The launch couldn’t have been more aptly timed. The wedding season was in full flow and for most of us that meant a reason to go shopping and be a little indulgent.
Recently Bluestone.com, one of the country’s leading online jewellery brands came to Chandigarh to showcase exclusive designs culled from five limited edition collections launched as part of their Design Week 2016 initiative.
Just like a fashion week that’s showcased on the ramp, Bluestone curated an online showcase of precious jewellery that can be viewed in the comfort of your home or office and at prices points that don’t take your breath away, as that should really be left to the jewellery designs.
Chandigarh as an emerging market
Post demonetisation, online shopping, that too for certified precious jewellery seems like a boon. The city has been receptive to the concept and the figures speak for themselves. “Chandigarh has emerged as a very strong market for online shopping. In fact, with the onset of the wedding season we have seen a phenomenal rise. In the months of October and November last year, we had as many as one lakh visits to our website,” said a visibly pleased Arvind Singhal, COO, Bluestone.com.
In Chandigarh for the very first time, Singhal, who has previously steered TaxiforSure as CEO and worked with leading companies like McDonald’s and Reliance Communications, is well aware of the potential Chandigarh and Punjab offer in the space of online shopping. “People are well aware of the global trends and appreciate the latest styles. They are fashion conscious and like to buy well designed jewellery. In our experience, the customer age group shopping for jewellery online is between the ages 28 to 35 years,” informed Singhal.
While he admits online jewellery industry is in a nascent stage, the growth has been on the upswing and that too in a short period of time. “Overall, the Indian precious jewellery online market is worth Rs 400 to 500 crores. The traditional set-up of precious jewellery selling is far bigger but things are fast changing. At Bluestone, we have seen 100 percent growth and we are just five years old,” informed Singhal.
Why online is better
Traditionally, precious jewellery buying means a visit to the local jeweller or a family jeweller with no less than an entourage (your mother or mother in law in most cases) to accompany you. Then comes the experience – the embarrassment of defining a budget, the salesperson getting restless when you turn up your nose to the seventh ‘tray’ of designs he has put forth you and the uncertainty of the final price. Even when you finally decide on a product, say a pair of earrings, customisation is frowned upon and the price is explained to you on a flimsy chit of paper.
“There’s not much transparency in the sale and for many customers the pricing structure seems gibberish,” says Singhal. It’s these points that the team at Bluestone kept in mind when they launched the online precious jewellery portal. “While online shopping for imitation and semi-precious jewellery has been there, precious jewellery is picking up only now,” adds Singhal.
The advantages are many – shopping in the comfort of home or office, certified purchase, transparency in pricing (making charges to cost of gold, diamonds and gemstones are clearly marked), customisation is an option and one can ask for a home visit to try out the jewellery before you purchase it. “Also there is no pressure to buy the jewellery should you not like anything that you have asked to be brought home. The ease of shopping is maintained all through,” points out Singhal.
The first edition of the Bluestone Design Week comprised of five collections including those featuring colourful gemstones. “Gone are the days when women invest only in heavy jewellery. The modern bride has shifted to minimalistic designs and lightweight jewellery that doubles up for various occasions. Chandelier earrings and cocktail rings are still very popular. There’s a growing popularity of white gold and rose gold as well,” informs Singhal.
Another arresting collection, which was part of the showcase, is the Florentine collection. It comprises of marquise-cut tourmalines in myriad hues set in floral clusters. “Tall earrings are another global trend,” adds Singhal who is looking to roll out more such showcases in the city in the coming months.