Around 37 percent of Indian women have never bought gold jewellery but are interested in doing so in the future, a report said. The report, by the World Gold Council (WGC), added that most of these potential buyers are from the rural areas.
"About 37 percent of Indian women are potential buyers, representing a sizable new target audience for the gold jewellery industry. Of this 44 percent respondents are from rural areas while 30 per cent are from urban areas presenting a significant potential audience for retail jewellers to capture," the WGC's 'Retail Gold Insights: India Jewellery' report said.
The survey was conducted in partnership with global research agency Hall and Partners among more than 6,000 consumers between 18-65 years in gold jewellery markets like India, China and the US.
Indian women usually buy gold as it meets the criteria of their ideal product choice as it is durable, a good financial investment and family heirloom, socially acceptable and offers a straight forward retail experience, it added.
However, currently the yellow metal is not meeting the significant needs for self-expression, prestige or fashion of young women, the survey found.
The millennials do not find gold resonating with the desire for self-expression and prestige when it comes to factors that motivate fashion and lifestyle buying, it said.
Although many young women are active gold jewellery consumers (33 per cent of Indian women aged 18-24 bought gold jewellery in the last 12 months), their future purchase intent is low, particularly in the urban cohort, it said.
Younger women are less emotionally connected to gold jewellery and this represents a potential future threat to demand, it added.
"India's jewellery market is world-leading in the skills of its artisans, who craft the most elaborate and decorative pieces that adorn the nation's women. But the industry needs to be alert to the changing times.
"This research shows us that consumer tastes are evolving, and there is a risk of gold jewellery losing its connection with younger audiences as other brands vie for the attention of the millennial generation," WGC Managing Director, India, Somasundaram P R said.
Gold jewellery faces challenges from perceptions that it is a traditional necessity and not versatile enough for the modern Indian woman, he said, adding that the industry can adapt, adjust and improve to meet the different needs of different groups of Indian women.
"The report reveals the importance of establishing modern, relevant brands that can resonate with consumers through compelling marketing campaigns. Enhancing the purchase experience for consumers, incorporating a greater role for technology, should also be a focus for the industry," he added.