India is the second-largest consumer of gold in the world, apart from being considered the safest investment it has an imperative role in the socio-cultural and religious aspects of the day-to-day life of Indians. Akshaya Tritiya is an occasion preferred by the Indians to purchase gold and other auspicious metals as it is believed that purchase on this will bring prosperity.
With slight fluctuations, the gold rates in India have fallen ahead of Akshaya Tritiya. On this Akshaya Tritiya, as the economy limps back to normalcy, jewellery brands across the country are hopeful of a positive growth rate compared to the COVID era. From rolling out new collections to offering discounts and cashback, the jewellery brands have leveraged various marketing strategies to attract consumers and ensure a growth trajectory.
The Indian Jewellery Group, Malabar Gold, has rolled out a range of exquisitely designed gold rings, gold earrings, gold bangles, gold chains, and gold necklaces. In addition, they have launched a diversified range of diamond jewellery.
“Apart from gold and diamond jewellery, Malabar Gold & Diamonds has also unveiled a range of platinum rings, gemstone jewellery for its brand Precia and uncut diamond jewellery for its brand Era. I think platinum jewellery will see an uptake in this Akshaya Tritiya,” says MP Ahammed, Chairman, Malabar Gold & Diamonds.
On the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya, the brand has also introduced attractive discounts on making charges on gold and gemstone jewellery and a discount on the diamond value of diamond jewellery.
Another major jewellery brand, Joy Alukkas, has also introduced offers to consumers on Akshaya Tritiya.
“We have planned some exciting cashback offers for Akshaya Tritiya. It is considered a time for auspicious beginnings, and we feel our ‘Cash Back’ offer will be well accepted by our valued customers. Our offers include free gift vouchers worth Rs. 2000 on the purchase of diamonds, uncut diamonds, and precious jewellery worth Rs. 50,000 and more. On shopping for gold jewellery worth Rs. 50,000/- and more, they will receive a gift voucher worth Rs.1,000 and on the purchase of silver jewellery worth Rs. 10,000, they will be given a gift voucher worth Rs. 500,” says Alukkas Varghese Joy, Managing Director, Joyalukkas India Ltd.
Shyamala Ramanan, Business Head, Mia by Tanishq, is confident about this year’s Akshaya Tritiya. “Last Akshaya Tritiya, our stores were closed as we were largely malls, amid lockdown. We are confident of doing extremely well as, apart from the new collection, we have also introduced an interesting set of 22kt/24 kt gold and 999 silver coins in various denominations,” says Ramanan.
Consumer sentiment remains intact
Speaking of the demand for the yellow metal Ahammed says, “Consumer demand remains robust. Most consumers purchase gold according to their budget. However, sales have been impacted in terms of volume. Although there is a higher number of customers coming to purchase jewellery, there’s a 20-25% decrease in sales volume in all the showrooms across the country. Inflation is affecting customers’ buying power. But, consumer sentiment toward gold remains intact. People are still buying gold jewellery despite the price rise. We expect the gold demand in the coming Akshaya Tritiya to surpass that of the previous year.”
“Strong economic growth and price reduction will support gold demand going forward. Also, a low base, pent-up demand, expected gold price reduction, and more weddings are likely to boost jewellery demand in the near term,” observes Suvankar Sen, MD & CEO of Senco Gold & Diamonds.
Toranj Mehta, Director- Marketing, De Beers India, is optimistic about the sales growth. “This year, we are very positive about the sales picking up for Akshaya Tritiya. De Beers Forevermark saw a great demand for diamonds in the first quarter, with a lot of meaningful and larger pieces being purchased,” she says.
Toeing the line of positive sentiments Ramesh Kalyanaraman, Executive Director – Kalyan Jewellers, “This Akshaya Tritiya, we have witnessed a strong momentum across geographies and product segments, resulting in a positive growth outlook. We are encouraged by the significant increase in footfall, sales volume and value, even when compared to the pre-pandemic days of 2019 (since the last two year are not comparable due to covid disruption).
The higher traction this Akshaya Tritiya could be owing to the lower volatility in gold prices over the past week, further aided by revenge shopping and today’s festival holiday. While an uptick in sales in the Southern markets were expected, the response from the non-South markets have also been extremely encouraging. Owing to the heatwave, we are expecting more walkins during the evening hours, and are confident that the demand momentum will continue to increase” added Ramesh.
Arun Narayan, Vice President, Category, Marketing and Retail, Tanishq at Titan Company Ltd., “We have witnessed a very good response from customers who were looking forward to celebrating Akshaya Tritiya after two years. Our exciting new bangle collection ‘Kalai’ has been very well received whilst earrings and finger rings were also favoured. Our safety protocols and preparations ensured that we served very large numbers of customers across our 390 stores whilst sustaining our ‘Gold Standards of Safety’. Our newly introduced Gold Coin ATMs also enabled customers to shop quickly and comfortably. We now look forward, enthused by this response, to a good wedding season ahead.”
Traditional to new media as media vehicle:
From traditional media vehicles to social media platforms, the brands have left no stone unturned in marketing their products and offerings on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya.
“Our media vehicle for Akshaya Tritiya has always been print media, print advertisements, out of home (OOH), television (Ads), and social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and more,” says Ahammed.
“Our sales and marketing efforts generally spike during this occasion. Senco’s marketing and promotion efforts focus on building brand awareness that stimulates interest in our product range, and strengthening our position in the Indian jewellery industry,” says Sen.
The key marketing channels used by Senco on an ongoing basis include customer advertisements with specific coverage in local lifestyle, fashion magazines and events, newspapers, outdoor billboards and signage, online/ digital and television advertisements, and below-the-line marketing activities like in-showroom customer engagement programmes, spreading awareness through leaflet inserts in local newspapers, and use of marketing collaterals like posters, banners, and tent cards.
“We also work with various local and national influencers for brand collaborations to increase reach and brand visibility through social media platforms. We have undertaken numerous brand building measures for customers regarding our brand and have also started various digital and ‘phy-gital’ measures such as jewellery purchase through video calling, digital catalogue, online advance booking or tele calling to give virtual access to our showrooms to customers,” adds Sen.
“We have a new collection that has just gone into our stores and we will be using a combination of print, digital and direct marketing to spread the celebration and the word of how we’ve made our precious jewellery even more accessible with our special Akshaya Tritiya discount offers. We will be using a combination of print across leading English and vernacular dailies and digital mediums. We also use OTT in malls and direct marketing to our consumer base,” says Ramanan.
Joyalukkas has planned a mix of TV, print, radio, in-store and digital media to promote their offers for Akshaya Tritiya.
“The campaign has already commenced and we will keep running till May 3rd. We are also using our social pages interestingly to connect with our followers and make them aware of our great offers and collections available for Akshaya Tritiya,” adds Varghese Joy.
“As a brand, we believe in a 360-degree approach to meet the demands of our consumers, right from training our on-ground teams for the festivities, to launching meaningful jewellery collections and the De Beers-‘I do’ campaigns. Now that everything has fully opened post two years of the pandemic, we are on the upswing and there is an uptick in consumer demand. For Akshaya Tritiya, we have invested in all key media avenues and digital media. As a part of our e-commerce plans, we have made substantial investments in the relevant platforms. We are optimistic about an upward trajectory this Akshaya Tritiya and we intend to leverage the opportunity most effectively to garner maximum mileage inclusive of Tier II and Tier III markets,” Mehta concludes.