Dixons Carphone is Europe’s leading specialist electrical and telecommunications retailer and services company, employing over 40,000 people in nine countries.
Focusing on helping customers navigate the connected world, Dixons Carphone offers a comprehensive range of electrical and mobile products, connectivity and expert after-sales services.
Competing and winning in a digital world
In a retail environment increasingly challenged by pure play e-commerce vendors, Dixons Carphone has driven customer differentiation through the in-store experience, and through the product expertise and purchasing guidance that its sales associates provide.
This differentiator has become more important as e-commerce players have become even more prevalent. Yet at the same time, this advantage has become more difficult to maintain as Dixons Carphones’ product offerings have expanded and thus so too the breadth of sales expertise required of in-store sales teams.
Transforming the customer journey with the honeyBee platform
To support in-store colleagues, Dixons Carphone developed honeyBee, a platform to build, deliver and manage digital customer journeys. honeyBee gives customers a best-in-class digital guided sales experience whilst providing those on the shop floor with a transformational operations platform.
Each sales associate is provided a tablet from which they, and the customer, can jointly access the honeyBee platform. The platform helps the customer navigate through a consistent journey alongside the associate, from exploring different purchasing options and comparing products, to making a recommendation based on their needs.
The honeyBee platform also allows the colleague to see real time journey analytics to assess their performance and get live tailored coaching on how to improve conversion and customer experience. The feedback is gamified to improve engagement, with colleagues winning badges for good performance and undertaking challenges to improve performance.
In order to remove friction from the buying process, Dixons Carphone uses honeyBee to automate what had previously been paper driven processes. For example, credit checks are now completed automatically and for the specific case of mobile phone sales, honeyBee also serves to manage the carrier set-up and activation process as well.
Dixons Carphone’s application network: Making the complex simple
In order to make the vision of a single unified sales platform a reality, Dixons Carphone needed to integrate data from multiple systems, for example, bringing product, pricing, and promotions data from multiple mobile networks, so that it could be accessed from a single interface.
Dixons Carphone maintains business relationships with a number of external entities including credit agencies, fraud agencies, and mobile phone networks. These partner interfaces are subject to change, and the agility to build a platform which could respond quickly to those changes was critical. Finally, the chosen solution needed to be both resilient and to be able to scale to support Dixons Carphone’s international footprint.
Working closely with Accenture as an implementation partner, MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform was chosen to displace an incumbent vendor and support honeyBee’s global roll-out. Anypoint Platform was not only able to meet Dixons Carphone’s operational requirements - scaling to process loads in excess of 10,000 transactions per second - but also its requirements around development agility as well.
By leveraging MuleSoft’s API-led connectivity approach, Dixons Carphone has been able to “package” key sets of application logic as re-usable components that can then be applied across multiple use cases and journeys. Simon Post, Dixons Carphone’s Group CIO explains, “What MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform has allowed us to do is to have a component view of connectivity…when we want to create a new customer journey we assemble all of those things together using essentially a drag and drop interface”.
This approach has driven dramatic increases in productivity. Compared to previous solutions, Dixons Carphone has seen a 10x increase in developer productivity which has meant that initiatives which took 12 months can now be delivered in 3 months. “That’s a massive win, in a world that’s changing constantly. It creates competitive advantage and ensures we can deliver against fast-moving consumer expectations,” added Post.
The honeyBee impact
Since honeyBee has been implemented in its stores, sales conversion has gone up by 36%, while the time sales associates spend with each customer (the customer journey), has gone down by 65%. Customer satisfaction has increased by 25%.
In addition, sales management teams now have a real-time view of store performance down to the level of each customer interaction. By leveraging the honeyBee platform to track behavior at this level of detail, Dixons Carphone is able to marry the same level of analytics that have traditionally only been enjoyed by the pure play e-commerce players, with a differentiated human presence.
This solution has proven to be so compelling that Dixons Carphone is now selling the honeyBee platform to other organizations. “The honeyBee platform can be easily re-configured to support any complex selling process,” says Post. “We are in process of partnering in verticals across automotive, financial services, healthcare and, of course, retail as well”.