Woven deeply into the nation’s culture, exhibiting wealth, power, and status, jewellery is a lot more in India than gems, metals, and stones. It’s an emotion that exudes through festivals and functions. Jewellery isn’t a fad but a part of culture existing through centuries. The first actual documentation of body ornamentation was discovered in cave drawings around 20,000 years ago, confirming the historical affinity for jewellery.
From then till today, the art of jewellery making has undergone a tidal change to meet the fine needs of the clients. Over the past few decades, breakthroughs in technology have transformed production and trade across sectors. While solid engineering abilities are still required of designers to fine craft pieces, technology has undeniably changed the principles of how jewellery is conceived and made.
The sector is also experiencing a tectonic shift in the way the products are being retailed. Online shopping has been picking up over the past few years. However, COVID-19 accelerated the pace of this transformation. A jewellery purchase is a highly personalized act that necessitates tailored digital strategies to maximize client satisfaction and experience. Artificial Intelligence (AI), which has already disrupted established ways of working in other industries, is now making inroads in the jewellery industry.
Let’s fine-tune into the potential of emerging technologies to understand the future of jewellery and what this transformation will yield for all stakeholders, be it the designers, distributors, or customers.
The designer dream
The amalgamation of human expertise with cutting-edge technology is helping craft the finest jewels today. The traditional way of designing jewellery, which involves sketching it out on paper and then rendering it with ink, pencil, or watercolor, is rapidly being digitized. Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) hardware is transforming the whole process at a breakneck speed.
The CAD software can create 2-dimensional designs or 3-dimensional models. It allows customers to collaborate with jewellers and witness the whole process of their piece coming to life on a virtual platform.
Similarly, CAM hardware, such as 3D modeling, helps designers work on intricate designs at a significantly low cost.
Changing the way we shop
Customers’ qualms of not being able to try on jewellery are allayed by augmented reality, which allows for exceptional customization while also eliminating the need to visit physical stores. Augmented Reality (AR) is helping customers get that lifelike feel when shopping for jewellery online. All one needs is a webcam to try out the jewellery pieces online.
Apart from this, AI in jewellery retail is gaining popularity. Brands across the sector with an online store are jumping the AI bandwagon to deploy digital shopping assistants that function as online brand experts and mimic guided shopping experiences as one would have in a physical store. These real-time assistants help customers from product discovery and recommendations to checkout.
Data collected by digital shopping assistants aid brands in data analysis and insight generation, allowing them to understand better and serve customers. Similarly, leveraging the possibilities of Millennials and Gen Z-favored technology, such as "voice search," can help the brand leapfrog competition and provide customers with a quick and preferred mode of shopping.
Undoubtedly, technology is changing and will continue to revolutionize how jewellery is designed, created, and sold. Players in the domain who keep pace with these developments and factor in customers’ evolving demands will carve a niche for themselves and sustain it in the long run. Lastly, it will be interesting to see how the integration of technology will influence the future of jewellery manufacturing and retail.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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