Though touch and feel are a preferred choice among UAE residents when it comes to buying gold and diamond jewellery, the trend of buying jewellery online is growing among consumers in the country.
The UAE-based retailers say that most of the purchases made online are smaller pieces of jewellery with a not very high ticket price.
They also noted that a large chunk of online orders is placed mainly by millennials during wedding seasons and the festivals such as Valentine's.
John Paul Alukkas, managing director for international operations, Joyalukkas Group, noted that there is a steady increase in customers who opt to buy gold jewellery online.
“There are many customers who use the online portal to buy gold, primarily as a gift to their loved ones. Online gold jewellery buying gives them the freedom to shop in the comfort of their homes and get the jewellery delivered, wherever their loved ones live. This trend is really growing and we generally see a spike during Valentine's as well as festive and wedding seasons,” he said.
According to World Gold Council’s latest data, gold jewellery demand picked up in the UAE, especially Dubai, known as a City of Gold, as demand reached 10.7 tonnes in the third quarter as compared to 8.2 tonnes in the same quarter last year, an increase of over 30 per cent. The increase in sales is attributed to high resident spending and the influx of foreign tourists, especially from the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East, Europe and the US.
Ramesh Kalyanaraman, executive director of Kalyan Jewellers, said with renewed interest among young millennial consumers towards making jewellery purchases, there has been a steady uptick in the adoption of the digital medium to make lightweight jewellery purchases. “Our e-commerce division has been consistently reporting an uptick in revenues,” said Kalyanaraman.
Shamlal Ahamed, managing director for international operations, Malabar Gold and Diamonds, said e-commerce and online buying are on the rise in the gold jewellery sector as well.
“In our efforts to reach customers from all walks of life, we operate an online store, so that customers can buy from our immense range of collections from the comfort of their homes. The percentage growth of jewellery purchased online is high, however, the average value of jewellery purchased online is lower compared to offline retail sales. We expect this trend to continue in the coming years,” said Ahamed.
Chirag Vora, director, Bafleh jewellers, said they’re relatively new in the online arena, but have seen a lot of enquiries and two-way communication online which eventually convert into sales in physical stores. “This trend is growing, and it seems customers want to check online first before they go to the showrooms to make purchases,” he said.
Anil Dhanak, managing director of Kanz, added that customers prefer to see jewellery collections online and then visit stores for the final buying decision.
“The touch and feel of jewellery are still very important for clients. But there has been a growing interest for online purchasing for items on price points simply due to the convenience of shopping from home,” said Dhanak.
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