The strongest partnerships are built on a foundation of trust and shared understanding of business needs. At BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK, we pride ourselves on developing and nurturing longstanding relationships with our partners.
Perhaps one of the best examples of this is our relationship with Dixons Carphone, and this year we’re celebrating 10 years of partnership with the leading UK omnichannel retailer of technology products and services, which operates brands including Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse in the UK.
To mark this significant anniversary, we sat down with Phil Stubbins, commercial director at BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK, to find out how the partnership has developed over the past decade, and what makes this unique relationship so successful.
Partners in growth
First joining forces in 2010, we initiated the project with Dixons Carphone in early March, with the challenge of going live in all their Currys PC World stores in the UK by 10th June. Right from the start, we maintained a strong focus amongst our senior leadership team, which allowed us to unite department heads from across the business and create one very effective project team. As a result, we were successful in meeting the target launch date and this remains one of the largest and fastest launches in our history to date.
Over the past decade the scope of our work with Dixons Carphone has grown significantly. This began with expanding our offering to include Currys PC World stores in the Republic of Ireland, and was later followed by the launch of the Your Plan proposition in 2016 – a flexible credit plan that allows customers to spread the cost of amazing technology, manage their account online and make future purchases without additional credit checks.
This launch was very much a joint effort between our retail finance team and Dixons Carphone, combining our expertise with their customer insight to determine what customers really value when using a credit proposition through a retailer.
Phil says: “When we first launched the industry leading Your Plan proposition, it was unique in its market, and since its launch this has seen a significantly higher rate of repeat purchase than a traditional point of sale finance product, proving that the convenience and usability of our proposition leads to high levels of customer satisfaction.
“This was supported by customer research that we commissioned in 2018, which revealed a large number of customers had made subsequent purchases with the retailer, specifically because they had a Your Plan account.
“We’ve also made further enhancements to the proposition since its initial launch in 2016, including the ability to offer interest free credit on specific products, and giving customers the option to open a Your Plan account before making a purchase.”
Our partnership with Dixons Carphone has further extended beyond the traditional ways of collaborating, as Phil explains: “As well as having aligned business objectives, we believe that having aligned cultures is another really important element in creating a strong partnership.
“Earlier this year, for example, Dixons Carphone supported us in hosting a career taster day for students on the Dallaglio RugbyWorks programme, and we were so impressed with the level of resource, planning and preparation they put into making the experience so real for them.”
In more recent times, the proposition has supported Dixons Carphone customers throughout the coronavirus pandemic, enabling them to afford vital technology to keep them connected with loved ones, their families fed, clean and entertained, to work from home and to home-school the kids. Phil explains:
“No-one could predict exactly how customers would react to such an unprecedented situation, and right from the start of this crisis we’ve been closely monitoring the data around customer behaviour, as well as tracking online shopping patterns while stores were closed. This has helped us to work with the team at Dixons Carphone to understand how customer needs are changing and respond appropriately.
“We’ve also been looking at the online journey and how we can it streamline it for customers, making it easier for them to set up an account and navigate through the process.
“This therefore serves as another brilliant example of our two businesses working closely together, and our dedicated teams on both sides have ensured Dixons Carphone will come out the other side of this crisis stronger, all while helping customers to access products that make life easier during lockdown.”
So, what’s next for this perfect partnership?
Phil says: “Having recently celebrated growing the credit base to one million active customers, in 2018 we signed a new five year contract with the retailer.
“We also developed a really ambitious business plan off the back of this, with objectives around meeting changing customer needs and improving the experience for Dixons colleagues in store, with the ultimate goal of increasing sales.
“We’re so pleased to be celebrating 10 years of partnership with Dixons Carphone, and we can’t wait to see what the next 10 years has in store for us as partners in growth.”
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