Dixons Carphone: Using Technology to Sell Technology In-Store – Magazine Articles
Ramage thinks putting the website in the hands of coworkers was a good idea, but “putting it into proof of concept without really understanding how coworkers are going to use it in front of customers probably delayed us a bit.” He adds that he doesn’t think they would have known without deploying a number that the build needed to be coworker-centric.
âAfter kicking off the initial rollout to these 50 stores and seeing relatively low engagement, the conversation was started to partner with a number of stores to really understand why they weren’t using what we thought was a great opportunity, which is a fantastic on-device website for colleagues, âhe says. âWe have received a lot of feedback. It sounds simple enough when you look back, but sitting down with colleagues and spending time with them to get a better digital understanding of how they work in stores was what sped up the project.
The project has proven the strength of combining two channels. âIt shows that we have two fantastic assets and that we are starting to unlock value through both,â Ramage said. âThere is magic when you can make the two powerful channels work together. “
Store shelves are now in their fourth version of the app after progressing from a minimally viable product in early summer and going through a number of iterations as refined by the team at agile development using staff feedback. Tablets have been phased out to a number of employees in 50 stores and will be rolled out across the fleet of 340 Currys PC World stores by the third week of September. Initially, each store will receive around 7 or 8, but eventually more may be issued so that each staff member has one.
The staff-centric site means staff can quickly and easily interact with customers, showing them product details and accessing reviews, price and product comparisons, delivery availability, videos, inventory levels in their own store and other locations, credit calculators, on-offer services and buying guides. Ramage explains that helping customers compare products using the product comparison tool on a tablet is much easier and clearer for everyone involved than for a colleague in the store trying to explain every little difference by itself.
Tablets use the same resources and data stream as the main website, so features can be turned on and off easily to work in-store as well as on the main website, which means staff can use the same data. at the store.
Customers can organize a shortlist or wishlist of products on the website and save it under their account details. In the future, this functionality will be accessible via in-store tablets allowing staff to review the list with a customer or to compile one with them in-store and email it to them so that they can assess the results. produced later.
âIt starts with pausing and resuming,â says Ramage, as it is known that customers spend time researching products on the website before entering a store.
âIt’s quite difficult to relate those two things, especially when the coworker isn’t aware of what the client has done before. In many cases, the client may need to go back to the start of their journey after spending many weeks researching, so if we can make both client and coworker easier in this situation, we’ll be on to something. very special.
He also believes tablet usage will shift from an information-assisted and guided trip for the consumer and colleague to a transactional conversation, removing one of the sticking points in-store. Upgraded tablets will allow the same staff member to complete payment after the customer makes their purchasing decision. Currently, the customer must be taken to a fixed in-store checkout to complete the transaction and be served by another member of staff. A trial will take place before Christmas, according to Ramage.
The staff member will also be able to take a customer’s order at the edge of the shelf for items that are not available in the store, making the trip faster and smoother since they won’t have to go through using the entire website on a stationary PC in the store, as is the situation now. âWe know that customers want to be able to order in-store if the item they’re looking for isn’t available. This also means that the customer can make his decision in store and then have his order delivered to his home, possibly with installation as well, if necessary.
Ramage says it’s “unlikely” that further customer data will be incorporated into the store’s app.
The hardware used has also changed, with iPad minis being chosen for full deployment. Ramage explains that they chose them because of the speed to market, the ability to update the software, Apple’s strong retail support, and the security aspects of the hardware and software that will provide a gateway to a transactional experience. âFrom an information security perspective, iOS and the Apple device are among the best in their class,â he says.
âThe level of flexibility they gave us when we wanted to upgrade the software with updates, we thought we wanted to keep the team, the product team, running for an extended period of time and the ability to deliver these updates through Apple Support is what rocked at the end of the day.
Why no mobile application?
InternetRetailing and new Dixons Carphone CEO Alex Baldock (previously CEO of pureplay Shop Direct) asked Ramage why there was no mobile app for Currys PC World.
The main reason, explains Ramage, is how often consumers interact with the business. âThe discoverability and usability of an application has to be quite high,â he says. âYou rarely get consumers with a retail app on their phone unless they’re doing weekly or monthly transactions and that’s just not the case with us due to the nature of the products we sell. “
Dixons Carphone is working on initiatives such as range extension, content and features that would add value, such as the AR app.
Expanding the product portfolio to smart technologies that are smaller, lower cost and more frequently purchased could make a difference, as could the growing mix of services and credit facilities (which people interact with more frequently). He adds, however, that with customers who want advice, service, advice, FAQs, content, price comparison and product comparison, an app “would really start to make sense now”, and that is something the development team continues to discuss.
He adds that a progressive web application (PWA) could be “the way we’re going” rather than creating a separate app, with a PWA or native app launching “in the next 12-18 months.”