None of us had expected the lockdown to last for over 2 months; the fight against Covid-19 has only united us and in a way and has prepped us all to adapt to the many ‘new normals’ that it brought with itself. The nation-wide lockdown is slowly being lifted across orange and green zones and life is slowly crawling back to a new-normalcy.
Businesses and brands are now are making their way back into the business; planning their communication plans for a new world post the covid-19 lockdown, while keeping a note of some of the new buzz words such as ‘social distancing’, ‘work from home’ and the latest one; ‘atmanirbhar’.
Medianews4u brings to you, yet another perspective, this time not only from a particular sector but from various sectors, and especially from the ones that were terribly hit by Covid-19.
Well Covid-19 is not over yet, but it’s definitely the start of good… It’s time for Back to Business…
In the first story of Medianews4u’s new brand series, Back to Business, we spoke to Arun Narayan, AVP, Marketing, Category & Retail, Tanishq, Titan Company Limited.
Being a jewellery brand how are you coping up with the impact of Covid-19 on Tanishq? How effectively have you used the lockdown period?
While the sector has been impacted; we took some measures in the second phase of lockdown. We were the first brand in the industry to announce Akshaya Tritiya for our customers. In spite of the lockdown we wanted to make Akshaya Tritiya equally auspicious and prosperous for our customers. We introduced contactless shopping experience for our customers. We have trained our retail team in the process. They are prepared to deal with our customers in the virtual world.
We have had an encouraging response from the customers for Akshaya Tritiya as well. We have had close to 1+ million visitors/browsers on our website indicating a lot of customer interest. Further, this ticket size online has jumped 2.5 to 3 times the usual online average ticket size; implying many new customers have come online. We are taking constant efforts to drive the new digital driven behaviour of our customers.
The quest for a solution in a particular crisis helps invent new business opportunities and sometimes leads to a revision of existing business models … What innovations has the Covid-19 pandemic brought to Tanishq?
In order to give a superior and unique customer services experience, during Akshaya Tritiya, we launched new technology initiatives such as video calling feature, live assisted chat on our website and setting up of a remote war room to resolve any customer query in real-time to name a few.
we are reworking on our omnichannel program whilst launching many innovative technology-led services like video shopping, live assisted chat on our website plus a remote war room to resolve customer queries in real-time. These services will be extended to stores once they open and we promise a safer and technology-enhanced shopping experience post lockdown in all our stores.
While some parts of the country have become Covid-19 free, cities like Mumbai and Delhi are still in a lockdown situation. How are you planning to resume business across cities that are not in the Red?
We have currently resumed operations across 65 of our 328 stores across the country. These stores are located in areas where lockdown has been relaxed and we have obtained permissions from local authorities before reopening the stores.
In the coming weeks we plan to reopen all our 328 stores across the country as in a phased-wised manner.Tanishq has rolled out a ‘Gold Standard’ safety e-book that reiterates company’s commitment to safety and well-being of customers and its employees at the store. It covers all staff and customer touchpoints, entailing numerous safety measures, including contactless shopping and strict social distancing at all times.
We have strengthened our online-retail collaboration significantly and have seen very good results during Akshaya Tritiya. Encouraged by this response, we will be shortly introducing video calling to help customers shop from the comfort of their homes. Virtual Jewellery Try Ons is another interesting feature wherein customers can ‘try’ & ‘buy’ jewellery online that is being rolled out to some of our stores as well.
What will be your communication strategy post the opening of the lockdown? Understandably bringing customers back to you would be difficult… What will be the objective of the marketing strategy?
The times we are in currently, are certainly unprecedented. While uncertainty looms, we believe there will be both emotional and rational intent to purchase Gold. Whilst gold continues to be a safe haven for investments as its value has seen appreciation over time, gold jewellery has an eternal, emotional and traditional connect with women & families in our country. This makes gold an important asset class for savings during such times whilst also being relevant for traditional/personal occasions.
On these counts, there is already some pent up demand and also some demand that has got deferred owing to weddings getting postponed from Q1 to Q3 or Q4. We believe celebrating special days with friends & family will hold greater importance for us all post lockdown/covid and there will be value seen in gifting & buying jewellery to make such events that much more memorable – for example Birthdays and anniversaries.
How did you keep the morale of the employees during this lockdown period? On a personal note, what kept you positive?
Stay connected and engaged with the customer is of utmost importance along with protecting employees and stakeholders. The objective is to engage with them effectively in this lockdown period through various engagement activities and prepare them for the new.
We work with closer to 7000 Karigars, Titan has worked with the vendors to establish safety guidelines, training sessions and several engagement programs for Karigars. For 7000 Karigars who work directly with Titan at the Karigar Parks in Hosur and Pantnagar manufacturing locations, the company is continuing to take care of the accommodation, food and their wellbeing.
What are some of the post-lockdown business strategies that you will use to bring the business back on track or at least get it in the right direction and also create demand for yourself?
So as we move forward, we foresee three things that will change the way we do business – creating an omnichannel and contactless shopping experience, using technology to offer virtual services and maintaining new safety, hygiene and social distancing norms at the store.