Tag Archives: Dixons Carphone

Positive news for UK retail

Recent yearly results published by Dixons Carphone are good news for all retailers, whether multiple or independent.

Despite price increases and decreasing consumer confidence following the Brexit vote, Dixons has been able to beat the downward trend, increasing pre-tax profits by 10 per cent and like-for-like sales by four per cent compared with 2016.

Looking at the whole of the UK, some key categories have seen lower sales. With TV, for example, seeing a 14.9 per cent unit sales decrease last year, it’s positive news for UK retail that the number-one consumer electronics retailer is proving that consumers are still heading to the high street to buy household tech.

As an agency that represents tech brands in UK retailers, including Dixons Carphone, Gekko’s results in-store agree with theirs, with sales having increased by 5.6 per cent relative to the same period in 2016.

One category that has been particularly significant in improving results for tech retail has been the smart home. Still a growing sector, expected to be worth $58.47 billion (£45.3bn) globally by 2020, the smart home is enthusing consumers to upgrade their appliances and home technology.

In a recent campaign for a smart-home brand, Gekko’s training team created a 68 per cent uplift in knowledge among store staff, which helped deliver a healthy 36 per cent sales uplift in the following weeks.

For independent retail, the strong results seen by Dixons Carphone set an optimistic tone. Gekko knows that 74 per cent of consumers prefer to shop in-store, because it allows them to see, touch and experience the product before buying. Dixons’s results show that consumers are still heading to the high street when looking to purchase a high-ticket item.

These ‘considered purchases’ – products that shoppers need time to think about before deciding it’s right for them – require that additional assistance only found in physical retail.

To match the large retailers in their success, independents need to create a welcoming, ‘showroom’-style atmosphere that will encourage shoppers to try out products before they buy.

A conversation with knowledgeable store staff can easily transform a browser into a customer. Developing categories, such as the smart home, are important areas for potential growth.

Set your store apart by offering shoppers an experience they can’t find in larger retailers, and you too can see these positive results.

Read more at: http://ertonline.co.uk/opinion/positive-new-for-uk-retail/

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Electrical retailers can’t afford to ignore wearable tech

wearable retailer banner

Let’s talk about wearables and how retailers can capitalise on a category that, contrary to some people’s opinions, will in 2015 continue to grow in sales and value.

It’s becoming clear that wearables are not a fad. As more brands and products enter the market, some may disappear – Google Glass for one – but those that have demonstrated their credentials in 2014 will remain a fixture in 2015 and possibly beyond.

As the hype around a particular brand of watch spirals ever more out of control, the benefits of heightened exposure for the category is naturally index-linked for retailers, so now is the time to ride that wave and ignore the sceptics.

As of the end of 2014, three million Brits owned a wearable device, with Dixons Carphone reporting a 710 per cent increase in wearables sales over the year.

The UK wearables market value was predicted to have hit £313.6 million by the end of 2014 and many shoppers had wearable devices at the top of their lists for Christmas 2014.

The same research conducted by Dixons Carphone confirmed that Sony’s Smartwatch, Fitbit’s Flex and Samsung’s Gear Fit were the top-selling wearables during the Christmas period. It’s clear they are growing in popularity among consumers, with research from Samsung suggesting that sales during Christmas 2014 were 182 per cent higher than the same period in 2013. One can only assume that again this will increase in 2015.

With growth in mind, ranging of core lines is essential to appeal to a wide demographic, coupled with a greater in-store experience.

Staff need not only to understand the products well enough to sell them as standalone or add-on sales, but also become advocates themselves.

Think about giving your staff devices to use and live with for a sustained period. This could be done in partnership with a specific market leader like Fitbit or a relative newcomer like Epson Sensing to immerse them in the wearables experience and improve their sales technique – as they do when training to sell other CE products in your store. It may also make your staff healthier, happier and more productive – a win-win for all.

But seriously, with almost a quarter (23 per cent) of wearables  purchased as gifts, the person buying may not know anything about the product and store staff therefore need good product knowledge to help seal the deal. Also, with two-thirds of consumers citing ease of use as an important factor when selecting a wearable product, a demonstration becomes crucial.

Shoppers need reassurance that products are easy to use and include useful functions. Effective staff training for product knowledge and demonstrations reassures shoppers and potentially increases not only unit sales, but also the value of each sale.

Displays are also important. Think about the location in-store and connectivity to other devices you may range. The customer journey should be one that enables the customer to see how wearables work with the phone in their pocket, TV or even a washing machine.

With an estimated 17 million Brits set to own a wearable in 2015, creating a potential UK market worth £1.7 billion, the opportunity is clear for all.

Don’t just think traditional wearables – the market will grow through innovation. Soon you’ll see a number of wearable devices for pets, including a smart dog collar from Motorola, which includes a remote 720p camera, GPS connectivity and speakers to communicate with your dog via your smartphone, accompanying the various GPS tracker collars already on the market.

Also expect connected clothing and jewellery – wearables developed more as fashion accessories – beginning to emerge, making tech more mainstream and commonplace among customers.

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