The dynamics of Jewellery retail landscape in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak
The dynamics of Jewellery retail landscape in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak

Before the pandemic outbreak sent shock waves to the world, the industries were functioning in full swing and the operations were occurring steadily. However, the epidemic changed the picture upside down and compelled governments to announce lockdown in various important markets for jewellery industry. Organically, there were orders placed for ongoing trade that were abandoned by the businesses overnight. The burning question raised by the industries is if those orders still stand or are to be considered post the lockdown. 

 According to the market landscape in India, the industry is divided on this issue as businesses are experiencing three months of unexpected revenue stagnation. to this, retail has been temporarily sealed during the lockdown leading to massive cancellations of orders. In Indian market, the co-dependency between suppliers and buyers results in an unfavourable situation where stock becomes inane unless there is retail footfall. By all means, it is of utmost priority for all patrons to ensure sufficient cash flow followed by access to consumer goods and daily essentials. As buying jewellery is an aspirational need, the jewellery industry has come to a complete halt nationally.

Impact on jewellery industry

From the global perspective, the most promising markets for jewellery have fallen under lockdown. The entire of Europe is under lockdown, US is partially under lockdown, Middle east and China are undergoing slow mode as the customers are not freely venturing out to retail yet. Currently, 80% of the international orders remain cancelled and only 15-20 % are being supplied. Optimistically, we expect the same pattern to prolong until the end of June and the retail to pick up pace in the next two - three months. We hope that the customers will resume their shopping by August with a feel good factor and free from paranoia of the coronavirus scare.

Taking about the weddings in India that dominates the jewellery purchasing in India, we are anticipating exponential growth in the second leg of the year. As a wishful thinking, we hope India is able to curb the spread of COVID-19 within the first half of 2020 as the customers need to be in a happy state of mind to aspire for luxury goods. The second leg of 2020 will constitute positioning back on track and the industries should be allocated time to revive itself financially and psychologically.

As jewellery industry is severely stricken by pandemic outbreak, all possible channels like miners and retailers have reached a stage of stagnancy. Talking about international tycoons, De Beers Group has suffered a whopping drop of 2 billion last year and it is unlikely they will be able to meet half of their targets by mid 2020. De Beers has adopted a softer approach towards miners considering they work on very rigid contracts. Whereas, Alrosa has not showed leniency and has restricted its orders to some extent. While every players has a different war to fight during these uncertain times, it is a common endeavour of every firm to stay afloat, maintain sales, keep the infrastructure intact and the efficiency of workforce in shape

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Unveiling India's Retail Revolution: Tech Disruptions, Consumer Shifts, and the Future of E-Commerce
Unveiling India's Retail Revolution: Tech Disruptions, Consumer Shifts, and the Future of E-Commerce

India’s retail industry is undergoing an unprecedented transformation driven by technological disruptions, evolving consumer behavior and new innovations redefining the retail experience. As Deloitte’s ‘Future of Retail’ report observes, these pivotal forces have set the stage for online retail to surge 5X over the next 7 years. With projections indicating e-commerce growing at 25 percent annually until 2030 compared to offline retail’s 10 percent, digital channels are primed to dominate India’s $1.5 trillion retail market in the years ahead.

Decoding the Underlying Market Drivers

As per the latest retail industry data, India’s Tier II and III cities have begun overshadowing metros as the next e-commerce frontier. In 2022, order volumes from Tier III cities witnessed 65 percent year-on-year growth, and Tier II cities saw 50 percent expansion. In contrast, Tier I cities clocked a modest 10 percent increase over the same period. Given this divergence, industry projections indicate Tier II and III cities will continue dramatically outpacing their Tier I counterparts in online order growth rates over the next decade.

Attractive value propositions like wider product choices, discounted offerings, convenience, and personalized engagement are driving smaller cities to warm up much faster to e-commerce adoption even within an inflationary climate. For retailers chasing the next wave of growth, the writing is clear – India’s underpenetrated towns and cities housing over 900 million people hold the key to market leadership.

Rising Data Analytics Creating Asymmetric Advantages

As consumer interactions increasingly shift online, data is creating radical differentiation between legacy retailers and digital-first brands leading tech-driven transformation-commerce majors are setting new benchmarks in leveraging analytics across areas – from inventory planning aligned to local consumption patterns to predictive demand forecasting models minimizing stock-out situations.

Delivering Relevant and Personalized Experiences

Hyper-personalization represents the new battleground as customers expect communications, recommendations, and experiences to reflect their individual preferences. Indian shoppers are willing to spend more with retailers who can effectively tap into the power of data to tailor offerings aligning with their needs and interests. Brands leveraging AI and ML to deduce insights from purchase journeys and browsing behavior hold an edge in continually customizing engagement across channels.

The Way Forward: A Roadmap for Retailers

Adopt Omnichannel Strategies Aligned with Evolving Consumption: As smaller cities drive more than 60 percent of e-commerce volumes, retailers need a presence across online and offline channels with a hyperlocal outreach to tap into growth opportunities beyond metros. Localization, vernacular interfaces, and experiential stores are key.

Build Intelligent Supply Chains Resilient to Disruptions: Invest in data integration across the value chain to obtain end-to-end visibility. Leverage analytics for demand planning, inventory optimization, and predictive maintenance. This can minimize stock-outs, and ensure faster deliveries while improving supply chain profitability.

Deliver Personalization through Customer Analytics: Capture every customer interaction and apply analytics to discern behavioral patterns. Offer contextually relevant recommendations via multiple channels. Personalize communication and marketing content based on purchase history and search trends.

The Pivot to Experience-First Retail Powered by Technology

As the Indian shopper gets more evolved and demanding, customer experience across retail journeys is emerging as the biggest differentiator for both customer acquisition and retention. Retailers unlocking the power of analytics and technology to elevate personalized engagement, and minimize friction while tailoring experiences to align with local preferences will lead to market dominance in the future. The secret sauce for success lies in using data and innovation to blend online convenience with offline experiential retail - a trend that will further accelerate as India ascends into a trillion-dollar consumer market.


Authored By


Prerna Kalra, Co-founder & CEO of Daalchini Technologies


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