Analysis

INTERVIEW Pandora chief digital officer on bringing “accessible luxury” to the doorstep

Delivery is becoming an increasingly central way to connect with customers, particularly for those retailers which have traditionally been physical retailers but are moving more online. While in the past retailers could build and retain customer loyalty through strong in-store service, digital customers are more remote.

David Walmsley, chief digital and omnichannel officer at Pandora, is more aware of this problem than most. A veteran of House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer, Walmsley joined the jeweller in April last year and is helping to deliver its Programme NOW initiative. This focuses on creating a stronger brand identity as well as upgrading IT systems.

In the delivery realm, this brand identity is no less important. Walmsley expects his remit of omnichannel to increasingly include “omnifulfilment”, which he defines as “all the different ways you can get parcels into customers’ hands”, including click and collect and endless aisles.

“The delivery experience at the doorstep needs to feel special. Typically you’re receiving a parcel to give it to someone else.”

“Accessible luxury is key part of brand globally so we do want the experience to feel luxurious and have that element of charm and that wow factor, pull that together globally.”

As a brand that operates worldwide, Pandora has in the past been managed at the country level but Walmsley says there is now a push to create a more unified global infrastructure and direction.

He says he “learned the hard way” from his time at other retailers that one can’t always assume what the doorstep experience will be like in locations such as Australia, Brazil, particularly if shipping internationally. Gaining visibility over this is one of the company’s key focuses.

Walmsley highlights the packaging that products arrive in as a key element that the jeweller is focusing on. The company has recently kicked off a global packaging review in order to both deliver business goals and “wow customers”, he says.

Above all, the company wants to add more personalisation to the packaging process. For example, customers will be given the choice of receiving goods in basic sustainable packaging or something that is ready-made to hand to the recipient.

Comments from this interview have also been published on eDelivery sister title InternetRetailing.net. You can read the interview here.