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Shop Direct Group adopts new technologies to improve the customer experience

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Shop Direct is adopting technologies to help it improve both security and the customer experience.

The £1.9bn turnover retail group, whose brands include and, is using a voice security and authentication solution from Pindrop, and SAS’ contextual analysis solution to improve the customer experience.

Shop Direct is using SAS to analyse customer’s verbatim feedback and understand its Net Promoter Score so that it can see opportunities to improve its business. The company is also using SAS analytics to detect when customer behaviour changes and uses these insights to take targeted action that strengthens the relationship and entices customers back. It is also applying the technology to analyse credit risk in the financial services side of its business.

“If customers choose to share their data with us, they expect us to use it to personalise their experience,” said Neil Chandler, CEO of Financial Services at Shop Direct . “It’s not just about showing relevant products and promotions to our customers – we want to make sure they arrive at the right time and via the right channel. Some customers like to shop on their tablets, some respond best to in-app messages, whereas others prefer emails. SAS provides a strong modelling environment for us to test and learn how customers respond to the personalised experience we offer them, helping us on our journey of continuous improvement.”

The use of the SAS technologies adds to existing use of its predictive modelling and data visualisation capabilities, in order to provide those that opt into data collection with personalised experiences and recommendations. Using them, Shop Direct can gather, store, and comb through massive quantities of granular data within very short timescales.

“We are delighted that Shop Direct has continued to invest in SAS,” said Charles Senabulya, VP & country manager, SAS UK & Ireland. “In the fast-paced retail market where the modern consumer is demanding an ever more personalised experience, it’s vital for retailers to be able to use data to make decisions about the ‘next best action’ for each individual customer.”

Shop Direct will also be the first etailer in Europe to introduce Pindrop’s Phoneprinting technology, which creates an ‘audio fingerprint’ of each call by analysing over 1,380 unique call features, such as voice, location, background noise, number history and call type. It highlights unusual activity, identifies potential fraud and deters fraudulent callers in order to guard against fraudulent tactics such as caller ID spoofing, voice distortion and social engineering.

Nick Gaubitch, research director at Pindrop said: “Our Phoneprinting technology identifies and analyses a call’s audio technology in real-time to indicate if a caller is suspicious. The technology can also identify multiple callers associated with the same phone number, allowing the detection and tracking of fraud rings. This shines a spotlight on fraudulent activity in e-tail before it becomes an issue – for both Shop Direct and its customers – and above all ensures a positive customer experience.”

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