-time buyers online

An added blessing for our category was when the delivery of non-essentials resumed, we saw an increase in the number of first-time online shoppers – people who were essentially doubtful about shopping online before – now have easily migrated to purchase through our online stores. Initially, due to COVID-19, the business was largely driven by our loyal customers. Towards the second half, however, we saw new customers browse and buy online.

Our target audience who buy online has always been women in the 28-45 age range. However, what is impressive is the 70-80% growth in small towns as more and more customers feel comfortable shopping online and have fewer offline options.

This is largely due to the inherent digital nature of CaratLane and the omnichannel system that allows people to browse online and choose to buy it in-store if need be. Or opt for our other services like Try At Home and LIVE. Buy through WhatsApp channels and pay through UPI etc.

It is also the result of how people wanted to feel a little joy in one form or another, even in these difficult times, and didn’t really have a reason to buy, but they didn’t mind. do it now.

Relevance

Since our category is also largely motivated by occasions and milestones, people are always interested in celebrating these important dates, thus continuing to keep jewelry relevant as an emotional need in their life.

From an industry perspective, the jewelry industry has always had less digital adoption, but with the onset of COVID, there has been a huge shift as more and more jewelry brands have started. to adopt a digital nature. With jewelry being a money-driven industry, digital payments have increased and other categories like fashion and cosmetics have also benefited from this phenomenon.

Are there specific categories in your inventory that have seen a significant increase in sales?

The pandemic has certainly changed the way people spend money and as a result our jewelry category under 40,000, children’s jewelry and engagement rings have seen a significant increase in sales.

International sales have been growing steadily, with customers now sending gifts overseas and more and more people in the international market, especially in the United States, discovering and purchasing our jewelry.

At the same time, people who browse digitally are now more exposed to our catalog of 40,000 and more with our services like CL Live and through WhatsApp channels.

Are everyday accessories and children’s clothing on the rise?

Very sustained growth. Our jewelry at different prices is designed to be worn everyday. But even more so our 40k sub which makes you look like a much bigger room but is light enough to be worn everyday and light on the pocket.

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About Jennifer Amaro

Jennifer Amaro

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