Danish jeweler Pandora is cautiously shoring up digital channels as it heads into the fourth quarter of 2020, which also sees it mark a milestone — celebrating 20 years of its iconic charm bracelet.
“At Pandora, we are putting the consumers at the heart of every decision, “ explained Sid Keswani, president of Pandora Jewelry North America. “We understand their situation in these difficult times, so we have tried to work out the best solutions for them to stay safe. Our team has worked quickly to adjust to customer demand in the midst of our new reality, and we’ve seen that success across the North American market. “
The brand recently reported that sales for the third quarter came to 4.07 billion Danish kronor, or $640 million, down 5 percent on an organic basis, but up 1 percent on a like-for-like basis that excluded closed stores. The margin on earnings before tax came to 17.2 percent, compared to 20.2 percent last year.
According to Keswani, prior to COVID-19 the brand made a significant investment in its digital presence through the launch of a new web site and various features to make the online shopping experience seamless and easy, such as a partnership with SmartGift and working to exponentially grow the web site’s chat support.
“These changes helped our brand adjust to the increase of online traffic, especially as brick-and-mortar stores closed,” the executive explained.
SmartGift has been “an invaluable asset,” he said, adding that the gift-based e-commerce and data platform allows customers to send gifts as well as unwrap gifts via text, e-mail and other digital platforms.
“The service allows us to be there for consumers during key gifting occasions, such as graduation, Mother’s Day, holiday and more,” he said.
In addition, the brand has launched AfterPay and Klarna on U.S. e-commerce.
“We are giving customers the opportunity to purchase their order with interest-free payments through either of these two partners,” Keswani said of the two new payment partners.
As a second wave of lockdowns loom large over the U.S. market, the brand, like the rest of the retail landscape, is facing significant uncertainty.
“We have worked to develop digital solutions to create a safe, in-store environment and a great shopping experience, despite the pandemic,” Keswani explained, noting initiatives like virtual try on, where shoppers can see what pieces look like on themselves from the comfort of home, or buying online and picking up in store.
Heading into the December holiday season, the executive said Pandora’s pop-up locations are one of the brands “most exciting innovations.” Located outside many of the brand’s flagship stores, customers can purchase “some of our most sought-after products quickly, conveniently and with limited contact,” he said, of the nearly 75 pop-ups in the North American market.
The ceo added that “stores benefit from managing in-store traffic and minimizing queue lines, especially during peak, high-traffic times during the holidays.”
“These pop-ups provide an additional location for our fans to pick up their buy online, pickup in store orders, purchase holiday gift sets, gift cards and pieces most loved by Pandora fans and offer services like jewelry cleaning to ensure our consumers are ready for this holiday season,” he said.
This year is a milestone for the brand, which is celebrating 20 years of the Collecting and Moments Charm bracelet. Each month throughout 2020 saw the release and relaunch of a special collection of 12 of Pandora’s most beloved charms, in limited-edition form.
“We elevated our history by bringing back popular, beloved charms; it has enabled us to really tell an important part of the Pandora story,” Keswani explained. ”We are giving a nod to the heritage and design that is inherent to us as a brand and are also excited to be looking ahead toward the future.”
Pandora undertook a rebranding in 2019, pivoting to a new visual identify, a redesigned logo, launching new collections and enlisting brand ambassadors like actress Millie Bobby Brown, who launched the Pandora Me collection as well as Charms for Change with UNICEF.
“Historically, our customers have had a drive for products like rings and charms and this continues to be the case today,” Keswani said, when asked what is driving business. “We also continue to see an increase of charms sold during large gifting moments. Additionally, we have seen a rising trend with our gift sets and look forward to seeing how they continue to perform this holiday season.”