Pune-based 24-year-old HR executive Shruti Sharda bought diamond jewellery online last year which she gifted her mother. “I had saved money and I thought to buy a gift for my mother. My friends suggested I could buy online diamond jewellery priced above Rs 2,000. That was my first purchase and now I keep buying pendants and earrings for myself,” Shruti says.
Like Shruti, Kolkata-based Rakhi Raut, a software professional in her mid-twenties, too buys diamond jewellery online. “I hardly get any time to drop in at jewellery stores. It is easier for me to buy jewellery with a click of a mouse. And moreover, quality has never been in doubt,” says Rakhi.
Indeed, online shopping has boosted diamond jewellery sales by a fifth as tech-savvy youngsters buy rocks rather than gold, say branded players. As gold prices are inching upwards and going out of the reach, people in the 22-32 age group are increasingly drawn to diamond jewellery.
For them, diamond is a symbol of success and prosperity. Rajiv Mehta, managing director, suratdiamond.com said: “In 2010, our website was visited by 7.5 lakh people per month. This year, we are seeing that 10 lakh people are visiting our website per month. In 2010, we sold 5,000 pieces of diamond jewellery a month. We are seeing an upward trend and the sales will go up by at least 25% beginning August. Diamond sales pick up in the period August to February. Nearly 30-35% of our buyers from the metros and the rest 65-70% are from big towns such as Nasik, Satara and Kolhapur.”
“Sales have increased by 20-25% for diamond jewellery. The 20-plus people are driving this upswing. To them, diamond has an aspirational value. We receive maximum queries from south India. High value diamond jewellery is generally bought by people in the age group of 35-50 and we receive queries for these products from Mumbai, Punjab and Haryana,” said Manik Jaiswal, senior sales executive at johareez.com.
Branded players such as Gili India which entered into e-com business in 2006 too are looking at a double-digit growth in diamond sales. “There is a big boom in the market as diamond jewellery is not that expensive. The Gili signature range is starting from Rs 8,000 while the Gili range starts from Rs 12,000. Rings, pendants and earrings are the top-sellers,” said an official of Mumbai-based Gili India.
The company gives third-party certification from International Gemological Institute and delivers the jewellery in 7-10 working days form the date of order. With an annual turnover of Rs 50 crore, Mumbai-based Agni Jewel sees 25% sales coming from the online segment in the coming year. “We are targetting Rs 100 crore in 2011-12 and see a huge potential in online sales.
With a large percentage of youngster and mid-aged people glued to the internet, it becomes the best location to sell the jewellery. Our range of 18-carat gold with cubic zirconia (alternative diamond) begins from Rs 990 to Rs 23,000 which is quite affordable,” said Ramesh Shoor, director (marketing), Agni Jewel. However, some are not very confident of buying jewelleries online.
Ahmedabad-based homemaker Pinki Soni said, “I will not recommend buying from an online portal as labour charge is high.” Mehta said online jewellery buying is growing. “People are yet to understand that online buying is cheaper. Jewellery shops have to bear an overhead cost which is not there in the case of online buying.”