One of the newest phenomena to join in the online shopping euphoria, digital gold gained considerable momentum this Diwali.
Every festive season, there’s a mad rush for the best deals and discounts across online stores in the country. In fact, consulting firm RedSeer Consulting estimated that the first sale cycle in October alone clocked over $3 billion in sales.
Among this euphoria, a new category emerged – ‘digital gold’ that was offered by many players for the first time to customers this Dhanteras.
Over the last two years, multiple digital payment companies including Indian payments giant Paytm; Flipkart-owned PhonePe; Gurugram-based MobiKwik introduced a way for customers to invest in digital gold on their platforms.
Further, these platforms are also allowing customers to save in digital gold starting from Re 1 and providing doorstep delivery of the physical gold after redemption.
Gaurav Mathur, Managing Director of SafeGold, during their partnership with PhonePe, said that “online purchase of gold is still a nascent but a high-growth market”, which is luring these companies to operate in this category.
Gold continues to be a lucrative asset for many Indians in the country opening up a whole lot of potential for the segment.
But the larger question is, “Are individuals trusting the online medium to buy something as precious as gold?”
These numbers may give us the answer.
Indian payments giant Paytm became the first player to start offering digital gold on the platform in April 2017. This week, after 1.5 years of hosting this service, the company stated that more than 2 tonnes (2,000 kilograms) of gold has been transacted on its platform so far.
It also stated that the number of Paytm Gold buyers grew to 10 million with two-third of the adoption coming from tier-II and tier-III cities.
Paytm claims that this is a 900 percent increase since last Diwali. Interestingly, gold coin sales on Paytm went up twenty times, with 1 gram and 2 gram coins being the most commonly bought products.
Nitin Misra, Senior Vice President, Paytm said,
“Our gold gifting service has proven to be a great hit, registering 10X jump in orders. This further reaffirms our belief that Paytm Gold is an attractive gold buying and gifting method. We expect the festive gold shopping fervour to continue weeks after Diwali.”
To further promote this trend, the company has allocated a budget of Rs 10 crore for prizes and free gold on festive purchases.
Bengaluru-based PhonePe launched its gold offering last December. The company claims that it saw a 400 percent growth in gold purchase value during Dhanteras compared to normal days.
The platform saw more than 3.5 million unique visitors during Dhanteras, according to Karthik Raghupathy, Head of Strategy and Planning, PhonePe. He added, “Gold purchase on PhonePe is fuelled by genuine customer intent and trust as demonstrated by the sizable number of gold transactions paid for using UPI on our platform. This is in contrast with other platforms, where Goldback or wallet cashback is leading to an artificial increase in gold transactions.”
Without sharing any absolute numbers, the payment platform said that gold transactions saw a 200 percent rise during Dhanteras. PhonePe also claimed that gold deliveries increased by 30 times during this period.
However, most sales originated from metros led by New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai.
Gurugram-based MobiKwik said the traction seen around digital gold purchases was fairly decent.
The company went officially live with the offering exactly a month ago and claims to have sold to more than 7,000 customers this Dhanteras. According to Co-founder and Director Upasana Taku, the payments platform has sold over 17 kgs of gold in the last month. She added,
“We had sold 7 kilograms of gold in the first 15 days in the limited release of the version without any promotions. During the festive days, we witnessed a 4x growth. Primarily, our surge in user base has been from the tier-I and tier-II cities. The average ticket size has been Rs. 900.”
To lure more customers, MobiKwik announced a partnership with CaratLane this Diwali, which enabled users to convert digital gold into gold jewellery from the latter.
Gold jewellery continued to be a hit on Amazon, while the online commerce company still has to foray into the digital gold category.
Business Head at Amazon Fashion, Arun Sirdeshmukh said that Amazon witnessed a growth of over 200 percent in gold jewellery as compared to previous year this Dhantheras.
“We have experienced close to 10X growth over normal days and offered over 4 lakh styles of gold, diamond jewellery from renowned brands such as Joyalukkas, Malabar, Senco Gold, MMTC PAMP, Mia by Tanishq, PC Jeweller, PC Chandra and more. The strongest demand has come in from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. And customers mainly shopped for 22 carat gold jewellery such as earrings, pendants, mangalsutras and gold coins,” he added.
For mobile payments brand tmw, which launched its gold offering in May said that there was a 30 percent increase in gold transactions from normal days. While 60 percent of these customers came from tier-I cities, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru came across as the top cities contributing to the sales.
The average ticket size during Dhanteras stood at Rs 2,200 and a total value of Rs 10,00,000 of gold was sold on the platform. Further, 6,500 unique visitors came to the platform during the festival, with more women users buying gold on the platform.
During Dhanteras, bullion traders said that sales were nearly 20 percent higher, according to a report in PTI. In the national capital New Delhi, gold of 99.9 percent and 99.5 percent purity are traded higher by Rs 40 each to Rs 32,690 and Rs 32,540 per 10 gram respectively. Further, the rates rose by another Rs 20 on Saturday.