Material gains - putting products in the hands of the fabric specifiers

Panaz is one of Europe’s leading suppliers of high quality decorative fabrics and wallcoverings for the Hospitality, Healthcare and Corporate sectors. As is commonplace with clients who contact JP74, Panaz approached us with a problem - how best to organise and manage their very large collection of fabrics, ranges and individual specifications online.

Also, how could returning visitors be directed to new offerings and how would specifiers be allowed to search for specific technical details? Given that any Panaz customer is used to handling and checking the quality of the products by poring over swatches or sample books there was a fundamental requirement - make the products look as good as possible and encourage sample requests.

We crystallised the brief down into a simple statement - enable visitors to navigate through the range of over 3,000 Panaz products in a simple, straightforward and easy manageable route and make choosing fabrics a pleasurable and intuitive task.

But condensing the brief and agreeing it with the client is the easy part.

From the outset, we had access to all the key stakeholders within the business - from the CEO, to the in-house designers, to the Sales & Marketing team. We visited the Panaz offices. We visited the manufacturing operation. We visited their internal showrooms. We extracted all the information we needed - and we used that information to shape the brief and to understand how the target audience would interact with the end product.

We invested considerable time into planning and defining the routes to the product. We untangled the difficult problem of displaying and relating thousands of products - making navigation easy whilst also ensuring that the user could return and find items they had found interesting or desirable. We implemented an intelligent product search function that allowed for extensive filtering and exploration. We simplified the journey of discovery and searching - and we made the site easy to use.

The end result was a site that adhered to the existing brand collateral, with a simple, structured aesthetic, free from superfluous touches detracting from the user experience - and with a simple swatch request mechanism, we put product in the hands of the end user.