The Covid-19 pandemic brought the concept of lockdown in India after the nation went under a prolonged lockdown phase starting from March 24, 2020. In order to put a rush on the growing cases of Coronavirus, the Government of India, following other global leaders, decided to restrict people’s movement through implementing restrictive measures. While people remained shut in their houses for months, it became a point of inflection for the e-commerce industry in India. Both new buyers, as well as sellers, began to rely on the digital platforms pushing the demands to record high.
In fact, Indian e-commerce is the biggest beneficiary of the pandemic as people realized the convenience of online shopping during the lockdown period. It brought about a paradigm shift in consumer behavior with more and more customers depending on online services. Demand spiked in every category and one of the industries which benefited significantly from the e-commerce boom in India is the Indian jewelry industry.
Even before the advent of the pandemic, online shopping was pushing the Indian jewelry industry to new heights. While the availability of smartphones, cheap internet service, and growth in personal income helped the industry significantly, government initiatives like Digital India, Start-Up India, and Digital Udaan have also consolidated its proliferation.
Indian culture has always been holding its jewelry with great value and respect. The gems and jewelry industry accounts for 7 percent of the country’s total GDP. According to recent market studies, the domestic gems and jewelry market is estimated to be worth US$ 100 billion by 2025. On top of that, the rapid growth of Indian online shopping has opened a whole new scope for growth for this segment. Over the last couple of years, its growth has been noticeable. About 18 percent of the sales are expected to be made online by 2025 taking its worth to about $79 billion annually.
In the age of digital transformation, more and more entrepreneurs and startups are adopting the digital business model to take advantage of the tech-enabled environment. Budding online jewelry players are connecting with the customer base of tier II and tier III cities and enabling them to buy jewelry from the convenience of home. The ease of availability and delivery is attracting more customers towards the online jewelry shops who are now ditching the traditional ways of jewelry shopping.
Indians cherish their expensive jewelry made of precious metals like diamond, platinum, gold, and silver. However, lately, the demand for expensive metals is witnessing a downslide owing to the soaring prices of metals like gold. The new-age customers are showing an inclination towards imitation and junk jewelry, a market worth Rs 8,000 crore out of which about 2 percent is sold online. Imitation jewelry is gradually taking over the online market as people can choose from a wide range of jewelry at an affordable price. Small businesses are also offering the customers to design their own jewelry making the online jewelry businesses more appealing and lucrative to the customers.
The modern e-commerce platforms, additionally, are allowing the local jewelry artists to expand their customer base defying any geographical barrier. They are connecting with their customers on a wider front than before. They are adopting more and more creative measures in terms of design, material, and finish to draw more customers. As a result, local businesses, alongside the big brands, are getting confident with their future in the industry.
Online retailers offer unmatchable pricing, wider variety, trendy patterns or designs, lab certification reports of their products, and easy payment methods (like EMI) to gain the trust of a larger indigenous audience base. Along with the imitation jewelry market, real jewelry is also gradually getting a stronghold in the online marketplace. Even though the real jewelry segment involves greater consultation and larger average transactions, both established and emerging players are helping the segment to catch up with reliable and transparent services.