Pandora is sold in more than 100 countries, on six continents, and through 7,800 points of sale – including more than 2,400 concept stores. With thirteen unique regional online destinations, the challenges of managing a truly global brand resulted in a fragmented, dated e-commerce experience.
Known for their delightful charms and charm bracelets, central to Pandora’s product is their ability to connect to their customer's personal passions. Therefore, to reflect this digitally, our solution began with a comprehensive overhaul of the entire website and e-commerce platform, focusing squarely on integrated storytelling, dynamic product presentation, and most importantly, the user journey.
The Journey is the Destination
Our process began in Copenhagen where we led a deep-dive workshop with client leadership as well as collaborator agency, AKQA, and other client vendors to align and establish procedures, toolkits, workflows, and requirements. The key to a successful all-hands required an adept ability to navigate through multiple historical systems – from inter-office project management to software systems like JIRA and WRIKE. From there, we interviewed Pandora’s Baltimore-based e-commerce team, which managed the global code base, the overall site design, as well as each individual regional team.
Having fully immersed ourselves in the brand DNA, we conducted user journey research to identify key customer flows and personas to better connect with shoppers and complete our analysis. We gleaned key insights and identified that a large percentage of gift-givers, for example, were unfamiliar with the jewelry space, which led us to the design and development of a gift finder. A tool created to help shoppers browse collections by themes, events, occasions, and price.
To improve the experience for all types of visitors, we implemented standards and best practices for product copy, photography, categorization, and design, including several UX improvements to create an intuitive, seamless, and modular system.
International and Interconnected
To ensure a unified design structure, we developed a library system actively synchronized on the cloud with Pandora’s front-end development team as well as third party background e-commerce developers. This large collection maintains approved assets such as fonts and icons, as well as guidelines for elements like page-layout, color palettes, product cards, and other reusable components – all built with scalability in mind to account for a wide range of languages, currencies, and regional needs.
One of the largest considerations for internationalization was the Pandora checkout flow, which is highly modular, allowing each region to edit or rearrange steps in the checkout to best suit their requirements. As we implemented new initiatives like click-and-collect and saved credit card information, it was crucial to consider a multitude of use-cases. For example, we tested and accounted for the different regions and potential configurations of the checkout to ensure that our work never interfered with conversion rates or checkout performance.
In developing this intercontinental re-alignment, we implemented a batched handoff approach allowing developers to begin work while we integrated output from AKQA into a master sketch file. This ultimately allowed us to consolidate all design work to follow a standard ruleset for responsiveness, grid layouts, and hierarchy.
Strengthening Every Link in the Chain
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so throughout the entire process, we implemented rigorous and frequent project management procedures, QA testing, and user testing to ensure each link was as strong as the last.
By designing a system that can support multiple departments working in separate locations and serving individual goals, we were able to empower local teams with the tools they need to stay on brand no matter the circumstance. Throughout the process, we never let the end goal, the user, out of sight, with frequent user acceptance testing conducted to give us that most valuable feedback from the customers themselves.
"The Sweden Unlimited team is easy to work with and always impress everyone on the client-side from senior executives and board members to in-house creative teams and developers. Most recently, they helped us at Pandora drive greater than 20% year-over-year growth online while the company was down nearly double digits overall."
A Charming Experience
Pandora’s brand-wide refresh, “Programme Now,” is one of the most ambitious projects of its kind, an exciting challenge that required innovative thinking, diligent process, and minute attention to detail. While products like their popular charms continue to be relevant, Pandora has renewed focus on improving customer experience, in-store and online.
As part of our overall digital storefront enhancements, Sweden Unlimited optimized navigation and check-out flow, improved product pages, and developed versatile tools to ensure global brand consistency for the future. As features continue to roll out, early indicators showed signs of success, with Pandora’s stock prices jumping 17% at the program’s debut.
Globalized Project Management
Operating in more than 100 countries, on six continents, through 7,800 points of sale, including more than 2,400 concept stores, servicing a global brand like Pandora required intensive project management. We coordinated with multiple stakeholders, including various client internal teams as well as vendors and outside collaborators. Utilizing the most modern project management platforms and tools, we continually kept the project on schedule meeting various deadlines and ensuring seamless handoffs with smooth transitions.
Dynamic Digital Redesign
As we initially tackled baseline UI initiatives, the necessity for an in-depth review of usability, storytelling, and design best-practices became clear. A new challenge we eagerly welcomed with an end product resulting in a digital experience that better serves our client and ultimately, better serves their customers.
Modernized E-Commerce Approach
Relying on guided user testing for real, actionable data, we were able to lead a comprehensive optimization through several iterations of site taxonomy. We developed intuitive solutions to better tell the story of product types and improve listing pages with more engaging lifestyle imagery. On product pages, we audited all existing content and were able to reduce the number of page modules while pushing the most relevant information above-the-fold, clarifying the hierarchy of product information, and presenting the product images in a larger, more dynamic format. These optimizations, in combination with continuous updates to the cart, checkout, ADA compliance, responsiveness, and more have resulted in a much richer product discovery experience and a checkout flow with easy navigation.
Creating a Clean Path Forward
After a 13 month engagement and a clear framework of design tools, strategy, and process in place, the "Programme Now" initiative was ready to go live. As we continued to optimize and improve the finished structure, we monitored performance against our benchmarks and established KPIs. The initiatives implemented over the course of our partnership with Pandora resulted in a 20% year-over-year growth for Pandora's online market, while the company as a whole was down nearly double digits. An outcome that we at Sweden could not be more thrilled about.
View the Project Profile Below
- User Experience