Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse aims to expand globally through a B2B business it established 18 months ago.
Called Connected World Services (CWS), Carphone Warehouse said that the business aims to use its existing expertise and systems to provide a range of services to third parties.
One of these services is providing an omnichannel platform called honeyBee that Carphone Warehouse has developed in partnership with Accenture. The IT investment in the honeyBee platform has been the main driver in an increase in the company’s capital expenditure spend from £61 million in 2013 to £65 million this year.
“We have been highly encouraged by the initial response from manufacturers, networks and retailers across the globe to the wide range of expertise and services that CPW can provide,” the company said in its preliminary results for the year ended 29 March 2014.
“Over time, we see Connected World Services as a means to take Carphone Warehouse global, in a low-risk way, with limited demands on capital expenditure whilst leveraging our knowledge and expertise.”
Other services available through CWS consist of providing remote technical support solutions, insurance services, including policy design and management and claims administration. It also designs and supports retail solutions for ‘connected devices’, either in-store, direct or online.
As well as using the honeyBee platform for its own retail business, during the last year the Carphone Warehouse introduced a tablet-based assisted sales tool called Pin Point in all its stores in the UK. In February, it revealed that it had spent £10 million on the service in the previous six months, which included £3 million on training staff to use the tool.
“This gives our customers a personalised experience, guiding them through the overwhelming variety of devices, networks, tariffs and services, to find the most suitable package to meet their needs,” it said.
The tool has helped the business to deliver “record levels of customer satisfaction”, Andrew Harrison, Carphone Warehouse CEO, added.
The company reported profit after tax of £103 million this year, up from £99 million last year.
Carphone Warehouse is also using Automic’s process automation software for the development of the CWS platform.