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Jewellery | Luxury Goods

Jewellery | Luxury Goods

Why jewellery?

Jewellery has been a companion of mankind for thousands of years. It may be unclear what prompted our ancestors to invent jewellery but the fascination continues to date. Cutting across cultures and traditions wearing jewellery is customary almost everywhere. The bulk of jewellery sales come as a product of adornment. For some, jewellery is a reflection of one’s wealth, honour, importance, and status in society. In many cultures and belief systems, people wear precious metals and stones in the form of jewellery for their healing powers. Jewellery is also used as an indirect form of investment as precious metals like gold are highly valued and their prices only appreciate with time. Jewellery products also pass on from generation to generation with modifications to represent the ongoing ornamental and fashion trends. That way it is also a representation of ancestral connections. It is difficult to put any one reason over the other to ascribe our fascination for jewellery until you ask a buyer personally. If you are in the jewellery business, you must comprehend the nature of motivation and morale behind the buying behaviour. These reasons can be very subtle and vary from place to place. For example, the biggest consumer markets for gold are China, India, the United States, the UAE, and Iran. But the buying rationale and associated values in each of these countries are drastically different from one another.

What exactly is jewellery?

Jewellery refers to the products of ornaments made of precious metals and stones. Jewellery products are mostly used in the form of nose and earrings, necklaces, finger rings, bracelets, bangles, anklets, etc. The key metals used in jewellery are gold, platinum, palladium, silver-sterling, titanium, tungsten, and stainless steel. And precious stones that often accompany jewellery are diamond, emerald, rubies, sapphire, aquamarine, opal, tanzanite, rose quartz, etc. Few popular types of jewellery are:

  • Antique Jewellery
  • Temple Jewellery
  • Bead Jewellery
  • Bridal Jewellery
  • Fashion Jewellery
  • Fine Jewellery

And others…..

Prospects of a jewellery business

Given the high popularity and demand for all forms and sizes of jewellery products in any prospective market region, it makes jewellery an attractive business opportunity there. From all income groups, less or more in quantity, for frequent use or meant for special occasions, almost every person buys jewellery once in a while, for themselves or for gifting others. Here, we are not discussing the morale and reasons behind buying but the fact that buying takes place for certain. Just like any other product, jewellery also comes in many forms and price brackets. For special occasions like marriages or baby shower ceremonies, exquisite metals like gold, diamond, or silver are preferred. For routine or casual purposes, fashion jewellery comes into action. Thus, the market demand for jewellery products remains consistent. While the purchase of fine jewellery is often a planned activity for most customers, the products at the lower end of the price bracket do not involve much detailed consideration.

Problems in the jewellery industry: from a business perspective

Keeping up with the vogue

Jewellery products are mostly bought to be used for ornamental purposes. This makes it subject to trends like fashion wear. Although the constituting elements like the stones and metals must meet the prescribed quality standards, the external component i.e. the design of jewellery plays the next important role. The challenge with jewellery brands is to keep up with the trends. Predicting these trends is not an easy task. It is common for jewellery stores to see customers walking out because they did not exactly what they were looking for. Secondly, it takes time and skill and alterations in the casting process to conceptualize or incorporate a new design and bring it to the store. Some jewellery brands offer customization but that too is possible only when customers are willing to wait for a few days or weeks depending on the intricacy of the design sought.

Customer acquisition

The problem of customer acquisition is more acute with fine jewellery or any other occasion-based jewellery. These purchases are mostly governed by personal occasions. Precious metals like gold or diamond in their purest and authentic forms are not meant for casual gifting or routine use. Such occasions are rare for an individual. Thus, in a given market, with a limited customer base, the purchases tend to be a one-time activity for a long period. This problem is further compounded by competition which affects the other forms of jewellery businesses as well. Another obstacle in customer acquisition is product collection. It is difficult for jewellery stores to accurately anticipate every customer’s design expectations. They can keep stock of certain standard prototypes which are always in demand. But customers always seek something different from the ordinary. If a store does not have what a customer is seeking, its competitor store in the next block might be.

Scaling

Businessmen and entrepreneurs should always be looking into the future with their feet firmly held in the present. Growth and expansion are critical for the survival of a business enterprise in the long run. The same holds for jewellery businesses. Scaling comes with its unique set of challenges for jewellery stores. Firstly, additional investments have to be made in inventory. Because jewellery comprises high-value metals and stones, this amount tends to stand high. Additional investments are also called in the form of hiring or purchasing real estate for setting up new stores. Secondly, new stores mean additional operations. Suddenly, the burden of work doubles for jewellery business owners. Controlling the business operations of multiple jewellery stores is always challenging. Thirdly, customer service and brand reputation get exposed to mismanagement. As operational control becomes a challenge, service-related aspects also take their share of the beating.

Franchising

Franchising is a smart and efficient way to approach growth and expansion in business. It has let many international brands enter foreign markets. But there are ample cases of franchising failures as well at both domestic and international levels. What franchisees can take for granted is the reputation of the franchisors’ brand. Not all franchisees could see through the years of hard work that franchisors put into building a brand reputation. The fallout of such underestimations is often exposed in the way business operations are carried out by the franchisees including in their seriousness for customer service and support activities. But franchisors cannot brush aside these and other reasons for franchise failure. The onus of ensuring that their business is carried out by the franchisees as it should be lies on them first. All the critical aspects of a franchise business must be planned and defined in advance. Many jewellery brands engage in franchising and then they do not see the results coming. And eventually, the ties are snapped. All these failed efforts and investments could be avoided with vision and franchise planning.

