As with every other business, the Indian jewelry industry has slowly embraced technological changes. From computer-aided designing to virtual and augmented reality solutions, brands are seeking new ways to excite customers and stay competitive at the same time.
Reliance Jewels too is pushing the frontiers of technology. Sunil Nayak, CEO of the company tells how the brand is leveraging augmented reality (AR) to heighten customer experience and allow buyers to try more products virtually before purchase. Present as independent and shop-in-shop outlets, the jewelry major currently has a consolidated presence of over 109 outlets across India.
“A lot of disruptions are happening across the globe. I think one of the most important disruption is the digital transformation. For players like us in the jewelry industry which is traditionally not a very pro-technology driven one, there too I see significant changes happening in the coming years,” Nayak said.
The company is looking at technology to help it accelerate its business growth and alter customer perception about the availability, design, and purchase of jewelry.
“One of the major initiatives that we have taken is augmented reality. This is the business where is the highest in the inventory. Since today is the thin margin business, we felt that augmented reality can create a situation where a customer entering into any store will have the visibility of all the 100+ plus that we have today,” Nayak stated.
At a time when many jewelry companies have opted for an omnichannel presence, Reliance Jewels has stuck to an offline model. However, Nayak said that as the company gears up for an online debut, once again, it will use technologies like augmented reality to make it easier for shoppers to search for what they seek.
“We currently have augmented reality in-store because we are yet to launch our businesses on the ecommerce platform. This will happen in the next couple of months. And I am happy to share with you that augmented reality will play its role even in the ecommerce business.”
Over the last few months Reliance jewels has become aggressive in the tier-2 and 3 cities, which have been the domain of traditional jewelers. Talking about how the company is upending the jewelry business to entrench itself more solidly, Nayak said, “We pay a lot of importance on modern technology. One of the technology is data analytics for our Reliance retail as a business. And we concluded based on our investigation that this is the place where we should be.”
Reliance Jewels has realized this based on the recent store openings and the business accrued therein. Three and a half months ago, the company opened a store in Mumbai and a fortnight later, it launched an outlet in a tier-two city. “The latter did more than two and half times business of first day than what we did in Mumbai,” Nayak claimed. “This convinces us that the business lies in the second tier cities.”