The Five Nine Podcast: The future of telco retail with Anurag Gaur, Boston Consulting Group

As digital sales channels become pervasive across industries, and in many cases, preferred by digital-savvy customers, telco retail space is at a point of inflection. In a recent study published by the Boston Consulting Group, they found that some telcos are looking to reduce their retail space by up to 30%. At the same time, however, in-store experiences will remain important tools for customer retention and acquisition.

Anurag Gaur, Knowledge Expert, TMT at Boston Consulting Group joined The Five Nine podcast to discuss some of the strategies that operators are pursuing across Asia, and how carriers in other regions can implement these to drive traffic and customers to their retail space. The trend, he argues, is moving from just regular retail spaces to sell a phone or a plan, to one that focuses on experiences. Whether it’s troubleshooting, showcasing future technologies, or creating personalized experiences, telco retail stores are evolving.

Gaur also makes an important point: Telcos will have to pursue a mix of retail strategies to meet the expectations of their varied customer base, and the telco’s own varying objectives. Telcos are pursuing a variety of retail strategies. From express outlets to flagship stores, each space will serve a different purpose to attract and retain customers in different demographics.

Naturally, digital sales channels will remain highly important going forward. COVID-19 has certainly accelerated the tendency to prefer online transactions. But there are still large numbers of customers who prefer the in-person shopping experience. Additionally, flagship stores or experience stores can serve a further purpose in driving brand awareness and building excitement for the product and brand.

The telco retail evolution from 1.0 to 3.0 is well underway, and this interview focuses on some of those successful use cases, and how carriers can still make the most of existing, and new, retail space.

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