Darty's digital transformation

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The impact of technology – mobile, information, cloud and social – is driving digital transformation across every industry. French home appliance retailer, Darty worked with Orange to bring its B2C retail business into the 21st Century. 

improving the journey

Darty hoped to deliver improvements across the customer journey, improve its internal processes, empower staff and increase sales by energizing its business across multiple touchpoints.

Darty understood that the digital customer journey begins before they reach the store. Online searches, product comparisons, price checking, product reviews and visits to retailers are all part of the trip.

To apply digital to its retail business, Orange helped Darty to redesign its retail outlets with technology at their heart. Orange put 4,000 wirelessly connected Galaxy 2 tablets into the hands of its sales staff, giving them the same technologies they and their customers use at home.  The tablets are customized for the sales staff and Orange provides high-quality training and support as part of the package.

essential tools

The tablets use secured and managed broadband Internet and Wi-Fi to connect to the retailer’s back-end IT system. They give staff up-to-the minute stock and product information, usage and troubleshooting guides, and allow them to check competitor prices in order to clinch a sale. Applications on the tablet include:

·    a professional application for catalogue and stocks

·      price comparison apps

·      messages to boost staff collaboration

·      an alert system so staff are made aware of customer interest

·      demonstration apps for Darty products

Customers benefit because staff are better informed about the products they are looking at, and can receive high quality support or even competitive pricing, on request.

In addition to giving sales staff digital tools, the store app also lets customers access information on their own devices over freely-provided Wi-Fi. This includes checking product availability, scanning products to get more information using a mobile app, collect and/or return a product ordered online, product browsing on the touchscreen, call retail or support staff, and save products to a wishlist.

connected stores

Darty also offers connected terminals shoppers can use while in-store. Azur Digital writes: “Darty’s kiosks are extended product catalogues reusing the master product data repository. From the device, customers can add products to a wishlist and call in a salesperson, who receives a notification on a tablet and can access the shopper’s wishlist and complete the transaction. Darty’s connected store concept offers several other touchpoints, including 1-hour pick-up lockers.”

The move to create better customer relationships by delivering digital customer experiences is enabling Darty to create new products and services. For example, the company recently launched a connected ‘panic button’ for people who pay for its electrical product support service. Customers in need help press the button and an agent will call them back within a minute, day or night. 

To support Darty’s multichannel push, Orange provides a strong package of support services, including a help desk, mobile device management (based on Mobile Iron and hosted in the Orange cloud), remote assistance and more, along with its full portfolio of telecommunications services.

Find out more about how Orange Business can help digitally transform your business here.

Jon Evans

Jon Evans is highly experienced technology journalist and editor. He has been writing for a living since 1994. These days you might read his daily regular Computerworld AppleHolic and opinion columns. Jon is also technology editor for men’s interest magazine, Calibre Quarterly, and news editor for MacFormat magazine, which is the biggest UK Mac title. He's really interested in the impact of technology on the creative spark at the heart of the human experience. In 2010 he won an American Society of Business Publication Editors (Azbee) Award for his work at Computerworld.