Carphone Warehouse is the largest independent European telecommunications retailer, with over 2,000 stores across Europe and well-developed online channels. Carphone Warehouse currently has 20 stores-within-a-store, providing a specialist connected products and services proposition on behalf of retailers with larger store formats, who enjoy significant footfall, but who lack expertise in the mobile field.
An important feature of Carphone Warehouse’s extensive product portfolio is the complexity of decisions connected to selecting handsets, service plans, insurance and accessories. Buying a new mobile device, often alongside a mobile phone contract, is a considered purchase that takes time and research. Mobile functionality had to address users’ trend to research on-the-go, and ensure that every plan, handset and tariff option is easily available and comparable. Further, Carphone Warehouse recognized that it needed to provide a unique experience on mobile yet consistent with the desktop site. Working closely with Usablenet, it was able to develop a mobile site with the right transactional functionality to support the brand and its ever-expanding inventory.
Usablenet understood that given the volume of information implicit in buying a new phone, the focus of the mobile UX needed to be on presenting lots of facts and choices in the most readable format possible for consumers. One of the key insights for the team working on the mobile site that it could not be assumed that desktop customers’ needs are the same as mobile customers. The essential difference between these channels is the need for absolute simplicity of information when a smaller screen is involved. Usablenet’s expertise in usability and mobile UX ensured the mobile site successfully drives store traffic while maintaining and increasing conversions on mobile. Key functionality on the m-commerce site include search, expandable menus, GPS-enabled store finder, and Deal Finder, which offers extensive filters to help customers quickly drill down to the specific costs in relation to devices, plans and/or packages. Testing was a key aspect of site development, and shaped the performance of the site. For example, a multi-variant test increased store location requests by 12 per cent while still maintaining conversion.
Mobile traffic has a YOY increase of 50%, highlighting just how much consumers are turning to their smartphones for online search and shopping. Since launch, mobile traffic has doubled, the store locater function is used around 30,000 times a month, while the click to call function is used around almost 14,000 times a month. Phil Ward, head of experience and development, Carphone Warehouse, comments: “We are extremely satisfied with the success of the transactional mobile site in just one year. By focusing on what our customers want we have been able to bring mobile into the heart of our business. Working in partnership with Usablenet, we have been able to realize our goal of delivering a seamless experience for our customers, however they want to engage with us.”