October 10, 2020 (IANSlife) The pandemic revolutionised how we shop, everything from cloths to essentials are now purchased online, so much so that even high jewellery is E-tailing.
Hazoorilal Legacy – one of India's oldest and the most reputed luxury jewelry brands since 1950 launched their e-store on the 8th of October. The e-store will include all the collections of bejewelled treats. IANSlife caught up with Rohan Narang, Managing Director, Hazoorilal Legacy to get all the details.
After speaking to industry insiders, we believe that the COVID-19 induced recession is unlikely to impact the jewellery sector. Your thoughts?
Rohan: The Covid-19 pandemic has had adverse effects on the economy and as a result the jewellery and luxury markets are certainly affected. Due to the extended lockdown and rising cases there is a drastic shift in consumer behaviour and preferences that are hindering the demand and supply patterns across the jewellery sector. However, gold continues to be a safe haven for investors and demand for the same remains steady. With the advent of the festive and wedding season, the health of the Jewellery sector is expected to improve and should provide much needed respite.
The luxury market altogether has been hit hard by the lockdown but things look promising for the final quarter of 2020. We believe that the jewellery sector will evolve to become one of the fastest recovering industries in this post-Covid world.
With the big fat Indian wedding has been slimmed , jewellery is predicted to be the net beneficiary as people will chose to invest in jewellery instead of what they spent on events. What do you think?
Rohan: This remains to be seen and is a very subjective matter. It’s true that most people have had to scale back their wedding budgets. As a result, they have developed a preference for promising investments like gold and diamonds.
What was the reason for your brand going online from offline? Did the pandemic influence the decision, how beneficial do you think it will be?
Rohan: With the launch of Hazoorilal Legacy’s E-store, we are solidifying our Omni channel presence in a socially distanced and technology friendly world. The launch of our E-commerce platform will showcase an exclusive, online-only launch drop of our latest diamond jewellery collections which have been specially designed, curated and priced for the customers online. Similar online only collections will be soon available for gold (22kt) and polki jewellery. Of course, it goes without saying that we will be adhering to the most stringent protocols in our delivery processes. With a natural increase in online media consumption, our endeavour is to be accessible and authentic.
We’ve also been using Whatsapp and email marketing tools to showcase our solidarity and maintain a transparent line of communication regarding developments on the staff and customer safety protocols. We’re also promoting and encouraging a contactless shopping experience aided by the use of augmented reality Virtual jewellery try on, enhanced video calling experience and try-at- home options. Fresh and unique content is certain to stand out in a digitally cluttered Covid-19 world. The online store will result in expanding our reach as people can now buy jewellery at their convenience and comfort of their homes. Digitalisation is the new norm. The world is witnessing an increased appetite and confidence in purchasing luxury items online.
Were there any challenges that you faced while going online?
Rohan: With a legacy of 68 years and being a brick and mortar establishment, switching to online was a very big step for Hazoorilal Legacy but we also understood that it was the need of the hour. The retail business model continues to be our core while the online extension is expected to aid in penetrating newer demographics and audience segmentation, primarily the millennials and GenZ. The whole transition from offline to online involved months of backend work which was particularly challenging & staggered due to the limitations arising from the Coronavirus, we had to ensure the e-boutique experience should be as smooth and immersive as possible.
We’ve taken all the necessary steps and done multiple iterations on every little detail of the website right from curating the pieces to developing a seamless jewelry unboxing for our customers. Helping the customers find the right products on a virtual platform demands an in-depth analysis of the target audience coupled with an aggressive digital marketing strategy. We hope to create our niche in this extremely competitive and exciting environment.
Gold is getting stronger as markets see volatility; do you believe that traditional modes of saving in India which has always looked to gold will continue despite the increase in cost?
Rohan: Gold has had a good showing, both as a commodity and a form of investment. This precious metal continues to persevere and till date remains a solid entity. People should remain confident about gold’s ability to thrive both as a short and a long term investment. While one can enjoy wearing beautiful gold jewelry, the very same ornament can come to your rescue on a rainy day.
Jewellery is usually tried on by customers; do you think jewellers will need to update the standard industry practice to include hygiene, disinfectant and safety protocols?
Rohan: Since the advent of the global pandemic, people have become highly conscious and vigilant about the things they come in contact with. They are now fully informed and aware about the dos and don’ts to stay safe, and take necessary steps at their end to prevent the spread of covid-19. Since all the big ticket purchases, at least in the jewelry industry, continue to command a customer’s physical presence, Hazoorilal Legacy has stringent safety protocols in place both for our staff and the customers. Any piece of jewellery which has been handled by the staff or tried on by a customer is cleaned and sanitized using the best possible sanitization methods available to us such as ultrasonic cleaning, steaming and use of alcohol based cleaning wipes along with sanitization of the sales counters after every interaction. The staff is equipped with face masks, gloves, sanitizers, along with regular health assessment and contact tracing is emphasised through mandatory use of the Arogya Setu app in keeping with the safety guidelines as issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
With weddings getting postponed, do you think jewellery trends predicted for 2020 will witness a sea of change?
Rohan: Well I do not anticipate a drastic change in the jewellery trends. The wedding landscape has been scaled down owing to the safety concerns however many customers continue to aspire for a complete bridal look with all the bells and whistles. Some brides want to keep things simple and are taking a minimalist approach to their wedding look. Diamond jewellery has emerged as a new favourite for the new generation of brides, while the majority continue to prefer traditional polki and gold bridal jewelry for their big day.
Hazoorilal Legacy has multiple collections, distinctive in style and design language, catering to the taste and sensibilities of all the brides. Particularly the Legacy Collection in diamonds, gold and polki has bespoke standout pieces which have been designed and crafted to perfection for the brides to be. Irrespective of the times, every bride wants to look and feel unique and fabulous on her wedding day.
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