Régis Schultz: Darty leverages new community-based concept for product information

France’s Darty group is renowned for innovating in the field of service. Régis Schultz – CEO of Darty will again be attending the European TCG Retail summit this year to share ideas and give important feedback to key vendors.

“We strive to achieve excellence by putting the best of the web in the store and putting the best of the store on the web.”

We asked Mr Schultz what his key challenges are today.

What’s changing in your solutions offering?
Darty has always been renowned for service. It’s at the core of our proposition. A third of our people are working in services, which is huge compared to many other retailers. We face the same challenge – to adapt to a fast changing market, to adapt our home delivery, to adapt our after-sales service. In this sense, we can now do a lot of things remotely. It’s essential to think differently. We need to add services, and occasionally ask customers to pay for some of these, which in the past were free. For this, there are some subscription models that are very efficient.

What new marketing techniques are you finding are the most interesting?
Community-based solutions are becoming very interesting. For example, one thing we are finding is very popular among our customers is the fact that through an online interface, we are giving them the possibility to ask questions of those who already bought the same products from us. It’s interesting that when we propose that, customers tend to have more questions than if they were talking with a Darty specialist. It shows how much people are willing to rely on advice from other buyers. We strive to achieve excellence by putting the best of the web in the store and putting the best of the store on the web.

Can you give some examples?
The best of the web in store is the ability to use an electronic labelling system we are testing in one store wherein you put your smartphone in front of the label and you will get all the smart content you would normally find on the web including customer reviews, price comparisons, and so on. The other example is when you are on the web, and are spending some time looking at a product; you can have a chat online with one of our specialists, or even take an appointment in-store for a one-to-one meeting. By developing both the web and in-store experiences in this way, we can truly add value to the customer proposition.

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