This is part one of our four-part series focused on tactical changes in merchandising telecoms need to take to transform their brick-and-mortar retail stores and position them for growth. The series is informed by our latest eBook, Retail as a Critical Element of Telecom and Media Success.

By Tom Erskine, CMO and SVP Product, One Door

The smartphone revolution that has fueled telecom growth for the last 10 years is over. I know this because my 86 year old mom just got a smartphone, and she is definitely a late adopter (she still has an answering machine). So as their top line growth slows, telecoms need to find a new growth engine for the next 10 years. Smart Home and IoT services have incredible potential, but adoption depends on consumer’s ability to try these services and see the benefits first hand. And where is the best place to do that?

Stores. Investment in physical retail is a key element of the next era of telecom growth, and as telecoms invest in retail there are changes to the way they merchandise that can generate significant improvement in sales results.

Telecom Merchandising Change #1: Get Tailored

For many telecom retailers ‘localization’ means shipping the same set of products and promotions to each store, and then letting a store manager decide which to display to maximize sales in the local market, and for their specific store layout. In this scenario, the store team receives boxes of products and POP, and a binder stuffed with generic instructions on how to merchandise a default store. The rest is up to them with guidance from their manager.

So what happens when the binder shows a six tablet display in the front window, but the window only has room for two?

Waste.

These moments create thousands of dollars of wasted product and POP, and endless wasted associate hours attempting to make sense of generic instructions. It also wastes the opportunity to improve merchandising strategies using sales performance feedback. In today’s age of big data, correlating sales results to merchandising decisions is a must, but this can’t be accomplished if the location of the product can’t be reliably captured.

Creating plans that are 100% prescriptive requires an upfront investment in capturing information about store layouts and demographics, but the payoff is massive. That same store receives a plan tailored specifically to their exact footprint, and aligned perfectly with local demand, down to the correct quantities of SKU and POP.

As telecoms continue to increase product and experience offerings in-store, the challenge to optimize floor and fixture space will become even greater. By prescribing plans and sending the stores exactly what they need, retailers not only reduce the amount of store waste, but they free up associates to spend more time introducing customers to their new product offerings.

Sounds pretty seamless.

Want to learn more? Download the eBook today! http://info.onedoor.com/telecom.html

In part 2 of our series, we will explore the role localization plays in creating meaningful in-store experiences for Telecoms.