Last week (Sept. 29), T-Mobile USA announced a new design rollout for nearly 400 of its stores across the country. The company says the stores' new look is inspired by its parent company Deutsche Telekom AG, which has received positive reviews for its revamped retail locations across Europe.
"Each redesigned store will be completely new from floor to ceiling, enabling T-Mobile to provide customers with a compelling retail experience and improve overall efficiency within the store," said T-Mobile, in a release. "For example, customers will now be able to meet with sales representatives at private customer service desks and view products in clearly defined areas, making it easier to find what they need."
The company posted the video below on YouTube, showing a before-and-after store makeover. It's hosted by Debra Coates, T-Mobile's senior director of store development.
The pros of this redesign:
The new store is open and inviting. The lighting is cool and I like the concept of private customer service desks, using a comfortable booth design. The fact that there are clearly defined areas for different types of products contributes to a simple, streamlined experience for buying mobile devices.
The cons of this redesign:
Although T-Mobile has incorporated video monitors and a digital messaging screen, there are no self-serve kiosks with touchscreen technology. The latter would further elevate the interactive retail shopping experience T-Mobile is going for and improve sales efficiency. The design is tailored to offer superior customer service, with multiple service options, so including self-serve kiosks would allow consumers to engage and learn about products. This is especially true in cases where a retail associate is not available. Self-serve kiosks are also useful sales aids for retail staff to guide customers through the options on-screen.
Take home message: This indicates a greater trend in mobile retail to offer a more informative, engaging and convenient experience.
It’s all about the customer experience. Carriers like T-Mobile are recognizing the significance of the in-store experience and investing to deliver a great customer experience –- one that makes the process of buying a mobile device simpler and more enjoyable. Customer experience is the new focus of competitive differentiation for carriers and retailers alike.