Pandemic has made customers comfortable with transacting online: Avnish Anand, CaratLane
At IBC 2021, Co-founder & COO of CaratLane shared how the brand went omnichannel from being completely online
The exchange4media group hosted the 5th edition of its flagship event India Brand Conclave on December 15, 2021. The power-packed agenda of the conference saw market leaders from across sectors take the virtual stage to share insights on a host of topics. Avnish Anand, Co-founder & COO, CaratLane, delivered an insightful session on ‘CaratLane's omnichannel journey of helping customers express their emotions’.
Anand opened his session by sharing the history of CaratLane’s inception and capitalizing on an opportunity. “In 2008, jewellery had a traditional aspect attached to itself. They were meant only for the privileged, were heavy and were only worn on special occasions. In fact, jewellery transactions online were out of the question. The founders realised that women wanted to wear fine jewellery every day and there was a huge potential to bring in a digital play aimed to disrupt it,” Anand shared.
According to Anand, the digital element is in play not only for the delivery or supply chain part of it but also in terms of design and overall production at CaratLane. He shared pointers from the brand’s playbook and said, “It wasn’t just about the affordability but about changing the way women & jewellery discover each other. The first step for us is simply making jewellery that everyone loves. Then we aspire to provide a digital-driven experience wherein every touchpoint from discovery to final purchase is done in a way that is comfortable to the consumer.”
Further sharing how the brand went omnichannel from a completely online brand, Anand added “We realised that discovery wasn’t just about having an exhaustive online discovery, it was about removing all points of friction between our customers discovering our jewellery. We learnt that for a bulk of Indians, the touch and feel was an important step in buying jewellery and we wanted to enable that process end-to-end. Throughout the multiple checkpoints, it was important to understand the consumer journey and be able to facilitate that in order to complete the loop. We were only listening to our consumers, and that’s just how we eventually became an omnichannel business.”
The pandemic has impacted almost all sectors, but few sectors, like jewellery, saw a positive impact of the lockdowns after shipping was permitted. Sharing the journey through Covid-19, Anand said “pandemic or no pandemic, certain things do not change, like people celebrating special occasions, the high of retail therapy, small joys for online shopping and delivery. If anything, the lockdown has made people crave these and changed the economy in a way that there was surplus cash that was saved from other spendings. Consumer behaviour changed in a way that they were browsing, buying and paying more digitally now and were comfortable with transacting online. “
“As a digital-first brand, CaratLane has had the advantage of being equipped with a digital ecosystem while a lot of brands had to start from scratch. We also had the agility to conform to this changing behaviour. There has been a digital adoption, wherein older, traditional jewellers started migrating to the digital medium. The younger, digital brands started launching new features to enhance their already existing infra. The larger change was how the mindset of the people running this industry started to change. They became more open to digital. Now that things are getting back to normal gradually, those changes have been sustained.”
Concluding his session, Anand put a lot of emphasis on the theory that CaratLane believes in. He said, “we were able to distill all our learnings into ‘jobs to be done’ theory – something we now use internally to influence processes and decision making. We believe in the ‘jobs to be done’ framework, which is a framework for understanding customers and their motivations for adopting a new product or service that helps them in their emotional and social progress.”
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