5 Ways Telecom Brands Come to Life in Retail Stores

As we like to say here at iQmetrix, brands come to life in retail stores.

In a highly competitive telecom retail market, you need to differentiate your brand experience to stand out from the crowd, and educate your customer on what your business stands for. One great way to do that is by bringing that brand experience and understanding to life in your physical stores. But what exactly does that mean, and how can you implement it in your own retail stores? 

Here are five key ways, with tips from the experts at iQmetrix. 

1. Turn try before you buy” into a consultative showroom that will keep customers coming back. 

We know that although brick-and-mortar has seen a post-pandemic resurgence, foot traffic isn’t what it used to be. Many consumers became so accustomed to shopping online during the pandemic, they’re continuing to do so today. But all that means is that the physical retail store needs to do more than it used to do, not that it’s in decline. 

When it comes to expensive purchases like cellphones, many customers want to hold an item in their hands and even get a demo before they’ll buy it — even if that means they’ll go home and buy the item online. That turns the physical store into a great opportunity to bring all kinds of products and services to life while the customer is showrooming. Sales associates should be expert consultants, able to focus on the customer, demo various products, and offer rate plans and add-ons that will fit the customer’s needs. 

Add in some of the more experiential” elements mentioned below, and you’ve got a customer who initially stopped by the store to merely check out a phone, but is now a loyal customer who’ll keep coming back for all their future purchases. 

2. On the flip side, be a convenient e-commerce fulfilment center that offers so much more. 

That customer who went home to order the phone they saw in your store? They had such a good experience that they now want to buy online, pick up in-store and have their friendly neighborhood sales associate activate it for them. 

Jason Raymer, Senior Vice President of Revenue at iQmetrix, said, This is where you can take your retail brand to the next level by providing seamless omnichannel retail experiences. This turns the online vs physical journey into a truly hybrid journey that can start and end in any retail channel, operated by any player — authorized retailer, carrier, device manufacturer, or otherwise.” 

Of course, to make this happen, you need frictionless integrations and connections between all channels and players — which is where Interconnected Commerce is the only option. 

3. Go beyond the transaction with personalization and tailored upselling. 

When it comes to elevating the in-store experience, the name of the game in today’s retail environment is personalization. This is about more than simply having a store associate asking what the customer is looking for and making recommendations. It’s about really knowing your customer, their purchasing history and patterns, their needs and preferences. 

Caoimhin Smyth, Vice President of Business Development in Canada for iQmetrix, said, Collecting customer data is a critical first step toward personalized customer experiences, but insight is nothing without implementation! By investing in solutions like retail management software, businesses can capture and analyze customer data, automate, and streamline processes, and deliver more personalized experiences — from product recommendations to tailored marketing campaigns.” 

This kind of personalization and tailored upselling works both in-store and online, so it can elevate your brand’s experience no matter where it is encountered. In store, customer data can be used not only to enhance support interactions by using a customer’s name and relevant information, but also to provide proactive assistance by anticipating customer wants and needs. Online and in the hybrid experience, personalization can not only recommend devices based on your preferences, but also suggests phone cases and accessories that perfectly match the items you’ve purchased before – eliminating the need to scroll through products and guess which accessories will fit your devices. 

4. Add the wow factor to retail stores with mobile point of sale and experiential elements. 

When you really want your brand to come to life in stores, adding experiential elements is a great way to do this. But this can mean many things, and must be designed with your store and customer base (and budget!) in mind. 

One method that’s becoming a must-have is simply untethering the point of sale and meeting the customer where they are in the store with a mobile POS, such as iQmetrix’s RQ Mobile. 

Before it implemented RQ Mobile across its stores, TCC—a Verizon Major authorized retailer — had recognized the frustrations of not only customers but also associates in being stuck at a static workstation. 

Physical barriers between customers and associates did not allow us to maximize sales opportunities,” explained Frank Gumino, Chief Information officer at Round Room Inc. Wireless Division that includes TCC and another Verizon authorized retailer, Wireless Zone. 

Creating that experiential vibe with roaming sales associates who can consult with the customer anywhere in the store is the first step in adding the wow factor. But there are many more additional strategies to uplevel the experience. 

What experiential retail should do — no matter what retail vertical you’re in — is go beyond offering mere information and displays of products, and instead elicit feelings in the customer. This could be excitement, anticipation, awe, nostalgia, comfort, or anything else that feels good! The goal is to create an emotional connection between the customer and the store, so that they associate that brand with whatever amazing feeling they had. Apple and Samsung stores are great examples of this. 

Even in a smaller store, such as a typical wireless retail location, this can be achieved. It could take the form of interactive displays and kiosks, virtual reality headsets showcasing endless-aisle products, augmented reality technology to bring product displays to life, or digital screens showing products or telling the story of the brand. It could even mean simply providing a comfortable environment for customers to shop in and consider their (personalized) options, with cozy couches or coffee-shop tables, great music on the speaker, and wrapped candies bearing your logo. 

Raymer added, Whatever tactic you use, try to ensure that multiple senses are connected. Our memories of we hear, see, smell, taste, and touch, are powerful associations, and you want those great memories associated with your brand. That’s incredibly hard to do with e-commerce, but an easy win for physical retail.” 

5. Leverage your store’s people and place in the local community. 

Another brand-elevation win for physical retail is just that — its tangible existence in the world, particularly within your local community. And the realness of the frontline staff working there, compared with the robots we encounter in online shopping. So, don’t neglect to leverage this huge asset. 

Find ways to connect with local customers and become an important, active part of the high street or shopping mall or wherever you are located. Take part in events, sponsor them, and throw your own. Or, perhaps you’re running prepaid stores in locations with high immigrant populations where English is a second language — make sure that you’re giving customers the experience they want in their language. 

Does your retail brand have a philanthropic mission? Find various ways to give back to the local community — or to all the local communities you’re located in, for multi-location retailers. And then, tying into the above point about experiential strategies, showcase in your stores what you’re doing and perhaps tell customers how they can get involved. 

Raymer observed: These kinds of programs that involve leveraging your people and community are often broadcasted and consumed via social and online mediums. A great online review strategy with a quality social presence on philanthropy will reach customers who haven’t previously been to the store. This boosts foot traffic and can drive new customer acquisition.” 

This community element ties back into personalization, too. If your retail business, from back-office data analysts to frontline store staff, really gets to know customers, it goes from being a soulless store to a brand that truly resonates and creates joy. 

Want to learn more about how Interconnected Commerce brings retail brands to life?