Betting big on the online space, the jewellery and accessory brand Swarovski has gone online with fashion retailer Myntra. Being Swarovski’s foray in eCommerce, this undertaking aims at consolidating the reach and share access with tech-savvy consumers as well as nascent Tier 2 markets, revealed Sukanya Dutta Roy – Managing Director, Swarovski India. While she emphasized on operating at same frequency online and offline, she even hinted that the brand is likely to launch its own eCommerce platform in next phase of scaling up.
Of late many of the physical retailers (that earlier restricted themselves to niche markets) are going online. What is your take on this trend?
Online world is a reality that none of us can ignore. As per the latest numbers there are over 400 million Internet users in India itself. The growth has been phenomenal making it almost a hygiene factor for all consumer products to reach out to their target consumers. The wise adapt and ride the change.
What made you tie-up with Myntra rather than launching own eCommerce platform?
Matching ideology, mind-sets, familiar brand playing ground and access to a much larger base than we could generate to begin with, than our own eCommerce platform were some of our pivotal considerations. Also, the advantage of accessibility and reach towards new consumers was one of the main goals for our online association. Having said that, doors to our own eCommerce are not closed and are envisioned for the next phase.
Why Myntra and not any other eRetailer? What kind of transaction are you eyeing at from this alliance?
Too early to commit on the transition and number goals as we are still in the very early process to establish a rhythm, though I have been told that this has been one of the successful brand launches in the jewellery segment recently.
Also, according to an ASSOCHAM study, Indians are likely to spend USD 35 billion on online luxury stores by 2016, compared to USD 8 billion in 2012 and that the jewellery category is expected to grow by 30-35 per cent in the next three years.
The high internet penetration across Tier II and Tier III cities along with high disposable income shall lead to approximately 100 million transactions on the Internet by 2020.
Don’t you think this is too late for you to step into the e-Retail eco-system?
Swarovski is almost a stand-alone brand in its category of fashion jewelry. We have a very robust presence offline with a distribution of over 84 points of sale. The online version is another channel to allow patrons to have easy access to the brand. Hence, the two channels by design work seamlessly together and not in competition to each other. The online boutique on Myntra is identical to the offline stores in all aspects.
How have you strategised discounting that is usual affair on e-commerce portals?
The Swarovski boutique in Myntra is identical to any offline Swarovski boutique in all traits, whether products, promotions or prices. This is something the company is committed to maintain and we strongly believe that for strong brands discounting is not the way to bring consumers online.
Do you think the future of Retail is customised in-store options?
Retail today is going through a lot of experimentations. Shoppers today have a plethora of channels to voice their opinion or share feedback and each of these consumers is thence trailed by the social imprint he/she leaves behind. There are a lot of new initiatives that are being vexed, and which for some time grow into the ‘buzz word’ in all channels.
What will last in the future are ideas which genuinely add value to the consumer experience and are able to significantly alter the consumer decision making process. These will be the initiatives which the business will divert its resources to grow and adopt, be it customised in-store options, or on spot alterations and many such service oriented being tried out in retail.
How do you plan to scale up?
Our endeavour to scale up in the virtual world would be to bring efficiencies in the operations. We are driven to ensure that we have the entire range of Swarovski merchandise available and serviceable across all pin codes across India.
This in itself will give us access to the cities in India we have not been able to physically touch. Offline our undertakings remains the same, to be present in the premium malls of the country; bringing the Swarovski experience to consumers and adding sparkle to their lives.