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Nikhil Jogia
Nikhil Jogia
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A change in attitude

Despite the growing power of internet retailing for all sectors, too many jewellers are still resisting it. NIKHIL JOGIA, Jogia Diamonds calls for a new approach toward this dominant medium.

In the last two years, e-commerce has skyrocketed. So much so, that Australia's online advertising spend is now in excess of $1 billion; however, the Australian jewellery industry is yet to harness the full potential of the internet.

One only has to compare the online diamond market in the US to that in Australia. In the US, online jeweller Blue Nile now sells more diamonds than anyone else, bar Tiffany & Co.

The Australian jewellery industry still doesn't fully understand the internet. Unlike traditional media, the internet has very few barriers to entry. Website templates can be downloaded and installed within minutes. Domain names and hosting can be bought for less than a cup of coffee.

Add to this the promise from Google that your ad can be on top of the search results in minutes (with the right bid), and it is very tempting for jewellers to start selling online without any professional advice.

A prime example of this is, a blog offering "consumer advice" that has received lots of attention in the past year. The previous management of Jogia Diamonds paid large sums of money for a small display ad on this site. As it turns out, the ad brought us between five and fifteen visitors per month. Because of the low visitor numbers, we cancelled the ad. Still, even more jewellers advertise without any independent metrics whatsoever.

Similarly, despite numerous complaints and misunderstandings, bidding on competitors' names on search engines is a perfectly legitimate and ethical practice.

This means that one company's advertisement is displayed when someone types in another company's name. For example, a search for "Jogia" on Google will yield Diamond Exchange's, and possibly others', advertisement. To stop these misconceptions, education is needed.

The JAA needs to expand its own internet presence to educate members and to stimulate member participation. One only has to look at, with its forum, videos, blog and "webinars", to get an idea of what online learning and discussion tools are available today. These tools would not only provide a stimulating environment to discuss issues relating to the jewellery industry, but also an environment free from unfair and unaccountable moderation and name calling, as seen on many other web forums.

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Secondly, jewellers need to understand that just because the internet is a global resource, it doesn't mean that selling globally is viable in the long term. Since the internet is so big, carving out a niche and sticking to it, then expanding your customer-base naturally is essential.

Although Jogia Diamonds sells to clients across Australia and New Zealand, we are trying to focus our attention on Perth as local clients are easier to deal with and more profitable.

The internet is changing all the time and the most successful internet merchants in any industry are forever pushing boundaries. Marketing strategies and technologies that Jogia Diamonds uses, such as localised search campaigns and the ability to phone us from our website, weren't even available three years ago.

What this means is that jewellers can no longer pay a web designer to design a site and then forget about it. This will not only frustrate users, but more importantly, allow competitors who do show a strong online commitment to gain an advantage.

A change in attitude is needed. Some say online merchants are "stealing sales". I say they're "earning sales" by offering a rich user-experience through the use of high-resolution photos, videos, CAD tools and even simple tools such as the Ideal-Scope.

The internet isn't a fad - it is a fundamental change in how people communicate and interact. Just like urban sprawl has enabled local jewellers to flourish in shopping centres, the internet has enabled a new type of jeweller to flourish, along with a new type of attitude.

Name: Nikhil Jogia

Age: 25

Business: Jogia Diamonds

Position: Director

Qualifications: Bachelor of Science (Comp. Sci), Bachelor of Business Administration

Years in industry: Five

Soapbox is a monthly column that aims to allow industry figures the opportunity to discuss specific industry problems and how they can be solved. If you would like to appear in soapbox and have your say, please contact the editor on 03 9696 7200 or email

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