Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wherever you go, the ‘tele-shoppe’ will follow


Latest health booster strategy for handset majors? It’s all about walking happily-ever-after into the retail sunset

Next time when you go shopping for a mobile phone, make sure that you are not blown away by the ambience of the new jazzed up mobile store which has sprung up recently in your neighbourhood. From the insipid & fusty retailer (your previous mobile buying destination) to this nubile & trendy mobile store, your shopping experience would never be the same again. Be it Motorola, Nokia or the Essar group, all are investing heavily in this new phenomenon of specialty stores for mobile retail. Although some telecom companies already have their unique retail presence via Nokia Care Centers & Reliance Web World outlets, the telecom sector is now readying itself to take the next big leap for serving customers through these specialty stores.

Leading the fray is Essar group, which has initiated the concept of ‘one stop mobile solution shop’ in partnership with the Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. “Essar is a key player in the ever burgeoning retail markets in India. Virgin, on the other hand, is one of the most respected service brands in the world. Together we will gain in strength and bring to the customer a new and world-class experience at The Mobile Store through this partnership,” says Ravi Ruia. The Essar- Virgin stores will provide customers with a range of handsets and mobile accessories, apart from peddling a variety of entertainment products like gaming devices, DTH, MP3 players, cameras, while also offering services like handset repairs & exchange and bill collections.

Seeing competition hot on heels, India’s largest handset manufacturer, Nokia, is also revving up the focus on its ‘Nokia Care’ concept. The company has unveiled its Global Concept Stores in select locations across India over the last one month. Nokia also plans to create a special experiential zone for its N-Series in these outlets. While others are simply calling their retail expansion a business strategy, Nokia justifies its plans on the basis of a segmentation study, which divides the consumers in four different groups: Live, connect, achieve and explore. Nokia concept stores plan to have separate demo and experience zones for each kind of the consumer categorisation, thus enriching the consumer experience!

Joining this telecom retail mania is Motorola, which opened its first ‘Motorola Branded Store’ in New Delhi on April 18. “The Moto Store is testimony to the evolving Indian consumer, who has an increasingly sophisticated appetite for the latest, cutting edge mobile technology,” adds Malcolm Dawe, VP, Motorola India Mobile Devices. Motorola stores are an important step in company’s global strategy to offer its customers a truly seamless experience across its entire product portfolio. The ultimate game plan: Provide consumers with a great ambience, snazzy technological display, leverage the aspirational impact and make sure that he ends up spending more than he had originally intended to!

Edit Bureau: Devdeep Singh

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Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2007

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