5 Keys to Positive Phone Shopping Experiences

Apr 05, 2011 — Allan Pulga

Shopping for a mobile phone is a confusing and frustrating process. Customers are often lost in a myriad of devices, carriers, rate plans, features and accessories. And even when they choose a phone they want, the activation process can be long and tiresome.

In spite of these difficulties, which retailers succeed in delivering a good phone shopping experience?

Last June, Consumer Reports surveyed 11,000 shoppers, asking them about their phone shopping experiences. Respondents rated Apple stores the highest among phone retailers, giving them top marks for checkout, activation and service, even though Apple only sells one type of handset – its iPhone line.

Apple stores had an overall rating of 86, followed by U.S. Cellular (80), Costco and Best Buy (tied at 79). VerizonWireless.com had the best online rating, with a score of 80. However, Apple’s pricing received a low rating from respondents.

More importantly for wireless retailers in general, respondents identified the following five keys to positive phone shopping experiences:

  • Easy activation: The mobile phone activation process can be complicated, so any efforts to simplify the experience, through patient explanation and advice, will go a long way in increasing customer satisfaction.
  • Fast checkout: Expediting the checkout process is essential to delivering a good phone shopping experience. Retailers must make efforts to avoid long checkout lines – customers don’t want to wait.
  • Vast phone selection: Confusion is the enemy. It is important to not only offer a variety of devices, but also to present them in an understandable way. Store design and merchandising should clearly identify brands, categories, rate plans, etc. Retailers should meet customers’ expectations of product choice and quality, while avoiding out of stocks.
  • Affordable prices: Customers want to easily compare costs of different phones, plans and accessories to identify a price that works for them. Once again, pricing should be straightforward, not confusing.
  • Good customer service: Sales associates must demonstrate strong product knowledge while also being polite, genuine and helpful. Good listening skills are essential. Responsiveness is extremely important, as customers do not want to wait around for a salesperson to help them.

Therefore, delivering a good phone shopping experience requires:

  • simplification of the browsing, buying and checkout processes
  • clear presentation of device and plan information, as well as of prices
  • ample choice and product availability (i.e. no out of stocks)

XQ Interactive Retail technology can help to deliver these three requirements and truly reinforce the Five Keys to Positive Phone Shopping Experiences.

**XQ transforms the in-store experience with a suite of dynamic digital media solutions that entertain, educate and guide shoppers through the process of buying a mobile device.

The XQ Interactive Retail suite showcases wireless products and information on eye-catching displays – allowing customers to browse in an interactive manner. These displays, filled with rich, engaging media, definitely add a “wow factor” to your wireless retail space.

  • XQ simplifies and expedites the browsing, buying and checkout processes.
  • XQ clearly displays device and plan information, as well as prices.
  • XQ identifies product availability in order to avoid out of stocks.

To learn more about XQ Interactive Retail, e-mail XQ@iQmetrix.com or call 1-866-iQmetrix (476-3874).

 

 

Topics: Retail Operations, Mobile Industry, Customer Experience

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