As wedding events shrink, trousseau jewellery budgets expand. That’s a big win for the Indian jewellery sector, which is leaving no stone unturned to drive up the sales through aggressive digital marketing. Jewellery continues to be in demand post the pandemic because of its value, its sentimental worth and the additional savings from hosting smaller wedding functions. Luxebook reports on the designs, consumer preferences and retail channels that have evolved post COVID-19.
As we enter the prime festive and wedding season, the jewellery industry is awakening from the lockdown-induced slumber to cater to new, evolved consumer demands, mainly on the back of the wedding season. While picturesque destination weddings are being replaced by intimate home ceremonies, luckily for the jewellery industry, bridal jewellery in India is irreplaceable. “The demand for bridal shopping has picked up in the country, to the surprise of everyone in the industry,” says Sunita Shekhawat.
“We were expecting people to postpone fat weddings and defer jewellery purchases due to the current situation. Contrary to our expectations, many families are going ahead with weddings as scheduled,” adds the popular jewellery designer from Jaipur.
With the number of in-person guests for weddings being restricted to 100, there is a huge saving in terms of venue, food, travel, accommodation, and decoration. These funds are now being allocated to purchasing more jewellery.
“Many consumers are buying more jewellery from the money that is saved in hosting a small wedding. They would rather give the money to their daughter in the form of jewellery because jewellery is an asset. We could pre-empt this shift in preference because in India, weddings are a status symbol and therefore jewellery will play a vital role in displaying luxury,” shares Ishu Datwani of Anmol Jewellers.
For the last few years, the sector has faced stiff competition from experiential travel. With the rise of destination weddings, many were opting for gold-plated and fashion jewellery. The lockdown, however, has turned things around and people are once again recognizing the value of gold as an investment, especially in difficult times such as these.
“A lot of the younger population that spent their money on vacations and other indulgences are happy buying gold and diamond jewellery today,” says Sunil Datwani of Gehna Jewellers. “Quite a few customers are also pre-booking jewellery at current prices as they anticipate a hike in gold rates in the upcoming festive season. Also, a lot more clients are now availing of our monthly scheme Umang, under which immediate liquidity for the whole purchase is not necessary,” adds Sunil Datwani.
The purchases are still need- based and are driven by quality over quantity. Wearability is another key criterion as brides don’t want to keep their jewels locked up. Brides, grooms and their families are spending more practically, looking for jewellery that is aesthetic and grand for the occasion, yet functional and one that can be well utilised post the wedding.
Sunil Datwani of Gehna shares that the popular price bracket for gold jewellery is between Rs.6 lakh to Rs.10 lakh, uncut diamond jewellery between Rs.10 lakh to Rs.15 lakh and diamond Jewellery between Rs.15 lakh and Rs.25 lakh.
At Raniwala 1881, the popular price bracket for bridal sets ranges between Rs.15-20 lakh. Jewellers expect the demand to rise in the coming months and hope that by Diwali, business will be better.
High demand for modular jewellery
Jadau jewellery seems to be a favourite when it comes to the D-day while brides opt for gold and diamond jewellery for periphery functions. Sunita Shekhawat has designed more wearable pieces, which are reversible and detachable as well, offering more utility. Their maang tikas can be converted into a pendant, haathphool with diamonds and pearls detailing that can be converted into earing, a bracelet, or a simple choker, giving four different looks.
They have also recently designed a detachable and a reversible necklace, which has 12 shades of meenakari work for a bride-to-be. Raniwala 1881, too, another jadau jewellery retailer, has been seeing an increased demand for modular jewellery, which can be worn in more than one way. Modular or transformable jewels are not a new concept, they have been around forever but the demand for them has intensified in the last few years.
Customers of Forevermark, a brand that focuses mainly on engagement and wedding rings as well as trousseau pieces, are purchasing jewellery of a higher value, shares Amit Pratihari, Director Retail, Forevermark, India.
“Pre-COVID, we saw consumers moving towards daily, lightweight jewellery and this trend has continued despite the lockdown. In terms of design, consumers are looking for simple, versatile and classy pieces, which can be paired with any outfit. Catering to the need of the market, we have created the Tribute collection, which is a range of 22 stackable affordable rings that a consumer can purchase based on her preferences,” says Pratihari.
Pratihari also noted that based on the feedback received from their retail partners, many HNIs are showing interest in purchasing diamond jewellery as investment.
The brand will also launch the Forevermark Icon collection in November, which has been inspired by the Forevermark icon and represents all that the brand stands for – natural, beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced diamonds. Diacolor has a couple of new collections in the pipeline as well as a new bridal range. They are currently focusing on a prêt collection, Melody of Colors, to cater to the growing demand for trousseau purchases and for gifting extended family.
Set with gemstones, which Diacolor is famous for, the collection has colorful earrings, bracelets, stackable bangles, fingerings and necklaces and transformable jewels. Anmol Jewellers has also been working on interesting designs with diamonds and briolettes. It’s a twist to the diamond classics. Silver jewellery brand DNA Jewels has launched functional jhumkis and chandelier earrings for the festive season.
Gowing digital presence
One of the biggest changes that the pandemic has forced the jewelers to embrace is to learn to interact with their clients via online platforms. Jewellers have become more active on social media channels and are engaging with their followers regularly. They have realised that digital is an important tool to get noticed.
They are also reaching out to customers through Whatsapp more than ever before, holding discussions over video calls as well as in-store visits. Many brands have also realized the need to up the digital experience, prompting them to launch online stores or at least offer a more interactive brand website. Anup Shah, Founder of DNA Jewels is getting a lot of enquiries on the brand’s Instagram page as well as on his website, but sales conversion is slow.
“We have accepted that the need of the hour is to promote virtual shopping,” says Abhishek Raniwala, Director, Raniwala 1881. “We are digitally-inclined now and are increasing our reach on social media. We are also using virtual marketing tools to make wedding jewellery shopping easy and more enjoyable
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