The roll-out of 4G is set to boost sales on the websites run by Carphone Warehouse Online Solutions, its head of operations has claimed.
Andrew Palmer said turnover is set to grow by 20% on the e2Save, OneStopPhoneShop and Mobiles.co.uk sites, which have a combined customer base of more than one million customers, during the next 12 months. He said: ‘When 3G was launched in 2004, it delivered 100% uplift in business for e2save and OneStopPhoneShop.
‘Due to a more saturated market leading to substitution rather than incremental business, we expect 4G to deliver 15-20% increase in volume - once the product is across a wider range of networks, is more competitive and consumers have been better educated on the benefits.’
The three sites sell contract deals on Orange, T-Mobile, O2 and Vodafone and Palmer said the rollout of 4G will lead to more people using smartphones and tablets to buy online. He said: ‘We’re pioneers of tablet and mobile shopping and have already seen a significant increase in that on our websites. With the arrival of 4G we are making sure our websites are as simple, as accessible and as easy to find as possible for our mobile and tablet shoppers.’
Mobiles.co.uk, e2save and OneStopPhoneShop run separately from Carphone Warehouse’s own online service, with a focus on the value market by selling cut price deals including cashback offers and free gifts. Palmer acknowledged cash back schemes have had a poor reputation amongst consumers but argued Carphone Warehouse’s backing gives customers confidence in the three websites’ abilities to deliver on their cashback promises. He said: ‘That’s why we’re still here. Our customers know we are still going to be around to give them their cashback unlike a lot of our competitors who no longer trade.’ Customer loyalty levels are strong with repeat business for the three sites accounting for 30% of volume, ‘with the remainder of the volume coming from new customers which demonstrates our continued and sustained growth,’ added Palmer.
Carphone Warehouse Online Solutions, which employs around 150 staff, also benefits from the size and reach of its parent company. Palmer said: ‘We don’t have our own warehouse, we use Carphone Warehouse’s facilities, which takes all the pain out of logistics. ‘We also benefit from Carphone Warehouse’s buying power with access to its extended supplier portfolio and its supplier terms, which is invaluable to us.’
Palmer said the strategy makes the three websites far more flexible to market demands. He said: ‘Carphone’s willingness to allow us to trade independently of its core brand means that we keep that entrepreneurial spirit and that ability to adapt to the market quickly. It’s a testament to Carphone Warehouse that they allow us to operate like that when it would be easy for them to do the opposite.’
Author: Carol Millett