Rolling out tablets to its store employees to use as dedicated selling modules has had a dramatic effect on Carphone Warehouse outlets and brought them into the omnichannel age, it was suggested today..

Speaking to a packed room at RBTE 2015, Andrew Harrision, deputy group CEO at Dixons Carphone, admitted that its stores were effectively "tech-free zones" but that 41% of its customers were using their mobile devices in-store to compare prices.

He wanted to turn this on its head and move the stores away from this "old fashioned" model. Key to the change has been the introduction of 5,000 tablets into the hands of employees, which he says has had a "quite staggering effect" with increased conversion, improved interaction with customers, and a consistent delivery of service that has driven up the NPS (Net Promoter Score).

The devices – called PinPoint in the business – enable real-life, real-time communications with customers involving a broad array of data that has been pulled together from various sources.

"Most of the information is available freely elsewhere but we've pulled it all together and this helps us show that we are the cheapest and that there is no need for the customer to go elsewhere," explained Harrison.

As well as boosting conversion rates the PinPoint solution has improved the efficiency of the staff interaction with customers: "The time spent with customers is of so much more value. By controlling the sales process we've scientifically shortened it."

Harrison revealed that one of the challenges of creating a 'digital workforce' through the introduction of PinPoint was to actually get it built – by "getting it on the IT roadmap". He added: "We did it outside of IT and built it on top. We can't become slaves to the IT roadmap and not let the stores evolve."

Such has been the positive effect of the solution on the Carphone business that Harrison says it is now being deployed to other retailers around the world. "We believe it is a real advantage. It's successful because it has been built by a retailer for a retailer. It took us from a tech-free zone in our stores to being a retailer working with technology in real-time," he said.