The communications industry continues to boom as consumers use their mobile devices for everything from text messaging to watching video. At the same time, the increasingly complex devices are befuddling consumers who want the most up-to-date gadgets. To maintain strong positive relationships with customers, at least one advisory company is recommending that communications retailers reach out through traditional retail store fronts.

According to Accenture, the strengths of the traditional store front are:

  • Consumers feel comfortable making purchases and interacting with providers in this environment.
  • The store environment allows the retailer to attempt up-selling and cross-selling.
  • Operators can provide in-person advice on how to best use the product.

Large communications service providers intend to open more traditional retail  stores, especially in North America, during the next two years.  At the same time, executives believe that in-store purchases will grow from 43% to 50% of total sales.  These new stores will also target specific customer groups:

  • General consumer market 98%
  • Small business and home office market 75%
  • Medium and large businesses 2-4%

Even as communications providers plan their new retail focus, John Liesching, executive director, retail, Communication practice, Accenture, says “ communications providers should set their strategy, integrate the channels to provide a consistent level of service across all retail channels — stores, the web, call centers, kiosks or franchises — to create an experience that makes it easy for consumers to purchase new products and services.”

And as the focus changes across retail channels, communication providers will likely shift their marketing efforts.

[Source: Communications Providers Say Retail Channel is Essential for Success. Accenture.com.  21 Sept. 2010. Web. 30 Sept. 2010]