Constraints in eCommerce

Despite the general success of eCommerce, jewellery has certain barriers in the online channel. Expensive jewellery products are rarely bought online. The reason is the lack of physical validation. A majority of customers are not comfortable making any significant jewellery purchases via online stores. Irrespective of one’s acute awareness about precious metals, stones, or gems, if it is fine jewellery, customers prefer purchasing by visiting a jewellery store. The problems are not so severe in the case of fashion or other relatively economical forms of jewellery. But it is likely that over time, there will be a greater acceptance of the eCommerce channel for purchasing fine jewellery when the businesses begin to address the concerns of customers.

Customer Experience

Traditional jewellery businesses need to adopt eCommerce and technology in relevant ways to enhance customer experience. Jewellery is a personal requirement. Individual preferences, experiences and emotions play a vital role in consumer behaviour. These aspects are very subjective rendering them difficult to be read or predicted with high accuracy. Digital marketing and data analytics are of significant aid in improving customer experience. Traditional jewellery brands cannot afford to turn a blind eye to technologies that help them better comprehend and map customer experience. Experience stores or remote AR-VR experience could be of great marketing value in customer acquisition and enhancing customer experience.

How YRC can help: a glimpse

Market Research

YRC’s market research report covers analyses of a wide range of variables covering market overview, channels, competition, demand, pricing, trends, and more. An experienced team of jewellery business consultants carry out a detailed and comprehensive assessment of all the key market variables. The goal is to make a holistic assessment of the market and derive specific and actionable insights for improved planning and decision-making for better business. We traverse in search of wisdom from ‘how things are’ to ‘what can be done’.

Business Model Development

YRC’s business model development services help clients carry forward their business with a strong brand positioning. Our focus is on identifying the right UVP for clients and crafting the strategic framework of the value chain and internal capabilities. This framework defines how the intended value shall be created and delivered to the customers. In business development services, our team of jewellery business consultants shall cover value proposition, omnichannel strategies, business-IT requirements, operations, and marketing and sales.

Business Strategy Consulting

Like other businesses, in the jewellery business also, there is a need to formulate business or functional strategies. This ensures that each function and the overall business system run in an organized and synchronized manner. These functional areas include both core and support functions like sales and showroom operations, finance, HR, IT, marketing, logistics, etc. All these sub-systems must work towards achieving their functional objectives and contribute their share to the accomplishment of the macro business objectives. Our team of jewellery business consultants shall identify, define, and map the role of each function and their operational inter-relationships in making the business model work to success.

Business Plan Development

The necessary financial projections and planning are critical for assessing the mettle and sustainability of a business project and the associated business model. In business plan development, we assist clients to review the commercial viability of their business project. Our team of jewellery consulting experts follows an arduous, comprehensive, and systematic process in the preparation of the business plans. Key areas covered are capital and initial investments, operational costs, revenue turnover, purchase and inventory planning, profit and loss projections, ROI and break-even analysis, etc. These financial assessments also serve as a roadmap for future courses of action and decision making in financial matters.

SOP Consulting

In SOP consulting, our objective is to help clients become process-oriented enterprises as against people-dependent business systems. We help clients build a robust operational foundation. We formulate the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the processes and operations involved in the jewellery business. Our SOPs help clients establish operational routines, maintain consistency of standards in performance and output, build better growth systems, and eliminate loss of productivity. These services are designed by an experienced team of jewellery business consultants.

CX Strategy

Customer experience is a critical area of work in the jewellery business. It significantly affects how swiftly customers traverse their shopping journey. Good experiences make this journey smoother and quicker bringing the customers closer to making a purchase or giving effect to any conversion goal. The objectives and activities for CX cannot be decided on the go but have to be contemplated in advance. Every physical and digital touchpoint must address the element of CX. Our jewellery consulting experts assist clients in mapping the CX journey and in planning and implementation of CX strategies for their business.

Franchise Consulting

As franchising proves to be an effective business expansion strategy, it is common to find jewellery brands adopting the franchise route. Keeping in mind the most updated practices and challenges specific to jewellery business franchising, in franchise consulting, we help clients plan and implement their franchise projects. We assist in formulating expansion strategies, preparing the business plan, mapping the franchise partner search activities, drafting the franchise legal agreements, developing the franchise business SOPs, and defining the audit processes.

We are a boutique retail consulting firm with experience and expertise in a wide range of verticals including jewellery consulting and luxury goods industry business consulting. To know more about our jewellery consulting services or luxury goods industry business consulting services, drop us a message and our team shall coordinate a call back with your company.

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We work only for Visionaries.

PROCESS AUTOMATION

The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

IT INTEGRATION

Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

 

At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

UI & UX DESIGNING

This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

BRANDING

Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

CRITICAL PATHWAY

Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

MARKET RESEARCH

Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.