Dixons Carphone plots move to offer 24-hour shopping

currys2Dixons Carphone, the company behind Currys PC World, Carphone Warehouse and Dixons Travel, is aiming to put its shoddy customer service record behind it by offering 24-hour shopping through the expansion of its ShopLive offering.

The system, launched earlier this year, connects online shoppers with in-store staff to allow them to view product demonstrations from home.

Over the past five months, the group claims to have served around 340,000 customers through ShopLive, resulting in more than 56,000 sales.

Dixons Carphone is reportedly trialling a “dark store” concept in its Birmingham training facility as it seeks to operate ShopLive outside ordinary shopping hours.

The ShopLive initiative could also be bolstered by making video consultations bookable to ensure customers can be served at a time convenient to them, as well as livestream shopping.

Dixons Carphone chief information officer Andy Gamble said: “Clearly our stores have a massive part to play in our future – they drive really engaging experiences, they enable people to work out, afford and ultimately enjoy technology.

“Where we see ShopLive going is to enable us to mimic an in-person shopping experience, with extended hours – as clearly that can bring some differentiation from our physical stores – but equally to give people the seamless experiences they want.”

The group, whose advertising strapline is “Always Open”, faced a barrage of complaints in the early weeks of Covid-19. Customers were fuming about delays in receiving orders, arranging returns for faulty goods, and difficulties sorting out repairs for goods that are under Currys PC World warranties.

Many claimed to have spent hours waiting on the phone trying to get through, with other channels such as email and live chat also clogged.

It has also been hit by two fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office, totalling £900,000 for losing customer information. The company is appealing one of the penalties.

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