“By going online we created a new multi-crore business vertical”

Sanjay Banerjee, Head of E-commerce, PN Gadgil Jewellers, and CIO Power List 2017 winner, talks about driving digital marketing and sales through an online portal and app for his company that already has a strong offline business format. By Satyaki Sarkar

For most of his 25-year career Sanjay Banerjee has been in the jewellery industry, working to utilise cutting-edge technologies to revolutionise the e-commerce segment. As the e-commerce head at PN Gadgil Jewellers he has helped the well known jewellery company grow a new business vertical in a highly competitive market with strong emphasis on social media outreach and digital marketing. Recently awarded at CIO Power List 2017, he speaks to us about taking PN Gadgil Jewellers into the e-commerce space.

Creating a strong online presence
“Nowadays, everyone is joining the e-commerce bandwagon,” says Sanjay. “But when it comes to the jewellery industry it is not always a feasible venture, but rather just a style statement. This is because it involves precious jewellery sales, for which people usually prefer to go to a physical store to touch and feel the product before buying it. To solve this problem, we created a robust and strong online portal a few years ago and followed it up with a mobile app recently. The idea is to give our customers the complete shopping experience, irrespective of the platform in question.

“While we know high ticket sales don’t happen online we use our digital platforms to showcase products, build brand value, and drive customers to our stores. Jewellery shopping is an extremely high value investment and customers browse several stores, consider the opinions of family, friends, etc, before making a purchase. This becomes a time consuming, long-winded process. So we decided to give customers the option to browse through our online portals from the comfort of their home, with friends and family right next to them. We also have a dedicated customer service team to ensure customer enquiries, feedback, and complaints are addressed accurately and fast, so that the user experience is always kept at an all time high.”

Special features on the app
“For the app we mapped out all the information an existing or potential customer would like to know and made sure to include it in the app. Right from current gold and silver rates, to jewellery schemes, and EMI facilities all the information is available on the app. Right now we have thousands of customers enrolled in our schemes for which they’d earlier have to physically come to the store each time to make a payment, check their balance, etc. Using the app they can track their EMI status, make payments, and get all the information they need in the palm of their hands. We’ve also incorporated a GPS feature to help customers find the nearest store, besides including loyalty programming. This has helped maximise the utility value of the app, and massively expand our customer base and brand engagement.”

Targeting the right audience
“Our online target audience is majorly the younger generation, especially those getting married, as they would be most comfortable with e-commerce and apps. It’s also an excellent way of increasing our brand presence, as they’re likely to discuss it among their social circle. For pure online retail we restrict ourselves to products that are lightweight, suitable for daily wear as people are still hesitant about buying jewellery worth more than Rs 20,000 online.”

Increased user engagement
“We use social media to hold competitions and events, and promote interesting offers. We also publish very interesting blogs that talk about the luxury industry, jewellery products, and gemstones in detail. This has helped us achieve tremendous popularity and brand presence in the industry in only two years. When it comes to e-commerce and social media marketing we figured out that you need to primarily focus on the product, churn out the latest designs, and constantly showcasing them online. You also need to provide attractive promotional offers, events, and contests whereby the customer engagement activity is a continuous and ever expanding process. If you can build up a consistency and synergy in these marketing activities, the residual effect with customers is all but guaranteed.”

Business benefits
“Our ecommerce venture was started around three years ago and till now we have seen 100 per cent growth projected each year. We expect it will soon take a steep J curve and will perform even better than our expectations. With the huge boom in the Indian e-commerce market, the wave is going to greatly help us increase our topline as well as bottomline.” 

Categories:   People, Interviews


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