The Hungarian wireless carrier Telenor has opened 13 digital concept stores this year that try to bridge how their customers work with them on mobile and on desktops, with interactive digital stations in the store.
“We see that our customers start prefering our electronic channels over traditional customer service: they purchase their devices in our webshop, buy new services in MyTelenor and pay their bills using Telenor Wallet – this is why the role and function of stores is changing,” says Christopher Laska, CEO of Telenor Hungary.
“In our new digital experience stores, we primarily intend to provide our customers with the opportunity to experience our latest digital services and devices, on how they contribute to their lives so that they get first-hand experience before a purchasing decision. Our new store concept, which is unparalleled not only in Hungary but also internationally, has been developed around our customers’ needs and expectations and is a truly future-proof approach for the digital age.”
A Telenor press release walks through the key elements:
Mobile Check-In: The experience starts before arriving to the store: customers who provide their phone number when they check in receive a text message notifying them about their turn, so they can explore the store in the meantime or go after their business nearby. The MyTelenor application is enhanced with a feature which enables subscribers to check in as early as they leave for the store.
Handset displays: Electronic price tags have also been removed. From now on, devices display their price and product features on their own screens which will automatically appear when customers take these devices into their hands.
Information stations, using tablets, based around a set of themes, such as efficiency and lifestyle.
One interesting aspect of this was a desire within Telenor to try to extend online and mobile development and creative to the in-store screens, without the time, cost and complication of using a third-party development agency. The company used IntuiLab‘s DIY interactive software, IntuiFace, to build out all the customer engagement and management features in-house, including the customer check-in and information kiosks.
The IntuiLab case study on this is a wee bit over the top in its “OMG, this is amazing” description, but the story is nonetheless interesting.
In addition to rapid time-to store, says the French firm in its study, Telenor’s in-house design team was able to adopt an agile process, permitting rapid iteration through both changes and experiments. Supplemented with IntuiFace’s remote deployment capability, Telenor could quickly test ideas in-store, evaluate their effect, then enhance or reject as needed. Such turn around would have been impossible with outsourced work. In fact, using such a self-driven process for in-store digital enhancements had been unheard of.
Telenor is currently gathering shopper engagement metrics using IntuiFace’s data tracking capability, preparing for deployment of interactive content into 20 more stores in early 2017 for a total of 33 stores equipped.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.