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How Pandora put the sparkle in its e-commerce operation

IBM has worked with Pandora, a designer, manufacturer and marketer of hand-finished jewellery, to help Pandora transform and scale its global omnichannel e-commerce capabilities with IBM Sterling Order Management. Pandora, one of the world's largest jewellery brands, was able to double its online sales in 2020 and now has improved real-time inventory visibility to better manage growing demand.

Pandora's focus on innovating new customer experiences included using IBM Sterling Order Management to help to increase the company's supply chain resiliency and business agility, and better mitigate disruptions and risk. By automating more of their order orchestration across channels, they also have opportunity to improve the sustainability and resiliency of their supply chain operations with more efficient delivery.

"Over the past couple of years, Pandora has made significant investments in digital capabilities and data, and we have consolidated, simplified and modernised the technology stack to bring digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer," said Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology at Pandora. "Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets."

Supporting e-commerce growth

Pandora's entry into e-commerce over the past six years most recently led them to consolidate legacy technologies while deploying the new order management solution across its key markets. Using IBM Sterling Order Management as its backend for omnichannel fulfilment and Salesforce Commerce Cloud for e-commerce, Pandora created a seamless shopping experience across channels. By automating order orchestration processes, store associates and virtual customer service representatives are able to have an end-to-end view across inventory, order and delivery status to help meet consumer expectations.

To support this ambitious objective, Pandora established a Digital Hub in Copenhagen, Denmark, with dedicated digital, data and tech teams that have played a vital role in the solution's quick deployment entirely remotely. As the pandemic forced Pandora to temporarily close most of its 2,700 stores, the digital investments in supply chain efficiency helped fuel the company's e-commerce success. In addition to some of the go-to fulfilment options many retailers offered such as click and collect and endless aisle, Pandora also introduced more innovative approaches such as virtual queuing for stores and augmented reality-based virtual trials of products to help drive more immersive customer engagement.

"The global disruption every industry experienced as all forms of commerce were severely impacted by the pandemic was especially challenging for organisations with disconnected distributed order management systems and limited scalability," said Jordan Speer, research manager - Global Supply Chain at IDC Retail Insights. "This vulnerability created a push to more quickly advance technology adoption that helps retailers better respond to fluctuating consumer dynamics. To meet this changing demand, enterprises are looking to harness new tools to achieve increased levels of supply chain resilience and efficiency while also allowing for more virtual interactions."

Enabling near-real-time supply chain management

Pandora's detailed view on order and order lines as well as near real-time inventory management helped to improve insights throughout their systems chain spanning warehouse management solutions, e-commerce and customer contact centre. This was further enabled with increased automation from self-service capabilities and the use of chatbots aiding customer support functions as Pandora experienced a massive increase in order volumes.

"The lifeblood of the global economy, consumer behaviour, has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs," said Kareem Yusuf, general manager, AI Applications and Blockchain at IBM. "To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud. Pandora's experience shows that they can stay competitive as business and technology leaders are finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth."

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