Recently we had carried an article about the upcoming jewellery marketplace Bluestone.com, which showed promise in bringing the traditional jewellery shopping experience online. It has now been revealed that Amazon will be launching a ‘precious’ jewellery store on its Indian online marketplace, with Bluestone.com and Caratlane.com offering their products there as well. Along with these, Amazon is also tying up with big jewellery houses like Orra, Mumbai-based Tara Jewellers and Mehrasons Jewellers from Delhi.
Amazon’s jewellery store will go live today, with a wide range of precious metals and jewels on offer. Amazon aspires to be the largest online fine jewellery marketplace, with about 23,000 product styles. According to Vikas Purohit, head of fashion at Amazon.in,”Two years ago it would have been tough to convince traditional jewellery retailers to bring their products online, as they had concerns about their designs getting copied. Now they are driven by the fact that e-commerce gives them a wide pan-India presence.”
Fine balance between jewellery discounts and quality
In keeping with the trends of discounts offered by various shopping websites, we could probably see precious jewellery being offered at discounted rates as well. However, this will be a fine line for the jewellers to maintain, as they have to retain customers who visit their offline store as well. Also, it is questionable if precious jewellery can really be sold at any cheaper rates, because the price of precious metals and jewels are more or less regulated. However, it is possible to give special offers in designing or jewellery making charges, which is decided individually for each piece.
This is a challenge that sellers will have to face, because if shopping online is not significantly cheaper than purchasing the jewellery from the offline store, the customer has no real motivation to shop online. After all, Indian consumers always prefer to ‘touch and feel’ the product, especially something expensive like precious jewellery, before investing in its purchase.
In any case, we think traditional precious jewellery has a ‘shining’ future in ecommerce.