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The all-powerful Internet has already made us live in a virtual world, while giving you the pleasures of the real world. Be it learning an art form, befriending or for that matter, shopping—Internet makes the world available for you at a click. Keeping pace with time, diamond industry too has made itself available on the World Wide Web to complement their physical storefronts. E-commerce sites and auction sites that sell strictly on the web are proliferating. Meghna Dugar gives you more of the trend in jewellery industry.
By: Diamond World News Service
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Oct 22 2012 3:21PM
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Reference: 7347  

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Retail has entered a new age thanks to the limitless choice of online shopping, which is the new mantra. Saving your time, energy and endless store visits, online shopping is the latest retail therapy, especially for the youth. Many also vouch for the fact that online business is the fastest way and most cost effective way of doing business. It is looked at as an alternative channel that helps brands to reach out to their target consumers.

The variety of products and a horde of services offered in the comforts of one’s home is the reason behind the popularity of online jewellery business.

There is more than just one reason behind the trend, as it not only allows the customer to explore variety of products to choose from, saves time, promises safe and secure transaction and most important—saves one from the harrowing experience of visiting over-crowded stores. In addition, it brings down the cost incurred in taking your product to a worldwide consumer base. Online retailing has helped business blur political boundaries and reach out to millions of customers, thereby making the world a smaller place. The online store takes the business beyond official working hours and physical location.

Irrespective of the sector or the kind of product, online business has opened up a new avenue in terms of trade. Expressing his opinion about the trend, Vipul Sutariya from Dharmanandan Diamonds says, “The fast evolving online gem and jewellery industry is likely to capture 25 per cent of an overall of USD 16 billion-business in the country in coming six to seven years. While the US market has so far managed to maintain its position in the industry, China and India too are gradually catching up and increasing their share in the online market.” Contradicting the same point Rajiv Mehta, Managing Director of Surat Diamond Jewellery PVt Ltd says, “This is too early to comment on the trend, as it is still at a nascent stage. Retail is growing fast but online store will take time to capture big share of the market pie, as jewellery is a personal and a design oriented commodity unlike books or electronics, sales of which are highly driven by the reviews available online.”

Given the fact that jewellery is associated with factors like high cost and falls in the category of luxurious goods, winning the trust of customers is vital for the online shopping portals. While, this sounds as a big challenge, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. It has been noticed that by providing differentiated products with innovative services, one can gain trust of their customers. Now-a-days, the easy availability of online security services has facilitated the boom of this trend. “Consumer trusts the brand, and if the brand has a website it becomes easier to sell. Trust comes with service and performance given to the customer over a period of time and plays a key role in retaining the customer. Except some basic difference, online shopping is no different from a physical store experience. Like some retail stores do well while others don’t, same goes for the websites,” said Prabir Chatterjee of Mirrar Jewels.

Chatterjee stresses on the fact that websites don’t enjoy the level of reliability that a physical outlet gets from the customer. However, both can not only operate separately in their respective areas, but also complement each other. He commented, “Physical outlet with good brand image will continue growing and the good news is that they are also available online. This not only helps them increase their market presence but also gives them an opportunity to offer various other services apart from their trust-worthy products.”

While online retail brings to the table many benefits like competitive prices, reaching out to customer directly, quick customer feedback, strong reach, round-the-clock services, minimum wastage of time; it also has certain drawbacks like lack of look and feel of the product. Adding to the challenges are factors like limiting the sale of exorbitant item or stones, logistics problems in remote areas, loss in transit and so on.

Commenting for the same, Sutariya says, “There is only one factor that might be missing in online business, that is, look and feel of the product and inter-personal relationship between the seller and the buyer. It’s difficult to categorise it as a pro or a con, however, the fact that companies that maintain a cordial relation with their customer on a personal level, will prosper.”

Experts reckon that online shopping will increase twice as fast as the total retail market over the next four years. One won’t find any bargains, small quirky businesses or surprises here. It is best place for customised product with numerous services to give satisfaction and rich buying experience to the customer.

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