More E-Retail Startups of Gems & Jewellery needed in India

P. R. R. Nair, Director, GemsRatna.comEmerged to be one of the most trusted names, has developed to promote the tradition of natural precious, semiprecious gemstones for astrological uses, healing purposes and for other purposes.

The Indian E-commerce industry is dominated by online travel portals, online marketplaces, and motorcab services. However, there are smaller sectors which are ignored by new entrants and investors. Some of these small sectors have huge potential to become the industry leaders in terms of revenue generated by their products. One such industry that I want to discuss, is the Gems & Jewellery sector.

Instead of giving biased statistics & trends of the Gems & Jewellery industry in India, I would like to draw the attention of readers to a serious threat this industry is facing in the current scenario.

The Gems & Jewellery sector has been one of the most under estimated sectors of the e-commerce trade in India. Especially, when we think about online jewelry stores or gemstone stores, our first reaction is, "Are they real? Do they actually look like this? Ohh it is too costly to buy online... I should rather go and purchase it from a showroom by physically seeing the products myself."

This lack of trust in online gems and jewelry stores is the result of years of unprofessional and unconventional theories of selling gemstones and jewelry of low quality by showing them as exquisite quality. With the technology advances, people started cataloging their products in such a way that they shine, bristle and attract the buyer online, but when the physical delivery is received, buyers tend to be disappointed and feel cheated.

This has to be changed. And no one else can change this mindset of buyers except the gems and jewelry e-commerce stores. Apart from the existing players, this industry now needs new entrants with fresh ideas, innovative marketing strategies, and unique yet appealing designs.

If a right combination of technology, product knowledge, resources, quality & customer service is applied, I think this industry would gain the trust of its buyers and it would be able to boom the gems & jewelry revenue to a huge extent.

What is Repelling Customers from Online Gems & Jewelry Stores?
Well, first of all, the sellers should
make a strategy to eradicate the hesitation in the mind of buyers to buy their products online. Their approach towards the buyers(whether through online or offline channels) should be transparent and trustworthy and should reach them in an emotionally connecting manner.

If a right combination of technology, product knowledge, resources, quality & customer service is applied, the industry would gain the trust of its buyers and it would be able to boom the gems & jewelry revenue to a huge extent

Some of the items which are religious such as gemstone rings, pendants, rudraksha, are only bought after proper consultation from astrologers and nowadays, most of the astrologers have started keeping their own bunch of gemstones and they try to sell their own inventory rather than referring the buyers to jewelers. This also keeps the potential buyers away from online stores.

When it comes to other jewelry items like nose-pins, rings, necklaces, etc, buyers are skeptical about the size & fit.

And of course, it can be seen as a normal tendency of buyers that they ask more questions about the metal, design, looks, quality, etc from the online stores as compared to the showroom retailers. This is simply because it is quite easy and comfortable to ask a person about various things over a phone call or a chat or email than sitting in front.

What Approach is Mandatory to Gain Potential Buyers to this Industry?
To gain the trust & faith of buyers, the online stores must look at introducing 'Try at Home' service for Free, more 'Consumer friendly Return policies', extended 'Cash on Delivery' facilities, attractive 'EMI features', Fresh unique jewelry designs, etc.

They must also think of introducing some new lines of jewelry items apart from rings, pendants, bracelets, earrings, nose pins, etc to attract more potential buyers.

Buyers should be able to blindly trust the online store, its products, its staff and its services. This needs a lot of transparency in the terms and conditions, online catalog and product lines when serving the customers, which many of these online stores lack in.

Secondly, the nature of these products is such that a potential buyer would unquestionably want to see the end product before purchasing. The new entrants should bring new ideas and techniques to overcome this limitation.

A high definition realtime video or a 360-degree high definition view of the products might be one of the solutions for this problem to an extent however, it involves a lot of hard work, time and cost.

Ideal Road Map Ahead:
To make this industry as shining and glowing as its products, the existing retailers, and aspiring entrants must look for all the possible solutions or alternatives to the above specified problems. They must keep their relationship with the buyers as professional and friendly as possible. They must work extensively on clubbing the modern day technology with an age-old tradition of wearing gems and jewelry. This country has known for its unique crafts and gems since ancient times and the current and upcoming generations of online sellers must be keen to take this up as a responsibility and make this industry blossom again.

Otherwise, buyers would keep on losing their trust and interest in buying gems & jewelry online and sellers would remain local instead of becoming global brands.