E-commerce has revolutionized the shopping experience and how we think about the buying and selling of goods.
More than 80% of the American population has bought something online, and in Europe, e-commerce has grown at a steady 15% every year since 2010. But there are some pitfalls to the digital shopping experience. One of the biggest comes when the size, look, and feel of a product is vital to consumers making a purchase decision.
It’s a problem that The Titan Corporation–an Indian e-commerce company specializing in watches, jewelry, eyewear, and accessories–knows all too well.
“Jewelry is a high touch-and-feel category,” explains Alokedeep Singh, Titan’s Head of Commerce. “Jewelry shopping is still an occasion for people to walk into a store and buy something. I don’t see that changing in a major way in the next few years.”
Vipin Lalit, Titan’s Head of Marketing adds:
“In India, buying jewelry is a family occasion. You take your friends along, you take your family along, your mother, your father. And the entire family goes and buys jewelry for you. Ultimately, it is very difficult to sell jewelry online."
Executives at Titan have addressed that problem by expanding the company’s physical retail space to 1,200 stores in over 120 cities, becoming India’s biggest watch retailer. However, the rate of growth in Titan’s physical stores is being outpaced by growth online.
Retail e-commerce sales in India are forecast to grow tremendously, from around $16 billion in 2016 to over $45 billion by 2021. In addition, close to 240 million people are forecast to buy goods and services online in India by 2019.
So how do you continue to grow a company in a fast-growing sector like e-commerce that relies so heavily on personalized experiences such as trying-on and comparing products?
Tangiblee’s technology specifically addresses this growing need for personalized, engaging digital experience in the eCommerce industry. The service helps retail consumers understand the scale and context of an individual product through various visual, interactive elements - all managed & hosted by Tangiblee (keeing a retailers’ risk & level of effort practically non-existent).
It’s an elegant solution to a problem that Lalit knows a lot about.
“There’s also the added element,” explains Lalit, “of being able to try on several items at once before deciding on the right one. In India, people buying earrings, for example, would select seven to eight different ones to try on before selecting a final one.”
In addition to benefitting user engagement and experience, Tangiblee’s technology significantly impacts Titan’s return and exchange rates - an expensive problem with which every online retailer is familiar. According to Invesp, a sales optimization company, at least 30% of all products ordered online are returned compared to only 8.89% of those bought in brick-and-mortar shops.
The main reason? Over one fifth of people thought the item looked different in person than it did on-screen. This eats into a company’s margins as they’re left picking up the shipping to have the item returned.
Within weeks of deploying Tangiblee’s product on Titan, the results were in. According to Lalit,
According to Lalit, integration was easier than he initially imagined.
“The [integration] process was very, very simple,” explains Lalit. “We simply added Tangiblee’s codes to our website, gave the dimensions of the items, and they did the rest.”
Not only were people more willing to make a purchase, they were actively spending more in doing so. Sometimes the simplest ideas can solve the most difficult of problems.
The two companies continued to build out their partnership particularly during 2020 when stores were shuttered due to Covid-19. Today, Tangiblee serves multiple Titan brand websites & continues. building out brand-specific features for one of India's most notable and recognizable jewelry brands.