Over a third of Indian women don't own gold but want to buy it: WGC survey

Topics Gold  | Gold Prices

People purchasing Gold Jewellery at UTZ Jewellery Shop. Photo: Kamlesh Pednekar
At a time when the metal is trading near record highs and is forecast to move up further, the affinity of Indian women for gold jewellery continues.

A survey conducted by the World Gold Council (WGC), a global gold miners’ body, finds that 37 per cent of Indian women have never bought gold in the past but would consider buying jewellery in future. The findings present a significant potential audience that retailers may want to capture.

The most striking finding of this survey is that 60 per cent of Indian women already own gold jewellery; it is the most popular item among ‘fashion and lifestyle’ shoppers after designer clothes and silk sarees.

Conducted in partnership with global research agency Hall & Partners, the study captures the opinions of more than 6,000 global high-end fashion and lifestyle consumers, of which at least 2,000 women are aged between 18 and 65 in each of the three largest gold jewellery markets: India, China and the US. Within India, 1,017 face-to-face interviews with rural consumers and 1,023 online interviews with urban consumers were conducted.

“The research shows evolving consumer tastes and the risk of gold jewellery losing its connection with younger audiences as other brands vie for the attention of the millennial generation. Gold jewellery faces challenges from perceptions that it is a traditional necessity and not versatile enough for the modern Indian women. But the findings are encouraging, as they highlight how the industry can adapt, adjust and improve to meet the different needs of different groups of Indian women,” said Somasundaram P R, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council.

Gold prices are trading currently at Rs 46,000 per 10 grams, less than one per cent below its record high price. Analysts forecast gold prices to rise further in the medium term due to strong fundamentals in its favour including intensifying geo-political tensions, dwindling global economy due to coronavirus spread and trade war between the United States and China.

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.

The survey further finds that gold jewellery is the second most popular item they own when compared against a range of other fashion and lifestyle products. Sixty per cent of women own gold jewellery – second only to designer clothes and sarees. And 40 per cent had bought gold jewellery in the preceding 12-month period, eclipsing purchases of diamond or platinum jewellery.

Indian women report that gold meets the criteria of their ideal product choice as it is durable, a good financial investment and/or family heirloom, socially acceptable and offers a straightforward retail experience, according to the survey.

Gold is not resonating with the desire for self-expression and prestige when it comes to factors that motivate fashion and lifestyle buying, it added.

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