Carphone Warehouse Vision of Mobile Retailing

 Carphone Warehouse Vision of Mobile Retailing

I was given a guided tour of Carphone Warehouse’s latest concept store (below), located in the brand-new Westfield shopping centre near Shepherd’s Bush in London. At around 3,000 square feet, the store’s about three times bigger than a normal Carphone Warehouse shop. There are another three stores like it in Romford, Bristol and Portsmouth. All of them have a different format than usual that lets the company try to understand shoppers’ needs.

When you walk into the store, the first thing you notice is the sheer number of laptops on display. There are at least 25 different models from all the leading manufacturers, including Apple. There’s also an area dedicated to games, which sells consoles from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, as well as software. Carphone Warehouse says it’s identified games as an important market, especially family-orientated games consoles.

The store pays special attention to smartphones, providing a large range of live demonstration handsets, and there’s a total of 48 prepaid handsets on display. We were shown an interactive kiosk that helps people understand how they use their mobile phones and find out if there’s a better tariff that will cut their monthly bills.

The Westfield store also features a wide range of accessories, a section for its Geek Squad technical services, and an area dedicated to selling mobile content, which has racks of vouchers for the services on offer (shown on the right). Paolo liked the idea of giving customers a physical item when they bought intangible goods like games or navigation software. It allows them to walk out of the store with something, even if it’s only a piece of plastic.

I was impressed by the execution of the concept store. All the staff came across as confident and experts in a variety of products. I counted 10 staff on the shop floor—quite a lot for a Friday lunchtime.

The manner in which Carphone Warehouse uses the store to educate consumers also caught my attention. There’s a section showcasing routers and media streaming solutions. Although most visitors might not understand these products, the company gives live demonstrations, telling people what the products can do in a simple and jargon-free way. I couldn’t help thinking that some of the products will appeal more to geeks and are unlikely to be impulse purchases. Carphone Warehouse is counting on winning customers, so when they’re ready to buy this kind of device, they’ll choose to return to the Westfield store.

It was made quite clear that everything could be bought outright or with a subscription that subsidised the price of the hardware. If you want to buy a flat-screen TV, you can sign up for a Virgin Media (and soon Sky) subscription. If you want to buy a laptop, you can take out a mobile broadband contract. If you want to buy a gaming console, you can sign up for a fixed broadband connection. It’s a good way for people to spread the cost of hardware and services.

Carphone Warehouse clearly thinks people will leave the store feeling

Carphone Warehouse clearly thinks people will leave the store feeling good and come back again. Our guide told us that a survey of visitors revealed that more than half would recommend the shop to a friend and that women were far more likely to buy something in the store. Overall, the company believes the concept has been successful, and it plans to roll out more stores across the UK. I can’t wait to see how its rivals react.

The Challenge

Carphone Warehouse retails a large variety of handsets and needs to ensure customers are able to explore and discover products.

The company uses competitive intelligence to ensure that their advertising budget is managed efficiently and is effective in reaching customers.

The Solution

Carphone Warehouse decided to leverage their intelligence to push relevant keywords on both text ads and Google Shopping.

The results were significant. Carphone Warehouse was able to provide a 50% increase in clickshare growth in the area that the other rival gave up.

The uplift generated a +8% increase in CTR, and this translated into a +53% uplift in orders from generic RLSA campaigns and a 23% drop in cost-per-order.

The Insight

Carphone Warehouse continues to utilize competitive intelligence to identify market gaps and opportunities.

Gap analysis and market opportunities

Adthena’s gap analysis features help Carphone Warehouse identify when competitor activity changes and where there may be opportunity in the market. It also empowers the discovery of new search term opportunities.

Competitor marketing intelligence and analysis

Adthena’s strategic planning enabled Carphone Warehouse to monitor ad spend and performance in their market. It helped the brand see how visible competitors are across either text or PLA ads and inform their own ad spend strategy.

During the launch of the new iPhone XR handset, with competitive intelligence, Carphone Warehouse was able to identify that a major competitor had dramatically reduced paid search spend on both text ads and PLA prior to launch.

Carphone Warehouse looked to capitalize on this opportunity in order to generate an uplift in clicks and ultimately increase sales during the launch of this handset.

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Does Carphone Warehouse do finance?

Our contract pay-monthly phone deals let you get your hands on the latest mobile phones as soon as they’re on the shelves, without having to pay for the phone up front. Choose your dream phone as well as the plan that suits you, and we’ll spread the cost out over 24 months.

What ways can you pay at Carphone Warehouse?

As an O2 customer who receives their bills from us, you can pay your bill by direct debit, online, on the phone, in a store or by check.

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