IPads and a well-chosen partnership pave the way for an enhanced customer experience at Harrods.

As part of a partnership with Dixons Retail, Harrods drastically overhauled its Technology department in March. We’ve been back for another look at how the department is evolving, and to see a demonstration of the systems that Dixons has developed to help the department’s staff demonstrate the functionality of the products on display.

The tie-up shows us two things: firstly, that iPads are the emerging technological tool to provide a better in-store experience; and secondly, that brands can find synergies and deliver an enhanced customers experience by working together.

Harrods Technology department is now using iPads to show customers how to control smart TVs and other products - such as wireless speakers - with, well, an iPad. With the device linked up to a wall of smart TVs, the sales pitch demonstrates what having one of these TVs would really be like once home.

The staff use iPads, which provide access to a range of content from which customers can choose, to show how easy it is to skip from a live feed from the BBC to watching video on demand. So rather than a pre-edited selection of clips on a loop, the customer also gets to see the picture and sound quality of the type of thing they will watch.

A screen shot of the Harrods iPad interface

A screen shot of the Harrods iPad interface

Staff can also let the customer handle the iPad interface to see how easy it is. And if that is not enough hand-holding, then for a £50 fee customers can purchase 30 minutes of tuition from Dixons’ Knowhow technology service and support team.

The sales experience is part of what Knowhow calls its “customer vision journey”, but the fact the team working within Harrods can come to your home or hotel to teach you this is just one of the many ways the tie up has been tailored to the department store’s upmarket consumer.

All of this is integrated into the Harrods Technology department, so at most you might recognise Knowhow’s rainbow colour branding on the stools in the advice section. It isn’t Dixons in Harrods; its Dixons lending its expertise and working as a third party electronics and customer service specialist.

It is a logical tie-up and one that appears to work, but it is also a savvy move from Dixons to diversify its revenue streams; a strategic shift in its words from “boxshifter to a seller of solutions and services”.

Harrods Technology Department

Harrods Technology Department